First Time Grower, Need Some Trellis Advice

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Sam Law

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Hello,

I'm a first time grower, I made the mistake of buying 4 hop plants which are all different varieties (1 cascade, 3 other new zealand varieties) and now I'm frantically trying to set up a garden that'll will be their home for say 5 years to come. My initial plan is to ground screw a 4m (about 13 feet) scaffolding pole into the ground and run coir into ground pegs where I plant the hops. The plant spacing will be around 2m in a radius around the pole. My questions are:

1. Is this tall enough? I can't really go much higher in my area, its only a little residential operation I want to get going
2. This is just in my back yard how can I mow around the plants and pole? Will straw mulching prevent grass and weed growth around the plant bases so I can mow around them? I guess this is more of a general gardening question, maybe you experienced guys have some advice in this area.

Any other advice for a first time grower will be much appreciated! Cheers,
 

rsquared

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I haven't grown yet, just been researching for a little bit, but I'm also limited on height and liked this idea I read a while back: Growing Hops in Containers - Brew Your Own

The gist of it is you put a hook/loop at the top of your pole to attach the coir to, but leave plenty of extra coir available on that end. As the bine nears the top, you untie it and lower it part way to give more height for the hops to climb. Apparently, as long as you let it keep growing up throughout the season, the coiled part on the ground doesn't seem to mind and will still produce cones.

Like I said, I haven't tried it yet, but the author of that article (Chris Colby) is a well known name in the brewing world. It's what I plan to try for next year.
 
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Sam Law

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o cool thats a good idea, i might try that! If these things get up and grow haha
 

Beerisgud

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Some growers advise to mound the soil where you plant. Some build 2-3ft boxes for these raised beds in order to keep the mowing and weed whacking more clean cut. My boxes look neater in the backyard and weeds kept at bay from mulch and occasional pulling. I’m picturing a teepee style setup from what you explained. I think the 13 ft height is plenty they will bush and entangle at the top so plan to have that pulley system ready to keep them climbing. In my climate of northeast US the growing season is nearing end so I wouldn’t expect too much growth other than the plant setting some roots and coming back stronger next season
 

Kaz15

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I haven't grown yet, just been researching for a little bit, but I'm also limited on height and liked this idea I read a while back: Growing Hops in Containers - Brew Your Own

The gist of it is you put a hook/loop at the top of your pole to attach the coir to, but leave plenty of extra coir available on that end. As the bine nears the top, you untie it and lower it part way to give more height for the hops to climb. Apparently, as long as you let it keep growing up throughout the season, the coiled part on the ground doesn't seem to mind and will still produce cones.

Like I said, I haven't tried it yet, but the author of that article (Chris Colby) is a well known name in the brewing world. It's what I plan to try for next year.
I see what you’re going for. My only thought is that the bines tend to try and stretch up. So assuming the bine doesn’t kink as you lower it (which would be bad) the plant may try and fight against being lowered by extending upwards.

Of course I’ve never tried what you’re describing, so in theory it could work.

Won’t know until you try. If it doesn’t work, 13 feet is enough to let them grow up and then get crazy at the top. The latter situation isn’t the end of the world.
 

Ruint

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2 meters spacing is adequate for most varietals of hops. See if you can accommodate planting them further from the pole, at a distance that would give you more of a "vertical" distance for them to climb. You don't want to have them coiling up near the ground, as mold and mildew that's known to attack hops plants, and insects for that matter, will come from the ground up. You can use a landscaping fabric to help control weeds around your plants, and I have even seen the almost rubber like mats used for this as well. Just know that those ground coverings hold moisture, and can impose complications as a result (mold and mildew live moisture). Also like noted above, this year's growing season is rapidly coming to a close, but planting now does benefit next year's growing.
 
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