Eastern Washington finally received enough precipitation in March to reach average levels for that month – but the previous five or six months were very low which put us at a deficit for water at the beginning of this season. We were anticipating some rainfall, the internet resources actually concurred with this belief, so we put down prilled fertilizer. ‘Prilled’ means it is coated for slow release.
Alas, we didn’t receive the precipitation which meant the fertilizer would be exposed to the sun causing costly damage and a need to reapply it. Drip irrigation is standard here in our region. Some of the most modern technology has the drip system beneath the surface, within the root zone, in a few of the local commercial vineyards. We have a wire-tied, above surface system in the Stan Clarke Vineyard. To expedite the fertilizer absorption we spent some of our lab time reconnecting the drip system and checking each emitter’s functionality, replacing where needed, and leaving the water on. It was mid-seventies, sunny with minimal breeze – what a day to play in the sprinklers!