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Old 06-16-2012, 03:32 AM   #1
Zamial
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Default My inexpensive hop trellis system

1st thing 1st. Thanks to Ed Wort for his idea with "The Texas Hop Garden." This is basically an improved/expanded version of that design.

2nd: This system has withstood MASSIVE winds and storms this spring. Telling me it is crooked or looks unstable at this point is pure rubbish. I am fully aware that the legs are not perfectly straight. This is due to the unevenness of the ground and the pole lengths. I did the best I could and this has survived with no issues since early spring. I have about $100 in this system and have a place for 16 hop plants. 3 of which seem to not be growing... and 6 are transplants that were growing around T posts, those are the biggest ones in the pics below.

Parts list:
2 - bundles (20 - 10' sticks) of 1/2 ridged electrical conduit. (make sure they are straight and not bent up)
1 - package of 1/2 conduit couplers (you need 9 total)
5 - 1x3x8 furring strips (or other super cheap 1 x 3 or 4
3 - dowel rods that fit into conduit
4 - nylon rope packs 50' each
3 - eye bolts, washers and nuts (I used 1/4" stuff)
9 - 12" spikes (coated nails found in the lumber area)
1 - pack of 12" concrete form stakes
3 - dog/pet screw style downs
3 - rolls of jute twine.

Step 1: In a bench vice or with a heavy hammer flatten out 9 ends of the conduit and drill the appropriate sized hole for the eye bolt hardware.

Step 2: Repeat process but bend the flattened end over at about 45 degrees. It will be really easy to bend it more in a bit if needed. The hole must be large enough to let the nail pass through but not the head of the nail.

Step 3: Cut dowels into 3rds and then on make it so the 1/2 the dowel rod will pass through the coupler. I used an old bench grinder aka the farm lathe.

Step 4: Cut boards in half (4' sections) and drill 2 holes in each end.

Step 5: Assemble the tripod tops with the eyebolts. I lashed the boards to the poles with 1 end over the conduit coupler and 1 end under. I used a light nylon rope.

Step 6: Insert large dowel rod end into top section of tripod, add coupler and leg to each position.

Step 7 : Run a length of rope that is longer than the tripod is tall through the eye bolt and a 50' section. (2 ropes in the same hole)

Step 8: Stand the tripod up carefully, it will flex that is ok. Try to position it so that it stands straight.

Step 9: Secure the legs with a spike in each one. Drive the spikes at an angle pointing INTO the center of the tripod base. (This is commonly called "toe nailing".)

Step 10: Screw the pet screw into the ground centered under the tripod and tighten the shorter rope to the pet screw. This is an anchor and will keep the tripod stable when the other ropes are in use.

Step 11: Repeat process x2 for the other 2 tripods. You will NOT want to stake them down at this point.

Step 12: take your 50' rope and feed it through a piece of conduit (you should have 2 left). Tie the rope end to the tripod next to it's 50' rope end and hoist it up.

Step 13: Center the unstaked tripod so that the tops are about 10' apart this will allow the conduit to span across the tops. Then stake it to the ground and move the pet screw to it's new center.

Step 14: repeat with last tripod.

Step 15 : measure out 3 foot sections around the tripods and drive the form stakes into the ground (across from each other), drill a hole in them so that you can tie the twine through them.

Step 16: Measure the length of twine and tie it to each stake with the spanning conduit lowered. Make sure the twine is over the conduit.

Step 17: raise conduit/trellis system.

Step 18: plant hops at base of each stake.

Congrats you now have a trellis system that is is cheap, durable, just shy of 20' and that can be raised and lowered!

Note: I ran extra twine through the eye bolts so that I could also have hops off the ends of the tripods as well.

Pics:

Note the "full sun" location.


Opposite angle:

FWIW the small barn's shadow never covers any of my plants all day...

Same angle w/ me in it for a size comparison:


And that is a "Wisconsin Hop Garden"

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Old 06-17-2012, 02:03 PM   #2
ColumbusAmongus
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That is going to look awesome when your hops fill it up

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Old 06-17-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
Zamial
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColumbusAmongus View Post
That is going to look awesome when your hops fill it up
I think it will to. I may have to sit inside it and have an IPA... I will take some more pics and post them back later in the season.

I should also add that this is at my Mom's farm. Since I live in a city and have no decent full sun in a tiny yard, I needed something that was able to be taken down so I did not get giant 4x4s for a permanent hop garden. I will go that route when I get my own home in the country, which is in the planning stages now but I suspect I will not be in a position with my own home for a few years.
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