Originally Posted by cincybrewer
I'm sure this info is out there somewhere, but since I just stumbled on this thread, how often do you have to water and tend to your hops? I'd love to grow some on my family's farm but I wouldn't be able visit that often.
Unless you're growing on very sandy soils, you really have nothing to worry about. Even during their first year you really should not have water more than once a week. In Ohio, Spring is usually kind to us with ample rainfall and being that you're just trying to make sure they don't 'dry up', if you get out once a week you'll be fine.
Once Summer comes they should have a decent enough root system developed to be able to withstand a week without water. Just make sure to amend the soil with some nice organic matter which will hold water well along with supplying valuable nutrients.
Year two and onward, they can probably fend for themselves unless we go a month or so without rainfall as the big tap roots are probably to a depth of about 2 feet by then. I've only had to water mature crowns maybe 4-5 times during very dry Summers and have had great results. I do have heavy clay which tends to hold a lot of water though. Better to water with a light hand rather than a heavy one. Have fun.