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Old 03-23-2008, 06:05 AM   #1
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Default My Hop Garden Plans

Back on the 18th I placed an order for 5 different rhizomes from DIY Brewing Co. to be delivered in April.

I also made up my mind over the last few days on how I was going to setup my raised bed hops garden.

My plan is to build 5 36"x36"x12" cedar boxes to contain a single hop variety each.
I will be stringing rope between two trees in my side yard that has the most southern exposure. The trees are roughly 55' apart leaving me plenty of room for future expansion if things go well this year. The rope will be approx. 12' high with 2 pieces of twine dropped down to each box in a V formation. I will be running the rope through eye hooks to allow for lowering of the bines at harvest time.

Here are a couple of renderings that I did in Sketchup.

hopsboxes.jpg   hops-setup-08.jpg  
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:13 AM   #2
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The only potential issue I see here is in the attachment to the trees. Unless you rig a weighted tensioning system, the tension on your top line is going to vary dependent on wind conditions.

I dunno how big these trees are but, you'd be amazed at how much flex there is on a tree trunk. Even the big ones.

I'd just hate to here one day that, as a result of an Severe storm your top line snapped and sent all 5 hop plants plunging from 12 feet. Or worse, that the line didn't snap and the ts were ripped from the earth.

I am not saying it will happen, but I am saying it could. Maybe.

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Old 03-23-2008, 08:10 AM   #3
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I agree, those trees had better be pretty stout. The bines can get quite heavy, and they act just like sails in the wind. At the very least I think you should add a pole in the middle of the span to help brace the top line. Otherwise it's a really nice design, I like it.

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Old 03-24-2008, 03:04 AM   #4
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After reading your posts and thinking about this all day I agree that it would be tricky to eliminate the swaying of the trees from affecting the main rope and all connected lines.

I'm probably just going to cough up the extra cash for some Quick-crete and a couple of 16' 4x4's. I think Lowe's had the 4x4's for about $14-15, so that's not too bad. And I'll be able to run my lines up to a good 13'.

Thanks for the input GMB and EvilTOJ.

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Old 03-24-2008, 04:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice9
After reading your posts and thinking about this all day I agree that it would be tricky to eliminate the swaying of the trees from affecting the main rope and all connected lines.

I'm probably just going to cough up the extra cash for some Quick-crete and a couple of 16' 4x4's. I think Lowe's had the 4x4's for about $14-15, so that's not too bad. And I'll be able to run my lines up to a good 13'.

Thanks for the input GMB and EvilTOJ.
It could be done with some creative engineering but, I think the posts and concrete will suffice. Also consider some guy wire supports for the posts. Generally, you'd want 1/3 of the above ground post height buried but, that isn;t really practical.

For my system I got everything but the posts from Lowes. For the guy and top wire I chose a a glavanized wire rope, low stretch capable off taking 1200psi of tensile strength.

Keep in mind during your planning that a mature hope bine grow to a girth of 3/8 and that in bloom, each plant can weigh "up to" 100 pounds.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:47 PM   #6
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Yeah Guy I would definitely do the 4x4! Good luck! That sounds like an awesome Idea.

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Old 04-11-2008, 02:15 AM   #7
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Got my 5 rhizomes from DIY today. I went out and bought 5 plastic pots to get them started indoors while I wait for the yard to dry out some and get clear of the last frost for the year. The varieties I selected are Styrian Golding, Fuggle, Sterling, Mt. Hood and Cascade. I planted them using Miracle Grow Organic Choice potting mix.

I bought 5 12' 2x12's to build my raised boxes out of. I will be spraying them with Thompson's water seal to help protect them since I couldn't swing the cost of some cedar!!! I should be able to get the boxes built this weekend.

Here are a few pics.

img_1402.jpg   img_1403.jpg   img_1404.jpg  
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:34 AM   #8
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Sounds kind of like mine. I bought 2 16' 4x4s from lowes, about $15 a pop.
I've got 160lbs of quickrete at the bottom of each one, burried 30 inches deep. No need for guy wires, these puppies are staying put.

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Old 04-11-2008, 01:28 PM   #9
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A less expensive and lighter weight trellis design is to set the poles pointing out at a slight angle and anchor them to the ground by continuing the overhead wire to the ground anchors outside the the system. This allows you easy access to adjust the tension of the overhead wire and you can easily drop the whole trellis system for harvesting without climbing a ladder. Just use some eyelets at the top of the poles.
This type of trellis does not require as strong and heavy of a pole and it does not require a deep anchoring of the pole. The wire can be anchored using readily available screw type anchors or even short pieces of pipe driven into the ground at an angle.

Attached is a very rough drawing of what I described. The twine could then be attached to the top wire and run down to stakes near the plants.

For myself I am using a wood sided pole barn to support the top of my twine. The barn provides a secure place to lean a ladder and I didn't have to build anything.
Craig

diagram1.jpeg  
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:05 PM   #10
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CBBaron, I like the idea but I dont think it will work. You get some bines on there and that thing is a big sail. a good wind would blow it over without any lateral support unless that is 1/2"+ cable anchored in a serious footer.

Probably would work really well for something small scale.

My meterials costs were roughly
2x 16' PT 4x4 $30
20' 1/8 Cable $16
11x 1/8" cable clips $3.50
7x 1" rings $7.00
2x large stainless eyebolts $3.00
4x 80lb bags of quickrete $18.00
7x Rope Horn $10.00

So around 90 bucks. $70 bucks if you omit the rings/7 clips/ and rope horns.

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