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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > My hop trellis design
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:00 AM   #1
anderj
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Default My hop trellis design

I started growing hops last year, first year harvest was pretty good and the trellis held up pretty well. The trellis that I designed was super easy to take down for the winter and is really durable. After last season I have come up with a few small tweaks to improve the design. I thought that I would share.


This is the basic side view of the trellis, it looks pretty standard but there are some good details. I grew 10 separate plants on this trellis. I think the vertical dimension is somewhere in the neighborhood of 18', so I wanted it to come down when not needed.



This is the plan view. There is a swath of grass between the two hop beds, it is a nice place to stroll and water from when the vines are 18' tall. The first year I used a length of small gauge cable from the hardware store to run down the center of the structure as a backbone. Although the cable backbone worked well, this year I am replacing all of the others, which were cotton, with cable. I had to periodically tighten them throughout the year.


In this picture you can see what makes the design truly removable. I scrounged some parts from an old chain link fence and as it turns out the horizontal top bar of a fence fits nicely inside the vertical piece. I used a post driver to drive the larger diameter piece into the ground about 4-5 inches at a time. I would then pull the piece back out, clear out the soil and go at it again until the piece was even with the ground. This essentially drilled a hole about 3' deep that the outer piece fit into without sticking up. The most important part here is to get an angle of about 10 deg outward.


The vertical (narrower) piece was then inserted into this base. At the top of each I used a T-joint from the plumbing store to affix a "T" at the top of each. All of the rigging had to be done on the ground and then flew up. For all of the cable I used a small piece (I forget the actual name) that resembles a pair of binoculars. These parts are super cheap and you impact them with a hammer to crimp them on the cable creating loops in the ends.

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Old 01-22-2009, 07:01 AM   #2
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I picked this design up when I was doing rigging at the Olympics in SLC. You can use whichever type of anchor you want it just needs to have a loop. A few turnbuckles and shackles really help out. If you open them up all the way and once assembled crank them down the entire structure is remarkably rigid. Also, the turnbuckles allow you to accommodate any part that is not quite straight.


One problem that I had last year was that in a strong wind the twine would actually shift back and forth along the cable at the top. This year I am using a few of those clamp pieces and creating small (<1") loops along the top that the twine can be tied through.



As for the mound themselves, they are the same level as the yard with a recessed area that I fill with mulch and compost as the year goes by.


Hope you enjoyed it. This design worked out really well for me and the best part was that when it was time for the hops to come down, the trellis came down as well.

cheers
-ander
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:54 AM   #3
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Great design, Thank you for the detailed description. Someday I hope to have something along the lines of this. If you don't mind my asking, what all do you have planted? These rows seem to be relativly close together, are you worried about one row shading the other?

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Old 01-22-2009, 06:26 PM   #4
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The drawing is not really to scale, the rows are about 6' apart (from mound to mound) and each mound within the row is about 4' apart. As far as varieties, the back row is: Willamette, Willamette, Willamette, Cascade, Cascade; the next row is; Mt Hood, Mt Hood, Glacier, Glacier, Chinook. Although they are a little close together, a little care at harvest time sorts that out. Shading hasn't been a problem, they are in full sun and on a N-S axis so they both get their time.

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Old 01-23-2009, 01:43 AM   #5
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Nice Setup! I'm envious. Thanks for posting that - gives me inspiration for the spring.

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Old 01-23-2009, 02:44 PM   #6
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Nice design.

What do you use to anchor the cables in the ground?

How about the climbing strings, are you using hemp, coconut or wire cable?

What about eliminating the outside cables and tying the climbing strings to the center wire, forming a tunnel?

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Old 01-23-2009, 03:55 PM   #7
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to anchor into the ground I used platypus anchors, they were a bit spendy at around $15 each but were well worth it. Here is some more information on them: Platipus® Stealth Anchors

Lat year I used Jute twine for the climbing strings and I had to re-tie them a few times during the year. This up-coming season I plan on using something synthetic, baling twine perhaps.

Out of ten plants last year four of them topped out so with all the different varieties that I have, I think that the tunnel idea would really turn into a tangled mess at the end of the year.

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Old 01-23-2009, 05:18 PM   #8
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This is great! If I had more room, I would be stealing this idea for sure.

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Old 01-24-2009, 03:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anderj View Post
to anchor into the ground I used platypus anchors, they were a bit spendy at around $15 each but were well worth it. Here is some more information on them: Platipus® Stealth Anchors
Those anchors look really nice. I did a google search but could find them for sale online. Where did you get them?
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:38 PM   #10
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Here is a link to a very similar product, Duckbill Earth Anchor. These ones are smaller than the particular one that I have but I think that they will do the trick and the price is right.
They also sell a tool for driving them in but I got away with a piece or rebar and a post rammer, took about 3 minutes to have both of them installed.

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