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Soil and Water
Soil is one of the most important assets we have available as farmers and understanding how to improve it was the main aim for the “Cover Crops for Better Hops” Innovative Farmer’s project. We were one of the four original farmers involved in the project, and we have added cover crops to all of our hop yards as a result. You can find more information on the innovative farmer’s website, and you can watch a video here:
It’s really important that we look after the soil in the orchards too, and this is where hop waste mulch comes in! We use this waste product on our orchards in three ways: 1) as a soil conditioner, 2) as a weed suppressor to reduce weed burden directly under the trees, and 3) to prevent transpiration which means we don’t have to irrigate our fruit.
We don’t irrigate any of our crops here – our mild maritime climate is perfect for growing hops, and the cover crops help with ensuring that transpiration of the hop yards is reduced too. Water is another crucial asset, so we do everything we can to try and keep it in the right place!