First Time Growing Hops - Is This Plan Okay?

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SamInNJ

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I wanted to try growing hops this year. I have some garden boxes in my yard and want to try growing hops in one this year.

I was thinking about buying these 19.5x80 square towers.

I know it could be higher, but i thought i could space them from the edge of the boxes, plant a rhizome on each side, and see how it goes for a year.

Also I’m not sure if I need to put netting on this for the hops to be able to climb the bars.

Curious for input from the seasoned hop growing vets out there!
 

Leezer

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I do something very similar with this 8ft obelisk

Gardners Supply has a similar one too. I do wind twine around mine for the bines to climb and they can end up covering the whole thing. It makes up somewhat for the lack of height. I’ll try to post a photo.
 
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SamInNJ

SamInNJ

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Ya a photo would be great! How many plants per obelisk do you do?
 

CascadesBrewer

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Beside the high cost, I would say you want a much taller structure. I have a tomato cage around my plants, mostly just to give them something to start growing. I then run a line of twine from the top of the cage up to my 2nd story deck. I don't have many great pics of the setup. Here is a picture taken toward the end of May 2021. The plants that are doing well are way past the cages and have grown another 15ft. That is a total of 4 plants, with only the 2 on the left really performing.

IMG_3175.JPG
 

Leezer

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@SamInNJ I just put one plant per obelisk. Started with 2 obelisks. One for goldings which didn't do much. One for cascade which grows like crazy and can completely cover the obelisk. I wind twine diagonally around it. I wanted something low profile in my garden area. Here are a couple photos.

Cascade 9.9.18sm.jpg
 

Leezer

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I have seen pictures of people growing them along a fence. Sounds like it takes some training of the bines to make it happen, which can be done but you have to keep at it. I find with the obelisk, once they reach the top the bines just start growing on each other. So something similar could happen with a grape arbor. I was thinking of trying some sort of arbor myself, change things up a little.
 

DuncB

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Will they grow horizontally like a grape arbor?
I mean like a line growing from the top of the tower across to another post or tower?


Yes mine about a month ago, grown a lot since then, it's growing in half a 50 litre container with a 6 inch void filler at the bottom covered in weed mat, thne a two inch layer of sand more matting and then soil and manure on top. Drain hole is sited just above the matting to stop them drowning.

This is first year EKG from a pot, cones are coming now.
I do have to train the hops along the horizontal, have about four main bines on them, 2 going each way.

Next year I'll have them go a bit higher before sideways. I don't think they would find their own way along the horizontals that well.

Pot is also supporting a pumpkin plant and two tomato plants that self seeded from the compost. I feed them each week and water plenty.

Although for second weekend in a row we have forecast 6 inches of rain.


15th January

IMG_20220115_085831.jpg


28th January

IMG_20220128_110350.jpg



3rd of Feb
IMG_20220203_192156.jpg
 

PCABrewing

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Maybe start the horizontal run a foot or so lower and make the horizontal run a slight up angle to the same finishing height but maybe a longer horizontal?
I suppose you could say "try it yourself and get back to us" :)
I just have to convince the wife that it isn't unsightly, even though I do all the gardening.
 

superiorsat

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Yes but you have to manually wrap them around the horizontal twine. I also use these soft foam twisty ties to keep them in place. I run all the lead bines as far as they will go. The horizontal section is where the bulk of the hops form. The vertical section is less dense.
 

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superiorsat

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I just have to convince the wife that it isn't unsightly, even though I do all the gardening.
The photo I posted is 3 Comet hop plants and the other half of the back fence is 3 Cashmere plants and they meet in the middle. It will be like Wrigley Field wall of privacy next year which will be year 3, they didn't quite fill in totally this year. Started 6 more to my West side neighbor 3 Centennial and 3 Cascade to give some privacy there also. Everyone just assumes they are for beer only. LOL! 🤣 :mug:
 

Mikey B

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I have been growing them for about 7 years. Only Chinook the last few years. They prefer a sunny spot with water and they like to be fertilized every month while growing. They do prefer to grow vertically. it is best to use a pulley system to hoist up the twine as they can be easily lowered for harvest. As a rhizome they will spread and quickly. Have fun!!! Oh... they will wind around the twine but only in one direction.
 

DuncB

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I enjoy the daily training along the horizontal, it's windy where we live and the hops don't like wind, so keeping them low and long gives them a bit of shelter for me.
They might drown today though. We've had 197mm of rain in the last 24 hours and some more to come.
 

friarsmith

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Here’s my “overlapping U-post” method. A simple 12-13 ft vertical trellis that can be easily removed in the fall.

If you zoom in on the pic you can see the trellises in the back of my garden. The short posts were first year plants at the time.

 

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friarsmith

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T-posts and U-Posts are available at HD/Lowes in the garden section. I regularly got 1 to 2.5 lbs of dried cones from each plant depending on variety over 16 seasons growing hops in CO and IN. Have since relocated to Jax and trying to figure out a growing area w/ a CSA or community garden as my HOA wont allow this type of plant.
 

corkybstewart

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I built a 16' trellis system for my hops, but because one row of crowns was adjacent to my chain link fence all of those bines managed to get into the fence as well as go up the trellis. But the hops on the fence produced just as well as the vertical ones. The only issue I had was picking the cones on my neighbor's side of the fence, but once I told them what was going on they were cool with me coming over for the harvest. I live in a very high wind area and growing hops on the fence was really helpful-no more re-stringing the twine as the wind whipped the bines around until the twine broke. Eventually I bought a roll of electric fence wire (clearance sale)and used it instead of sisal or jute, it lasted years instead of months.
 

Homebrew Harry

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I made towers out of 1/2" EMT conduit, and PVC pipe. I'm slowly replacing the PVC with threaded rod as the PVC breaks.

View attachment 765306
This I like. I will be copying this in some fashion. I have hops supposed to arrive Monday and was gonna plant them next to my house, but after seeing this I may set them next to my garden. Thanks for posting this !
 
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This is two year's ago picture mid-season, the labels aren't accurate anymore as some didn't make it. The Cascade is in year 2 and doing great. The Eroica actually crowned this year, probably 20-30 shoots in a cluster, I have been pruning back most of them so I can get 2-3 per string. The Centennial is doing great again, it's a champion here in Los Angeles. The other side of the house, the Shaddock, Crystal and Nugget all died. Nugget is a 1st year Medusa, Crystal is a 2nd year Chinook, and Shaddock is a just-planted Comet. I am learning not just which growers have better, hardier plants, but also which plants thrive in the Los Angeles-Beach area growing zone.
Hops_South Side_080620.JPG
Hops_North Side_080620.JPG
 
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