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growing in halfed wine barrels?

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1fast636

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wondering if this would be a suttible growing area for some rhizomes. i was thinking about getting two barrles and halfing them so i can grow 4 different strands. would work perfect for my upper deck area to act as the trellis until i can make my beer garden/ brew area in the back yard. any input would be awesome and thanks in advance. Greg
 

LabRatBrewer

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I have the same question. I, unfortunately, had to transfer some second year plants to 1/2 barrel planters. The root-balls were huge! I hope they survive the new small home.
 

GMesick

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I have grown hops in the ground and, for the past several years, grown them in containers (not as large as half barrels, but close). My yield was better in the ground, but when I moved to my suburban yard, I wanted to limit where the rhizomes went, so they are--contained.

It works for me (aphids are a bigger problem than confined rhizomes). I get some every year (I grow 4 varieties. Very symmetrical on my patio.). Some years are better than others. I don't grow enough to meet all my brewing needs, but I can still brag that I grow my own hops. (n.b. I also freeze yeast in test tubes, so as soon as I replace my front lawn with barley, I will be an "off-the-grid" brewer :) ).
 

cram

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Wine barrels (or any huge planter) work well for hops. After three or four years, assuming you start with a rhizome, you'll likely need to pull them and start over with some rhizome clippings off the massive root mass (although you can harvest a lot of rhizomes this way and it's a nice way to make some quick cash or hook some folks up with freebies).

They do need more water than their in-ground compadres. And be sure to drill four or five BIG holes in the bottom for drainage (~1-1.5") because you want good drainage. The roots will head south and block smaller holes which will lead to stagnant water in your barrels and dead hops.
 
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1fast636

1fast636

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sweet this will be temporary till i can get my full trellis system up so that massive root mass will go in the ground at that time prolly propagted for more hops at that time then too. lol. i made a quick scetch of what i was thinking about for my twine. let me know what you think and what about rocks on the bottom to help with drainage or is it a waist of time that is in the pic to.

 
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1fast636

1fast636

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also what would be the best rhizomes for me. i'm a hophead and all about my IPAs but have been likeing alot of hop forward stouts lately i was thinking about 2 different bittering and 2 different aroma hops any advice would be awesome
 

cram

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Csacade is a definite must, imo--easiest to grow, heavy producer, and great aroma properties. If you want a higher alpha acid hop then I'd suggest Centennial or Chinook. I'm in a different climate than you, so maybe someone closer to home will chime in. Also, I'm a believer in sourcing freshly dug rhizomes from growers close to home, if that's an option for you.
 

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How big of a root mass do these get to? I have a small strip of garden area along one side of the house - it faces South West, plenty of sun, and has a two story roof above to string up lines to. It seems like the perfect spot to plant hops but my wife also grows her garden there. If these are going to take over the dirt I'll get kicked out quickly...
 

cram

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They will take over eventually--their roots are pretty aggressive (their scientific name translates to "wolf among shrubs" I believe). But that sounds like the perfect spot with southwest exposure for hops. You might want to keep them contained in large pots/planters and let your wife have her garden space. The hops are pretty and fascinating to watch grow, so you may be able to convince her to get them in the ground next season...

Here's a picture of some first-year hops last season that had some other plants growing around them (squash, tomatoes, basil, pumpkins, etc.). I can say that none of the non-hop varieties really did as well as if they were on their own. All of these non-hop plants were compost volunteers and it turned out to be an experiment of sorts. This year, I suspect would be even worse in terms of yield for the non-hop plants since the hops have much more established roots. I guess if I trenched in between crowns and planted there then things would work out okay. But I'm sticking with the point that the hops and veggies will both do better if given their own space, which means you'll likely be better off planting hops in large pots/planters for the first year as you work out the kinks and space limitations.

If you need some rhizomes in the spring, shoot me a PM.

DSC00254.jpg
 

Carlscan26

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cram said:
They will take over--their roots are pretty aggressive (their scientific name translates to "wolf among shrubs" I believe). But that sounds like the perfect spot with southwest exposure. You might want to keep them contained in large pots/planters and let the mrs. have her garden space. They are pretty, though, and are fascinating to watch grow, so you may be able to convince her to get them in the ground next season...
Yeah I think I'll do that - thanks!

How big a pot do you think?
 

cram

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The bigger the pot, the better. You'll have to maintain the plants less with more volume of soil. Less watering, less input applications, less pruning crowns in subsequent seasons, etc., with the bigger pot.

Half wine barrels are nice and you can often source them on craigslist for $20-25. Those squarish, cedar or redwood nursery boxes that they grow palms in are ideal, again sometimes you can find deals if you poke around. But wood will eventually degrade, especially oak, so the best off-the-shelf option, imo, are the round, insulated, vinyl (I think) planters that you can get at Cost-Co in the spring for ~$20. They'll last a LONG time and are big enough to get your hops going.
 
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1fast636

1fast636

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here is where i'm thinking about growing they get sun all day. i would string them up to the four thicker boards that are spaced dam perfect for hops. lol. what ya think high enough to make the hops happy.

area:


arrows are the ones they would get strung to the whit dots are the mounting points:
 

cram

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That deck looks like a great spot to string them up to. Getting your trellis set-upo is oftne the hardest part, so using existing structures makes things a lot easier. They'll likely go higher than that rail on your deck, though, so you might want to rig up some poles (where I live we can get 8' bamboo poles for about $2/piece) or some 2X4's from the ends. To save some money, I'd use two poles from each end and then string a horizontal line or cable between them, and then your upright lines to that. Good quality mason line will work as the horizontal line if you have just four plants, and you can use jute for the uprights. The jute will easily last the season and it decomposes, so come late fall, you can pitch it all into the compost or green waste.

I have some poles at 20' and several varieties will go past the top. With your deck, the hops offer some privacy and be a nice aesthetic if they get above the rail. Another option, you could put eyelets where you have your dots on the picture and then string some horizontal lines across and then hand-train the bines along the rail. Either way, you're stoked--harvesting will be a breeze.

Looking at your sketches from the earlier post, I would argue against pebbles/rocks at the bottom of the wine barrel (as you have in the drawing). The pebbles just waste space that could have more soil for roots, imo. It'll drain fine if you drill enough holes, so the pebbles won't do much except waste space. As for the lines, I think you'll be fine putting just two eyelets in each barrel. Then you can string a line across the barrel and then tie the vertical(s) going up from the horizontal line across the pot. That way, you'll have a little more flexibility where you put your veritcals lines depending on where the best bines come up from the rhizome.
 
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1fast636

1fast636

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sweet thanks cram now the hard part getting the wife to get on board with this. should be easy i think because of how cheap rhizomes are she is going to pass it as a go. cant wait going to be fun
 
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1fast636

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ok might change from wine barrels to right into the ground. thinking about building foot and ahalf boxes that are 20 inches deep and burying so the roots focus down instead of out. do you think 1' 6'' is enough space or would 2' boxes be better
 

cram

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I think two foot would be better. Note that the rhizomes will spread horizontally and the tap roots will grow down, so you do want to give them some space to spread out. I like the idea of boxes, though, especially if there isn't a lot of competition nearby from mature trees and shrubs. One nice thing about raised square boxes is that harvesting rhizomes in years to come is super easy--just lift off the box and the crowns are all exposed and ready to be divided.

Good luck this season. And give some thought to your trellis design as that takes some thought, too, and you'll be surprised how fast those suckers leap from the ground come May/June.
 
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1fast636

1fast636

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One rhizome per box or two going to place my rhizome order soon so figured I would ask
 

cram

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In a box relatively small, say two foot or less, I would only plant one rhizome if they look healthy and fresh. It seems to me the only reason folks plant two per spot is as insurance against one not making it. Hop rhizomes tend to be hardy little DOB's, so if you trust the source and the 'zomes look fine then save your money and go one per box.
 

Carlscan26

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Half wine barrels are nice and you can often source them on craigslist for $20-25. Those squarish, cedar or redwood nursery boxes that they grow palms in are ideal, again sometimes you can find deals if you poke around. But wood will eventually degrade, especially oak, so the best off-the-shelf option, imo, are the round, insulated, vinyl (I think) planters that you can get at Cost-Co in the spring for ~$20. They'll last a LONG time and are big enough to get your hops going.
Costco has these in now - my wife picked up two for me last week.
 

blawjr

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Here was my setup last year. I was worried that they would outgrow the barrels quickly, but I had two rhizomes in one of them and dug it out of there this year so they wouldn't crowd each other, they were a bit tangled and fighting for space but one rhizome per barrel could probably easily go a few years before outgrowing it.

HOPSASSSS.jpg
 

SPR-GRN

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Here was my setup last year. I was worried that they would outgrow the barrels quickly, but I had two rhizomes in one of them and dug it out of there this year so they wouldn't crowd each other, they were a bit tangled and fighting for space but one rhizome per barrel could probably easily go a few years before outgrowing it.
Digging the setup, beer must prevail!
 
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