Originally Posted by Jack_R
Awesome! I'd love to hear/see so,e details on your setup. A pound a plant!
Zeus was the clear winner. As first year plants, I did not cut back any of the growth. I trained all the bines that came out of the ground. Zeus had about 8. Conversely, cascade also had 8, but had some major rooting issues early on. The fact that I got anything was great, let alone 4.4 oz. That was my expectation for all the first years. Nugget had 4 bines trained, and Chinook only had 3 come out of the ground. Since Nugget was a 3rd year plant, I hacked it all to the ground early on, and left all the others to grow and establish roots.
The tomato jute was a mistake I won't make again. It began to deteriorate mid July, just as the plants were becoming their heaviest before flowering. I had to tie down entire sections of bines so that it wouldn't collapse of itself. Next year I'll use a more sturdy nylon or biodegradable coir. I just don't want it biodegrading while the plant is growing.
I'll also add some of the screening I used for the oast to help separate the plants. I didn't have much of an issue harvesting, but about 2 dozen Cascade cones didn't make it to harvest because they were tangled into Zeus. I only found out a couple of days later when they started to dry out. This also could be a solution through restringing the plants different next year. I'm thank no of trying a zigzag on Zeus and Cascade, and helix on the Chinook and Nugget. Most of my cones were ready at about the same time, so I wasn't too concerned about early harvests.
I'm thinking of adding a timer and regulating the water supply through a drip hose. I'll also have to show my neighbor how to train the bines, as my mother in law didn't do it very well while we were on vacation.
Bottom line: I had a great time putting the project together and learning the nuances of low profile trellises. I wonder if the plants would have produced more had the had the opportunity to grow vertically, but I'm happy with first year plants giving as much as they did. Nugget only gave me 4oz. last year, so it quadrupled production this year. I can't imagine that the first year plants would produce quadruple next year, but I can expect at least a pound out of each, which is exciting. That more than covers my brewing needs for the next year. Can't wait until next season!