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Old 11-05-2012, 09:35 AM   #1
pixelhussar
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Default using vine trellis - bad idea?

Hello everyone,

My father in law wants to cut off few row of old grapevine plans on his land. He offered me to use vine trellis system for growing hops. What do you think, is it a bad idea?

It's around 1.6-1.8m height (5.5-6 feet) and pretty long like 30-40m.
Is it possible to grow hops successfully on this trellis? It would be easier to harvest and I don't have to any new trellis system to build.

Or the hop plants are happy only if they can climb high?

Thanks!

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Old 11-05-2012, 10:13 AM   #2
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I don't see why not.


Dwarf and hedgerow hops grow on trellises around that height quite happily. I suspect that taller trellis systems and cultivars have been developed purely to maximise production.

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Old 11-05-2012, 03:32 PM   #3
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I know there are people around here who grow hops on a standard chain link fence and get a lot of production so I don't see how it's any different.

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Old 11-27-2012, 06:56 PM   #4
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you will not have the max yeild they are capable of, and a tangled mess. Other than that there should be no issue. They are amazing, they will flourish when you would think they would not. If harvest #'s are not the sole reason for growing them then by all means use what you have available. Try and bend em to your will(mind you i said try).

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Old 11-29-2012, 12:21 AM   #5
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tchuklobrau is basically correct.

My question is what's your intention? If you are just going to throw rhizomes in the ground, water, fertilize and hand pick as much as you want/need for you and your buddies to brew withh...go for it. It will be a tangled mess that every few years you will probably have to blow torch off of there, but you will have a blast.

If your intention is to raise them commercially to obtain a decent/profitable harvest, forget it.

Yes, there are dwarf varieties but they are all patented and you won't be able to touch them. Even they require about 8 ft (3 M) of height.

Any other variety will grow, reach out side ways, significantly under produce and eventually choke itself to death because it will be shooting rhizomes everywhere trying to find something taller to climb up. On top of that, the tangled mess you grow will be impossible to cut down and run through any kind of mechanical harvester, so plan on hand picking. The best estimate there is 30 to 60 minutes per bine.

At that length of row, you should be able to do 35 to 40 per row, so you are talking 17 to 40 labor-hours per row for harvest time.

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Old 11-29-2012, 01:10 PM   #6
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I grew my cascades and centennials on an 8.5 foot (2.7 meter) tall vine trellis. I had to do manual manipulation in order to grow the vines in the direction I wanted. Maybe once or twice a week of moving the vines worked well. They ended up growing about 3 feet OVER the trellis. When I harvested and cut down the plants, the longest measured 12 feet and change. The shortest was around 8 feet. Make sure you have enough space for those suckers to grow. Good luck.

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Old 11-29-2012, 03:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your inputs.

This is a hobbi project at the moment, I basically would like to experiment with hops. For first just dig some rhizomes to check if they grow happily on this land. The scale is pretty small, like 10-15 rhizomes.

I'll have a 3-3.5m high trellis as well, but certainly not in the situation to build something to the proper height.

If I suceed, it may turn to something more serious.

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