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Old 05-02-2011, 01:18 AM   #1
Jan 2010
Aurora, IL
Posts: 813
Liked 20 Times on 19 Posts

Hey all,

Third year suburban hop grower here. I've learned a lot, I post a lot.

Set up: I have four plants on the side of my house- my neighbor a fellow gardener thought they were neat. A couple of the wives came over and asked me what I was doing- I said putting up hop strings. They thought it was weird, but end of season thought it was great I invest that much time in my yard in gardening. That was three years ago.

Last year I expanded to my backyard. I added eight plants that only one neighbor can see- the gardener that thought they were neat.

I made a 'first year trellis' pvc tubes- one for each hop. So I had eight 10' poles in my backyard. We called it the ghetto trellis.

Today I finished building the new trellis. It's poles that are set in the ground, but only 5' tall. Off season no one can see them. In season I attach 2*4's to them and have 11' poles in the back yard. Just four.

I thought four 11' poles is better than 8 10' PVC tubes. The 2*4's are thicker than the PVC. It's a stronger trellis, but I was told it looks 'big' because the 2*4's are thicker than the old crappy PVC trellis.

Am I totally nuts?

I get that I'm quirky. I'm the hop grower, and the neighborhood brewer/tinkerer, but I also think I'm a good neighbor. Everyone in my neighborhood drinks for free. No one complains when they put away a case of beer or take a 6 pack home. I don't want to pick a neighborhood fight, especially if I'm the jerk.

Any thoughts? I've seen a lot of guys that live in the burbs with bigger set ups than me? Is 11' pushing it in the suburbs? No one cared about 10' poles last year. And again, I had twice as many.

Sorry I'm ranting, I just put the entire day into the install and end of day (end product) I get this sneer from the wife and neighbor. I'm frustrated. I may be quirky, but I'm not a bad neighbor.

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Old 05-02-2011, 01:45 AM   #2
hatfieldenator's Avatar
Sep 2010
Posts: 493
Liked 17 Times on 14 Posts

Are you sure they are actually annoyed with the trellis or are you just being a little paranoid? Did anyone actually complain? I mean, my wife gives me weird looks all the time and if I actually paid attention to them I'd be totally paranoid too!

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Old 05-02-2011, 12:51 PM   #3
darkstar79's Avatar
Dec 2007
Lake in the Hills, IL
Posts: 136

As long as there are no city ordinances against height of poles you have nothing to worry about. Its your property as long as it doesn't create such an eyesore that it brings down the value of their home because its next to yours do whatever you want. Especially because its the backyard why worry?
I have 2 12 foot or so metal conduit poles stuck into a cement bucket that is partially buried in the ground with hop twine strung for a trellises and have never thought twice about it.
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:27 PM   #4
Apr 2011
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 19

Let them grow! I also live in Aurora and have seen much crazier things people do in their backyard. My backyard is visible to at least 6 other houses and I recently put up a 10 ft. bamboo pole for my hops. I just started growing hops for my first year but have a feeling it may increase to what you have going on. Its a good thing that you are concerned for the asthetics of your neighborhood, but I wouldn't worry about it. If one of your neighbors complains just cut off their free beer!

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Old 05-02-2011, 02:26 PM   #5
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microbusbrewery's Avatar
Jan 2011
West Jordan, UT
Posts: 1,829
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I was planning on a 11-12 foot trellis and while I was building mine one of the HOA board members came by and told me I couldn't have anything over 8 feet in the back yard. As he was telling me this, I was looking around and spotted no less than five yards that had structures in excess of 8 feet, including his next door neighbor. I want to build a pergola over our back patio so I complied with my trellis and trimmed it down to 8 feet (gotta pick your battles). I personally don't think 11-ish feet is too high especially if it's aesthetically pleasing, but you never know what's going to annoy someone.

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Old 05-02-2011, 02:37 PM   #6
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Bobby_M's Avatar
Aug 2006
Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 23,296
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What about all those trees that are over 8 feet?

I have a line of Arborvitae along my property line that hit 18 feet a couple years ago. My hop poles are just about 19 feet and I let the hops grow to the same height. I do suppose you can try to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible by not using scrappy old wood and trying to keep it symmetrical. I went minimalist and use two metal poles that are not rusty. Having the whole thing removable at the end of growing season also goes a long way.
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:42 PM   #7
Jun 2010
Shelburne, VT
Posts: 13

And this is why HOAs are evil...
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:44 PM   #8
Sep 2010
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 1,291
Liked 83 Times on 58 Posts

Originally Posted by microbusbrewery
I was planning on a 11-12 foot trellis and while I was building mine one of the HOA board members came by and told me I couldn't have anything over 8 feet in the back yard. As he was telling me this, I was looking around and spotted no less than five yards that had structures in excess of 8 feet, including his next door neighbor.
That is why when I bought my house I told the realtor NO HOA's!!!

Waste of money and pain in the butt. If I want to park my trailer, with a half torn tarp, in my driveway for a week I can.

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Old 05-02-2011, 04:54 PM   #9
Registered User
Oct 2010
Posts: 3,218
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts

I suspect even if people don't like it now, they won't mind in a few months. The 2x4's will be gray and the plants look nice.

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Old 05-02-2011, 06:45 PM   #10
Jun 2007
Posts: 230
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I'm not sure I can picture the setup. I know I was thinking pvc originally, but that was vetoed. So I'm not sure how your new setup could be worse than that. I have 3 arrangements. 2 strings on the house, 7 on a wooden extension on the side and above my shed and 8 strings attached to a cable. The cable runs between 2 trees and is about 22 feet tall.

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