Successful hop cultivation requires an optimum supply of nutrients. The main elements in hop cultivation are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. The basic provision should be taken up by the roots from the soil and it is a good practice to analyse the soil regularly.
In addition to the indispensable soil tests, a broad spectrum plant analysis is a standard in hop cultivation to supplement these results.
With the help of these tests, the "performance" of the soil can be determined and a targeted supplementation of nutrients - to increase quality and yield - can be planned.
In hop cultivation the complex plant analysis can be carried out as follows:
At mid-season (mid-June - end of July) just fully developed leaves.
The result of the complex plant analysis - hops in the last few years showed that in the case of the macronutrients, especially the phosphorus and potassium supply was in the deficient range in more than half of the samples examined.
Older leaves turn a dull to dirty orange colour and have small brown spots on the undersides of the leaves.
Potassium deficiency manifests itself by discouloration of the older leaves from the leaf edge, which later look like brown leaf edge burns. In the case of phosphorus deficiency, the leaves remain small and brownish-green.
Typical zinc deficiency symptoms in hops are stunted growth and discolouration of the leaves to light green with curling and twisting of the leaves, the so-called "curling disease".
The hop loses its vigour, the number of flower buds decreases until it becomes completely infertile. Sharply toothed, small leaves and a sparse habit give a nettle-like appearance.
Poor flowering and reduced fruit set also indicate a lack of boron. The cause can be a high content of nitrogen and calcium, but also a low soil supply. Cold, wetness, dryness and high soil pH values promote the occurrence of boron deficiency.