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Hops on chain link fence

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Ridenour64

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Hey everyone. I’m planning on growing hops this year. I’m a relatively new brewer, and this would be my first swing at growing hops too. I live in an area where a tall trellis is out of the question. I live in a small corner lot with sidewalks and a good portion of the yard has a chainlink fence.

I’m hoping one of you guys could help me find a hardware solution to get an eye bolt, or something like an eye bolt to extend several inches off of my vertical chain link fence post and into my yard. From there I would run twine through the eyelets and that would be my horizontal run, after the bine made it to the top.

My goal with that is 1. Several people walk past my house on that sidewalk every day, I don’t want people messing around with them. 2, it should make harvest and fall cleanup significantly easier.

I’m also open to any other beginner advice!

Thanks!
 

lurker18

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If I am thinking this correctly, I am not sure how this would work. I assume you fence is about 6 feet tall, so the eye bolt would be about that high. The roots of the hops would need to be about 20 feet away from the fence, using pythagorus theorem to get at least 20 feet of run for the bines to climb up. I am assuming you are in a city yard, so 20 feet away from the fence probably eats a fair bit into the yard. I really don't think you want the bines to get into the chain link fence as this would be a real pain in the ass to clean up at the end of the year. Also, you would need to get the support string guitar string tight to eliminate the sag when the weight of the plant is on it, you are already at a pretty low angle, I thing a lot of the bine will be laying on the grass.
If you went any closer to the fence, you are going to run out of length for growth and the bines are going to wrap themselves terribly in the fence and post harvest clean up will be a disaster.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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RidenourSketch.JPG

It’s a really long fence, I’m planning to put them right up against the fence in in a built box in the ground or a planter.

And the goal with the eye bolts it to get them off the fence a few inches. I think the vertical posts are like 8 ft from each other, and if necessary I could always add one to the horizontal post for support but I don’t think that’s will be an issue.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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My main question is a hardware setup to get the eye bolt pointing into my yard a few inches. I’m thinking of a few ways, but Im trying to think of the cleanest way.

I could use a ubolt, and drill a hole in the middle of the flat clamp portion to accompany the bolt of an eyebolt.

I know I could drill two holes into a small piece of wood and secure it to the post using a u bolt. Then from there, screw in the eye bolt.
 
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lurker18

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The side arms on a hop bine are several feet long, and they will twist themselves into the fence. No doubt they will grow, it is the clean up after harvest that will be an issue. These bines are EXTREMELY strong. You will be fighting to get them out of the fence.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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Alright. I’m still turning over ideas. On the back part of my fence, I could maybe get away with clamping 2 2x4’s to the verticals posts on my fence with Ubolts to make a trellis, But I wouldn’t want to go higher than 10-12 ft. I just don’t want to build anything too permanent at the house I’m currently at. I don’t know how long I’ll be here. I also don’t want an eye sore for my neighbors.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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I think this is likely my solution to get my Ibolt extended away from my fence. I can attach this to the upright posts. I think if I get an ibolt maybe 6” long, the arms on the bine should all fall within the fence. The only annoyance I can see at that point isn’t when I go to cut my grass.
 
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Mike_kever_kombi

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I had a similar situation. I got on my ladder and put an eye bolt into the fascia above the gutter on my 2nd story. Then I ran para cord through the eyebolt and to a tree about 30 feet away, and got it as high as I could in tree. Maybe a foot lower than my second story gutter. I tied paracord about 4 feet apart from main line down to ground. I had 5 plants this way with no problem. At harvest time I just untied paracord at eyehook and let everything drop.

I did this 2 years in a row before I decided growing hops wasn’t really worth the trouble for me. You may be able to do something similar depending on where you intend to grow.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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I found Bobby’s video on YouTube and I’m debating just going vertical using his method, we will see. At the same time, I’ve had several people tell me that after going through the process, they took everything down because it just wasn’t worth it.
 

lurker18

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I agree that growing hops other than I just want to or I want the beer to be 100% home made is not worth it. Right now we are limited to a few old hop varieties. There are some very good and useful varieties available but you probably will still need to get pellets for most brews. Also, when it is time to get rid of the plants, unless you have them in containers, they are harder to remove than they are to grow. I had 10 varieties of hops growing, and they were all doing well, but the hassle of picking and drying 30 to 50 pounds of hops each year quickly grew old so I pulled them out. They DO NOT pull out, you have to dig them out and some of the crowns were several feet deep with a tap root that was several inches across. I still have one plant that will not go away and get runners coming from it every year.
 

corkybstewart

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I had a couple of rhizomes planted too close to my fence and once they got started in the chain link there was no stopping them. On the upside they produced as well as the vertical hops and were easy to pick. On the down side I had to go to my neighbor's yard to get to a lot of them(they were cool about it) Luckily I lived where cleaning the dried bines from the fence wasn't important but I'm sure if I had lived in town I would have had to clean them up faster. Once they were really dry I could just crush them in my hands and let the debris fall.
 

Harleybrew32

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I have a some hops that grow on my fence, but i took a 6 foot pipe and wired it to a post. ran my twine from there to where my bines came up. the angle was close to 30 degrees. after training them about 3 ft they stayed on the twine. easy picking and clean up is easy too. I will try and find pic i took and post it.
 

bobeer

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Luckily first year hops will mostly be working on root development more than growing vertically. Mine grew about 12 feet or so the first year but I had them planted in pots because, like you, I wasn't planning in staying in the house for very long. I was able to get away with training a few binds per plant up and around tomato cages. I had one that wanted to grow a few feet past that so I trained it horizontally with a jute cord across to the deck railing.
Just a thought... If you know you're going to be moving in the next few years i'd keep them in 3-5 gallon pots for the first year or two then plant them in the ground when you get to a more permanent location. They should be happy as long as you feed them accordingly and give them enough potted room to grow.
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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Well guys, I’m going vertical... I still think this trellis height looks ridiculous in my yard 😂. It’s at 16’ currently. I’m debating cutting a foot or two off to shorten it a bit...

I went with Cascade, Chinook, Styrian Golding, and Hallertau
 

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Bilsch

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I have some hops that I train horizontally along a chain link fence and these are always some of my best producing bines. Takes a bit of daily work keeping them going the right direction but It's worth it.
IMG_3059.JPG
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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I’ve decided on vertical. I also decided against the “T” idea shown in my first photo. Now that’s it’s all done, I’m actually pretty happy with it and I don’t think it looks too bad. I think that’s at 15’. Hallertauer, Styrian Golding, chinook, cascade. I can’t wait to get some
Hops!
 

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Kaz15

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I have some hops that I train horizontally along a chain link fence and these are always some of my best producing bines. Takes a bit of daily work keeping them going the right direction but It's worth it.
View attachment 682620
Glad to see that is working out for you. I am currently training my cascade on a relatively low trellis. Mostly for ease of harvest. Of course it’s a every other day, if not every day type task to keep them going.
433D59E2-10F7-4C9C-8A1A-2A9DC42003FE.jpeg
 
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