Fertilizer rates per plant

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I am attempting to figure out the needs of my homegrown hops per recommendation from the Oregon State Univ Extension Service Hops Fertilizer Guide. Obviously a soil test is needed to determine an exact program. But in the absence of a soil test, I’d like to break down what professional growers are targeting per plant.

I’d like peer review on the numbers I’ve come up with. Fertilizer application rates are given per acre in the Guide. I’d like to break it down per hop plant. I also find grams are much easier to work with on the my scaled down hop yard.


~826 plants per acre?
An acre is 88 yards by 55 yards. Given 10 ft row spacing, and 5 ft between plants that’s 26 rows with 33 plants per row, so 33*26 = 826 plants per acre. Does that make sense?

Max ~87 grams Nitrogen per plant?
With 826 plants per acre, and apply a max of Nitrogen at (150 lb/acre) / (826 plants /acre) = .181 lbs N per plant * 483 grams per lb = ~87 grams of Nitrogen per plant.

Max ~18 grams Phosphate per plant?
With 826 plants per acre, and apply a max of Phosphate at (30 lb/acre) / (826 plants /acre) = .036 lbs P per plant * 483 grams per lb = ~18 grams of Phosphate per plant.

Max ~87 grams Potassium per plant?
With 826 plants per acre, and apply a max of Potassium(K) at (150 lb/acre) / (826 plants /acre) = .181 lbs K per plant * 483 grams per lb = ~87 grams of Potassium per plant.


Obviously these are maximum rates, but to me these seem like very large amounts of fertilized per plant. For example to meet Nitrogen needs, and a fertilizer with N-P-K at 10-3-1, a single plant could need up to 1247 grams or 2.6lbs of fertilizer, with additional K needed.

Thanks for any input.

Cheers,
Bikefoolery
 

Pappers_

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Your precision is admirable. I just take some composted manure, worm casings or other organic fertilizer and add a little bit to each hop hill. Like four or five handfuls. ;)
 

B-Hoppy

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Plants, in general, can perform with a lot of variability, even when grown under exactly the same conditions. Some soil conditions can vary greatly within a few feet. Without submitting a soil sample for analysis, and you making an arbitrary call on the fertilizer program that you're gonna implement, is kinda like me sending the doctor a picture of a bump on my arm and him giving me a diagnosis of what's wrong without any further information. He can be way off with his answer without being able to obtain any further info about the situation.

In your case, I would take a page out of Pappers' book and just use some compost or well-rotted manure to topdress each crown. This method will supply the plants with a steady, slow dose of nutrients without really overdoing any particular ones. The compost/manure will also act as a soil amendment over time. You're the boss so have at it.
 

Greatlakeshops

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Remember that they are recommending total fert per year - not in one app.
Most guys run 75 to 150 lbs N /Acre/year depending on soil type. It is actually more important to get the right nutrient there at the right time -ie. Nitrate in spring, Potassium in fall. Hops don't require much Phophate, but LOVE micros - FE, CA , Mg, Mn, B, Zn. Pappers and B_Hoppy are right about the composted manure - it feeds and supplies everything without a lot of thought or calculating. You just retest each fall and add what comes up short. Search the web - there are a lot more fert guides out there than Oregons:) If you're doing a liquid feed thru dripperline, I use 18-5-9 @ 125 ppm at every irrigation cycle as my base fertilizer. That's based on my alkalinity of about 180 and pH float at 6.2-6.5. Hope this helped- a bit techy but you seem able to use it.
 

Jagdad

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Those Oregon rates may seem high and are probably based on one broadcast field app per season on sandy loam with a urea based fert.
The actual Nitrogen uptake by the plant is probably around 5% of that applied amount - the rest is gassed off, washed away, or otherwise degraded thru the growing season. A lot less fert is required if it is applied in several smaller doses. (That is why slow release fertilizers are so effective compared to regular urea-based fert.)
If you are going to attempt max feeding rates though, you better invest in a cheap solubrige; or you will run a good chance of pushing the total soluble salt level in the root zone too high; above the 3.0 level. When that happens, all the root tips burn off and your plants are going backwards. I'm with the slow-but-steady growers (sorry B-Hoppy -Didn't mean to imply you're slow;)
 
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