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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Vertical vs horizontal trellis
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:20 PM   #1
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Default Vertical vs horizontal trellis

Set up my trellis this year to be a slight diagonal climb to an almost horizontal climb for the bines. Some of the side bines of my Centennials found a pole to climb straight up. I noticed that the vertical bines seemed to be producing a lot more cones, and bigger, too.

This could be a result of being side bines late in the season, but it could also be a result of vertical vs horizontal. Has anyone out there noticed a better yield with one setup vs another?

I think next year I'll shoot for a more vertical setup.

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Old 08-29-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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I have my bones go up a poll, but then when they hit the top go across strings that are only slightly inclined as they attach to my deck. Those nearly horizontal bines produced a good amount of cones, especially considering they are first year plants. My cascades are ready to be picked, but the nuggets still need a little more time. The centennial never grew cones, but I wasn't expecting much of anything from first years.

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Old 08-29-2012, 03:33 PM   #3
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They want/need to grow up in order to produce.

Think of a wild hop. If a seed hits the ground and manages to grow it starts branching out in every direction. If it find something to grow up, it does so. Now the males will be able to spread pollen on the wind to look for the ladies for miles around and the ladies will drop seeds far enough away from the herself to not out compete herself.

Imagine now the plant that can't find anything to climb up. It just keeps shooting out more and more vegetative matter to see if it can find something to climb. If it can't, the boys won't be able to get their pollen in the wind and the girls would just drop seeds nearly on top of themselves.

Basically, the plant knows if it is growing up or horizontal and will not produce as much if it is horizontal. Will it produce at an angle? Sure, but there is some magic tripping point where it decides it is high enough. No clue what that height is but maybe someone else does.

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Old 08-29-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
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My bines go vertical to an 8'ft roof, but then come off 90deg to horizontal trellis at the top of that roof.
After 2 years of growing experience, its clear to me that training them horizontally slows the growth. The side shoots in the vertical area have very vigorous growth, whereas the side shoots on the horizontal portion are really short if any.

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Old 08-29-2012, 03:44 PM   #5
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Same experience here. Tried training to grow along a fence; not nearly as robust as the vertical growers.

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Old 08-30-2012, 05:12 AM   #6
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So, the verdict is in. Vertical seems to be better. This is only my first year, so luckily I grew them in pots. I didn't know where I'd be growing or what kind of setup I would have next year, so I went for pots. Good thing I did, too. I'll work on this and figure something out next year. Thanks everyone for your comments.

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Old 09-02-2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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I can see why a fence wouldn't work well because the hop will go straight up and then get stuck.

Would it work if you designed a trellis that had a slow incline. Maybe a zig-zag pattern that was 6ft wide. During these 6 ft sections the bracing would slowly rise by 1ft. Then at he end of each section there would be a 2ft vertical section.

That way the hops will happily slowly grow up the horizontal sections and the horizontal sections would be spaced far enough apart so that the hops cant just go straight up.

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Old 09-04-2012, 10:47 AM   #8
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I don't have mine running on a fence, but they crawl up a height of about 5 feet at about a 60 degree angle. I mentioned they run horizontally from there but it's actually a small incline. It requires a lot of maintenance to show the bines which way to go. And even then, I think what I've learned this year (it's only my first year, so I'm not that experiences) is that they grow much better if allowed to grow vertically, and require less training. The main point I saw in this was that the yield appeared to be much better on the vertical bines.

Your idea of sort of stepping up horizontal lines sounds good, but I think it would require a lot of maintenance to keep the bines going the way you wanted them to. And your yield would be less than an all vertical trellis. I think it would look nice, though.

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Old 09-04-2012, 04:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoZiT
I don't have mine running on a fence, but they crawl up a height of about 5 feet at about a 60 degree angle. I mentioned they run horizontally from there but it's actually a small incline. It requires a lot of maintenance to show the bines which way to go. And even then, I think what I've learned this year (it's only my first year, so I'm not that experiences) is that they grow much better if allowed to grow vertically, and require less training. The main point I saw in this was that the yield appeared to be much better on the vertical bines.

Your idea of sort of stepping up horizontal lines sounds good, but I think it would require a lot of maintenance to keep the bines going the way you wanted them to. And your yield would be less than an all vertical trellis. I think it would look nice, though.
I see. Good info. I guess vertical it is.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:50 AM   #10
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I was thinking about this again. I'm sure it's been done already, but here goes...

The typical practice is to run 2-3 bines per crown, in a purely vertical or partial vertical to horizontal trellis. If, say, you have two bines running at 15 feet, couldn't you spread 6 bines from the crown to 6 vertical lines, then cut them when they reach about 5 feet? Cutting the main bines produce side bines, too, which in turn would promote cone growth, theoretically. This would fill out a fence nicely, look cool, and be easily accessible. Of course, you couldn't practice the preventative measure of trimming the leaves on the bottom 3 feet. Maybe just trimming the bottom 1 1/2 ft to 2 feet would be sufficient.

In any case, even with a little loss in efficiency, the benefits may be better.

Thoughts?

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