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Old 04-13-2012, 08:11 PM   #1
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Default Hoppo's Hops Garden

You would think that with a cheesy username like Hoppopotomus that I would know a lot about growing/cultivating hops vines, but unfortunately that is not the case. I love me some hops....everything that I brew tends to lean towards the hoppier side (IPA's/DIPA's/Indian Browns/Indian Wheats/etc.), but I have never grown them......until now. Thanks to the likes of Gridlocked and my local HBS, I have 8 rhizomes ready to grow! I have 2 cascades, 2 chinooks, 1 centennial, 1 hallertau, 1 glacier, and 1 columbus.

The only place on my property where I have sandy, well draining soil is in the front of my property. I'm going with an unconventional approach for my trellis system. I have 2 sets of wild cherry trees about 35 feet apart. Yesterday I installed heavy duty ss eye lag bolts into the trees about 20 feet in the air after trimming all of the lower branches of the trees. I'm using 246lb. rated aircraft cables from eye bolt, to eye bolt between the two sets of trees to create two seperate trellis system. The ends of the cable for each run go through the eye bolt and down the side of the tree where they are fastened with ss lag bolts. I put one side in first, then pulled the cables tight and then fastened the other side. When harvest time rolls around, I can back the lag bolts out and lower the entire cable down for each run.

The area chosen is not a heavily wooded area at all, so the canopy is not thick, and the ground span between the trees gets full sun in the morning to early afternoon, then again in the late afternoon throughout the rest of the evening. It's just up off of the front corner of my lawn, so the sprinkler heads can by adjusted to water that area automatically. Each cable has 4 climbing ropes spaced 5 feet apart, centralized between the trees. I used rough textured 1/4" rope rated for 90 lbs., which is staked next to where the rhizomes will be planted. I'm not concerned about the load on my cables with 4 vines each the first year, but may have to consider doubling up the cables or install a middle support if there is too much sagging of the cables once the vines become heavier and more mature over the years. What do you guys think?

I'll take some pics. when I get home and get them posted. I do have a couple of pics from my cell phone that I took after I installed the first cable with 4 climbing lines, which I'll post in a bit to give you an idea of what I have going on.

I plan on weeding the area and burrowing my neighbors rototiller. I plan on tilling it, adding some peat moss, cow manure, and top soil....then tilling it again before planting. It's supposed to rain this weekend, so I'm not sure how much progress I will make, but at least the trellis system is complete. Any and all feedback is welcomed, because I can use all of the help and advice that I can get. Thanks!



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Old 04-13-2012, 09:00 PM   #2
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Subscribed, keep us posted



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Old 04-18-2012, 08:25 PM   #3
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Sorry guys.....I'm usually pretty good about updating my threads, but this one got away from me. The trellis system is complete and I spent nearly 5 hours yesterday weeding, pulling out underground vines/roots, and hand tilling the frickin' hops garden. There was a patch of scrub brush and russian olive bushes in this area prior to us clearing it out.....unfortunately, most of the root structures were still present. After hours of working my a$$ off and a really sore back today, all of the crap is pulled out (weeds/vines/roots), the soil is tilled and it seems to be a very nice base to work with. There was a nice base of topsoil with silty sand underneath, so it should drain well. Despite a good draining area, I'm still going to plant the rhizomes in mounds for each of the 8 rhizomes.

Each mound is going to consist of a 40 lb. bag of topsoil, a 20 lb. bag of potting soil, a 20 lb. bag of peat moss, and a 20 lb. bag of cow manure. I plant on dumping the materials in each mound area, tilling and raking into the existing soil, and then mounding the material up under each climbing line. I'll create a dish on top of each mound to catch water, plant the rhizomes, and then mulch over the top. Does this sound like a sound plan or is there something else that could be done to increase the probability of health growth? What would the ideal rhizome depth be for planting?

I plan on doing the final soil preperation, planting, and mulching tomorrow when I get out of work, so I'm open to any and all suggestions!!!! I took some pics., but haven't had time to post them, so I'll have them posted tomorrow, so you can visualize what I'm working on. Thanks for any and all feedback and sorry about the delay in the pics.

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Old 04-19-2012, 08:43 PM   #4
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OK.....Sorry about the delay, here are some pics. of the cables, eyebolts, and lag bolt fasteners that secure the aircraft cables. Another couple of pics. of the 2 cables with the 8 rope climbing lines attached (4 to each cable).......kinda hard to see in the pics.









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Old 04-19-2012, 08:56 PM   #5
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In my 2nd post I described my soil mixture additives and how I prepared the area. Here are a few pics. of the soils/compost/etc. poured into piles, then blended with the existing soils, then mounded back up.....ready for planting.

The prep. work sucked!!!!!!

I sure hope it was worth the effort in a couple of years!









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Old 04-19-2012, 09:06 PM   #6
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Here are some pics. of a few of the rhizomes going into the ground. I received 5 from Gridlocked (2 Chinooks, 2 Cascades, and 1 Centennial), which I put in planters a week or so ago to get some sprouting underway. Thanks man.....I appreciate it! The other 3 rhizomes from my HBS (1 Hallertau, 1 Columbus, and 1 Glacier) were already sprouting, so I just stored them in the fridge until today. The first pic. is a Columbus, the second pic. is a Glacier, and the third pic. is a Cascade. The final pic is with one rhizome in the ground and the top of the mound dished to collect water. All rhizomes were planted about 4 inches below the surface of the soil. Hopefully I see something coming through the ground in a week or two!!!!!









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Old 04-19-2012, 09:26 PM   #7
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Dude those are some beefy rhizomes. Makes my brand new ones that got shipping with tiny 1" bine sprouts look like little twigs.

Also the set-up is very very cool. It's kind of hard to make out the structure in the photos. Where is the twine suspended from? Maybe photoshop in some arrows or outlines?


Regardless, awesome stuff!

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Old 04-19-2012, 09:31 PM   #8
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Nice setup!

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Old 04-19-2012, 10:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno_eNVy View Post
Dude those are some beefy rhizomes. Makes my brand new ones that got shipping with tiny 1" bine sprouts look like little twigs.

Also the set-up is very very cool. It's kind of hard to make out the structure in the photos. Where is the twine suspended from? Maybe photoshop in some arrows or outlines?


Regardless, awesome stuff!
The ropes are suspended from long aircraft cables that are strung between the trees. There are two sets of cables with 4 climbing ropes each. If you look closely at the first set of pictures, in the final picture you can see where the ropes attach to the cables up high (just look in the sky above my house). It's kinda hard to see, but you should get the picture of what I have going on when you look close. The cables are 20 feet in the air, with a large ss eye bolt on each end lagged into the tree trunks, that will serve as the "pulley" system. The cables were fed through the eye lag bolts on one end and then anchored into the tree further down with lag bolts (see the first two pictures in the second set of pictures). Then they were strung through the eye bolt in another tree 35 feet away, the cables were pulled tight, then lag bolted into the other trees. When it come time for harvesting (probably not this year), I can back out one lag bolt and lower down the cable on one end, then the other end to make them accessible from the ground.

Thanks for the compliments guys!
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:07 PM   #10
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Ah, yup. Now that you've pointed that out I can see them. Good idea! Way to use your environment instead of adding structure.



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