Irrigation Design For Hop Yards

Irrigation Design For Hop Yards


DIY Hop Yard Irrigation

With the proliferation of Home Brewers and Micro Breweries across Canada and North America the demand for Hops has experienced a significant increase in recent years.  Hops are a unique crop, at times requiring a large amount of supplemental water until the plants reach maturity.  Drip and Micro Irrigation has become the method of choice among Hop Growers due to it's uniform application, easy installation and maintanence.  Hop Watering Systems using Drip Irrigation can be set up in an afternoon and provide years of worry free watering.  

We will now explore the basics of Hop Irrigation Design and provide you with sample designs and pricing from customer installations to get your Hop Yard system up and running.

Types of Irrigation for Hop Yards

Although it's generally agreed that Drip Irrigation is the preferred watering method for Hops there are variations that offer similar results while having differences in installation, cost and maintanence.  

Drip Lines are run down the length of each row and are either elevated or laid flat on the ground.  Elevation is usually accomplished using a ratchet clip (DD-RC700) attached to one of the Trellis Lines which support the tall stalks of the Hop Plant.  Elevation provides several benefits to the system, namely the ability to maintain the planting are below without worrying about damaging the drip line.  Elevation also eliminates the possibility of soil clogging the emitter.  

Drip Emitters vs. Emitter Tubing (Drip Line): This is the decision most Hop Growers will face when initially planning an Irrigaiton System.  While both are equally effective and very close in installation cost, there are advantages and disadvantages of both application methods.  Please note, regardless of the application method you must use pressure compensated emitters or pressure compensated emitter tubing for uniform watering results.

Drip Emitters: Drip Emitters are simple to use and reliable.  They are either self-piercing or used in conjunctin with a hole punch and are pierced through solid drip tubing to assemble custom drip line.  

Advantages:

  • Available from .5 gph to 2 gph
  • Easy to Install and replace
  • Can be installed directly above plant roots after planting

Disadvantages:

  • Time to install for larger systems
  • Rolling up Lines can be more challenging (if necessary).

Drip Emitter Tubing: Drip Emitter tubing is manufactured with emitters installed at defined intervals. Emitter tubing is offered with a variety of options pertaining to water quality and filteration.

Advantages:

  • Available from .26 gph to 1 gph
  • Emitters pre-installed eliminating individual installation of emitters

Disadvantages:

  • Emitters at pre-defined distances (plants must be spaced to emitter distance)
  • If emitters become plugged they cannot be replaced

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