build a small footprint (less than 2 1/2 foot square) trellis that has up to 25' of climbing space for bines with a maximum height of 8'.
go 'corkscrew' or 'spiral'
as you can see I live in an apartment (recent divorce). The patio at my place, while good sized, is limited and has a 9' ceiling. I had been struggling with how to give the hops bines enough space (goal of 25') to grow within these constraints when one day, while taking a nap, I had a clear vision: A square trellis with one twine per leg but wrapped around the inside with a modest rise over run ratio. Before it slipped my mind from waking up I drew a quick sketch of this madness and the idea gained traction in my mind.
Materials list -
- 8x 2"x2"x8'
- 4x 1"x2"x8'
- 1x box of 2.5" decking screws (100 count)
- 1x roll of twine (300 ft)
- 8x #10 zinc plated eye screws
- 1x box of 5/8" brass hook screws
- 8x non slip footpads
- 1x quart gunstock red stain
I conceptualized 4x two by two's would be roughly equivalent to the load bearing of a single four by four. I also conceptualized that two square boxes of one by two's would be enough bracing to keep the four corner posts rigidly in place. I started my build...
I started by building the two boxes per trellis (building two trellises, so four boxes total) by cutting the 1'x2" boards into 24" sections.
First of the four boxes built. Three more to build after this then to rough in the standing assemblies.
Here is the first of the two trellises roughed in, I chose to make the top box flush with the top of the 2"x2" posts and the second at 36" from the bottom (you'll see why later).
At the bottom of each 2"x2" post I made sure to add feet, I definitely did not want the lumber in standing water (even though its treated).
First trellis roughed in. Time to assemble the second and take them up three flights of stairs!
Once I got them up to the patio, I made pencil tick marks every 6" from the top of the 2"x2" posts, these will be where I place the eyes and hooks.
Next phase of the build materials for reference.
I put the eye screws at the top of each post.
But I used the brass hooks at every six inches going down the posts - I chose hooks over eyes down the posts to make it easy to run the twine at the end of assembly and also so I could lift the twines (with bines) out at the end of the year, easing harvesting.
Here's a better look 'up' a post to see the hooks at 6" intervals leading up to the eye screw at the top.
I measured from hook to hook - 22". With each run of twine making 11 turns before reaching the bottom that equates to 20' 2" of run space per bine (not including the run space from the soil to the first hook). Not quite 25' but I chose to stop at 11 turns to leave space (again, see below).
Here they are standing up side by side, you can see the hooks clearly here.
After a quick coat of stain to ensure the apartment residents don't think I'm too much of a red neck.
Starting to run the twine, first corner, then going to the next post and down one hook.
Hooks make this SO simple. Rise over run came out to 6" per 22".
And here is why I chose to make the lower support box at 36" from the base and stop the rotations at 11 hooks - I wanted to be sure I would have room to water the plants as well as tend them.
This is my very first year growing hops, so I do not know if this system will work. It cost about $40 per trellis and one full day of labor, including running to the home depot to buy the stuff.
I will be sure to post updates throughout the summer.