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How to grow hops on the fence!

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HalfPint

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I've read the stickys, but there hasn't been much talk about growing hops on the fence. I'm wondering if I could just screw in some eye bolts and thread a rope through the bolts that the vine could grow on. I know hops can grow horizontally, but has anyone attempted this?

Suggestions would be great.

Thanks,
Jacob
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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These were first year hops. They grow much bigger and bushier now and cover the whole fence. It works fine if the fence is getting good sun. You just have to spend 5 minutes a day training them to where you want them to grow. Oh yes, and the missus actually LIKES them! :)

 
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HalfPint

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These were first year hops. They grow much bigger and bushier now and cover the whole fence. It works fine if the fence is getting good sun. You just have to spend 5 minutes a day training them to where you want them to grow. Oh yes, and the missus actually LIKES them! :)

Hey Gnome long time no talk. That's sweet man. So are those rigged up using eye bolts and rope like I was saying in the OP? On training them, did you just wrap them around the lower rope at first and then eventually wrap them around the upper ropes? Help a brother out. I wish you lived closer to Houston so we could hit my kegerator all day while you did this in my back yard.

Thanks,
Jacob
 

cheezydemon3

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Mine grew like crazy all over the freaking side of the house.

ONLY THE PARTS OF THE BINES 7 FT OFF OF THE GROUND OR
HIGHER SEEMED TO PRODUCE.

I'm not saying that hops can sense the distance from the ground....but can they?

Maybe it is only that the first 10 ft or so of the bine does not produce.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Hey Gnome long time no talk. That's sweet man. So are those rigged up using eye bolts and rope like I was saying in the OP? On training them, did you just wrap them around the lower rope at first and then eventually wrap them around the upper ropes? Help a brother out. I wish you lived closer to Houston so we could hit my kegerator all day while you did this in my back yard.

Thanks,
Jacob
Eye bolts and rope would be better! :D

I just used nails and twine. When I take it down I take the whole lot down, plants, and twine together and put it out for yard pick up. I will update it one day though if I can ever get off my ass with it. I'm an ugly junk addict! :)

Training them? I let them grow up to about halfway, then train them sideways and up to the top. I reserve the lower twines for training dangly offshoots.
 

Retrofit

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2nd year hop grower here. I've grown my vertically (they like vertical) and I had hops along the full bine. Never heard of people only getting hops after 7'. I have no idea why that happened. Do you have deer? Maybe some'one' ate your crop?
 

buzzkill

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I grow mine horizontal on rope over my veggie rows and it works good. lower lines make it easy to pick them. no ladders. and they will over grow anything you put them next to. :tank:
 
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HalfPint

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Training them? I let them grow up to about halfway, then train them sideways and up to the top. I reserve the lower twines for training dangly offshoots.
Hmm, so did you just plant them near the fence and they began growing up the fence by themselves? How exactly do you train them?

Thanks,
J
 

Tilldeath

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:ban: that's awesome I've been toying with this idea since my only other alternative is to screw a i-bolt in to a wooden powerline pole I have in my future garden and run the line off that.
 

Crazytwoknobs

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There are some growing on a chain link fence at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, and I picked cones off of it at like 3' off the ground.
 

cheezydemon3

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Yes there are deer.........

Since the leaves on the bine were still present, I assumed deer weren't eating them!

Maybe they sniped the baby cones, or maybe my recollection is a little off. It's not something I gave much thought to.

I think I will move one or two to the fence! Hopefully the dogs will deterr any deer.
 

Retrofit

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How exactly do you train them?

Thanks,
J
The bine spirals clock wise and up. That's why vertical twine trellis are the favored way to grow hops. If you have a horizontal string, they will continue to move in a clockwise fashion and look for "up". What you need to do is get out there and physically wrap them around your string/wire. The longer the bine, the more likely they will stay there. But I think they will always look for "up" if you leave them alone.

So the horizontal hop grower has a lot more work to input than the vertical grower. The vertical grower wraps the bine around twine once, the horizontal grower does it numerous times.
 
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The bine spirals clock wise and up. That's why vertical twine trellis are the favored way to grow hops. If you have a horizontal string, they will continue to move in a clockwise fashion and look for "up". What you need to do is get out there and physically wrap them around your string/wire. The longer the bine, the more likely they will stay there. But I think they will always look for "up" if you leave them alone.

So the horizontal hop grower has a lot more work to input than the vertical grower. The vertical grower wraps the bine around twine once, the horizontal grower does it numerous times.
Hmm, so if I used a system like on pg 1, how many varieties should I grow? I'm thinking I should only do one variety, but how many rhizomes would I need for that?
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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So the horizontal hop grower has a lot more work to input than the vertical grower. The vertical grower wraps the bine around twine once, the horizontal grower does it numerous times.
Yep! it's more work. (I find it fun though, I'm odd like that.;))

Hmm, so if I used a system like on pg 1, how many varieties should I grow? I'm thinking I should only do one variety, but how many rhizomes would I need for that?
As Retrofit alluded to, this is NOT the best way to grow hops. However, although harder work, it is still practical, and a lot prettier than on poles.

In my pic there are two strains. One EKG on the right, and two Fuggles planted two feet apart on the left. I did it that way because EKG are supposed to be higher yield. As the two sets of bines reach eachother in the middle, I then have to train them back along to where they started from.

They were much bushier last summer than in the first year. Next summer I plan on fixing two 7 foot tall poles in the ground (One for each variety) about 8 feet in front of these plants. I will then link with rope between the fence and these poles. This will let me train the plants horizontally overhead when they get long enough. Now, This in not especially necessary, I'm just taking advantage of the fact that wifey will let me do it. :D It will make picking a bit easier and allow even more sun.

Last year I took two Rhizomes from the first year plants and put those in another location where they grew 8 feet, then horizontal on a twine betwen my garage and the house.

This spring I will be doing the same again for another 2 locations I have devised. The more you grow, the more devious you become in pushing your luck. ;)
 

Retrofit

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I think Laughing Gnome has a great system. I think two different hops per one fence wall is something you could control, and continue to tell apart and redirect them whereever you want. I can imagine having three or four different plants and mid season having no idea where one hop begins and the other ends. Two seems identifiable. I'm thinking, "The left one and the right one."

I could see the ambitious horizontal hop grower having different types on different fences. If your yard has four sides, thats eight possible different hops... if your ambitious.

I have four growing vertically and this year I've considered planting more in my backyard. I may go horizontal. I'm definitely pushing the limits of 'friendly neighbor". I think horizontal is less obtrusive and that may keep my property looking normal rather than like the suburban hop farm it's turning into.

Growing hops is like making beer. We all have opinions, but it comes down to whats best for you. Horizontal growers need to build a strong trellis, which can be hard to make and an eye sore, but hops like "up" and after they start there is little work involved.

Vertically any fence/structure will do. Effort is low in trellis construction and its not unsightly, but you need to pay more attention to your hops to make them stay on the vertical structure. This isn't a bad thing, I bet the vertical grower spot hop issues faster than the horizontal. There's a case for vertical growing.

Just protect your dogs and remember when the year is done you need to harvest your hops and pull those dead bines off your fence. A string is easier to "de-bine" than say... lattice. Whatever your system, think about sun, water, drainage, ability to harvest, and "de-bining". I started two hills with local large rhizomes, and two hills with two small mail order rhizomes. The strength of the bines seemed more dependant on how much they were attacked by Japanese beetles than by the size of the starting rhizome.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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While it is early, and before planting time, it's a good time to take a good long look at how much time the sun spends in certain places in your garden. Look at it everyday. You want to start in the place that gets the most sun for sure.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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...As long as SWMBO is game.

I am limited for space based on what I can get away with.
In my own experience, sell the idea to SWMBO that they are great as a backdrop. They cover the fence with green instead of bare wood.

Just don't tell her that they grow like weeds and are hard to remove!! ;)
 

Retrofit

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No responses?

Google it? Everything I've read suggests that UNCOOKED hops And COOKED hops can kill dogs. The thing with this I have to admit, is it urban legend or 'truth'? What's the alternative, try it on your dog????

This is what I did and I'm not BSing. I filled a bowl with hops, I put it on the ground and I sat in front of the TV and waited to see if my dogs were interested in eating from the bowl. My dogs like meat, bones, pop corn, and peanut butter, in that order . They sniff and walk away from veggies. My dogs didn't even look at the bowl, not even a sniff.

SO....

So I still don't make my hops easily accesible to my dogs, but if they get through my 'defenses' the likelyhood of them actually eating them is low.

Isn't this one of those, "Better to be safe, then explain to the wife how you killed the family dog?" senarios?
 
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Alright, I have a raised bed garden that I made yesterday and it's in the sunniest part of my yard. We're thinking about planting a few blueberry plants behind it (against the fence) and that's where I'd be planting my rhizomes.

Let me get this straight, every year I tear the bines off of the fence and throw away after picking?

Also, I'm thinking about growing cascades for now since their my favorite hop. What should I expect from two rhizomes on my first year?

Thanks,
J
 

lowlife

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Also, I'm thinking about growing cascades for now since their my favorite hop. What should I expect from two rhizomes on my first year?

Thanks,
J
Expect a vine that is 5-10 feet with no hops being produced that add up to anything usable. Some people do get an ounce or two though from what I have read. Best I have got from a first year is a about ten cones.. Then again maybe I am **** as a farmer.
 
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HalfPint

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That kinda sucks considering I'm only going to be living where I'm at now for at max a couple of years, but I guess with some skill I can transplant em to the new casa.
 

Randar

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There are some growing on a chain link fence at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, and I picked cones off of it at like 3' off the ground.
While it is true they will produce, test plots using horizontal training methods show a significant preference for cones to be produced on vertical sections of the bines as well as for overall production to be noticeably degraded. Perhaps the amount some of the home growers are getting from horizontal training suits their needs, but it is not the optimal way to grow them if you want good production volume.
 

Randar

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Everything I've read suggests that UNCOOKED hops And COOKED hops can kill dogs.

True, but most dogs will leave them alone and never even go near them. Others gobble them down and can get very sick. I think there's even a thread on thsi site somewhere about a guy having to rip out his hops because his dog wouldn't stop eating them and was getting so sick.

Chocolate is also poison to dogs but it is the quantity of it that you have to worry about. Same with hops. My dogs leave them alone, even though they aren't big enough to get even the low hanging ones.
 

GVH_Dan

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Let me get this straight, every year I tear the bines off of the fence and throw away after picking?

Also, I'm thinking about growing cascades for now since their my favorite hop. What should I expect from two rhizomes on my first year?
You don't HAVE to tear the bines out every year. But if you don't, you'll end up with all this dead mass stuck in the fence. Eventually, the new bine won't be able to find room to lash on.

Is it a metal fence? I'm thinking...burn them out? Not the safest but I like fire.

First year varies depending on the soil nutrient, the strength of the rhizome you got, whether you are a nice person or not and the alignment of Jupiter. I've had bines in a pot give me 1/2 pound the first year and bines in properly prepared soil give me nothing for 2 years. Plan on getting nothing and be pleasantly surprised if you get anything.
 
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You don't HAVE to tear the bines out every year. But if you don't, you'll end up with all this dead mass stuck in the fence. Eventually, the new bine won't be able to find room to lash on.

Is it a metal fence? I'm thinking...burn them out? Not the safest but I like fire.

First year varies depending on the soil nutrient, the strength of the rhizome you got, whether you are a nice person or not and the alignment of Jupiter. I've had bines in a pot give me 1/2 pound the first year and bines in properly prepared soil give me nothing for 2 years. Plan on getting nothing and be pleasantly surprised if you get anything.
lol well said. I'm begining to think that if I grow them in a pot it will be much easier to transport them when need be. so how low do you trim the rhizome where it comes out of the soil every year?
 

Randar

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lol well said. I'm begining to think that if I grow them in a pot it will be much easier to transport them when need be. so how low do you trim the rhizome where it comes out of the soil every year?
Are you talking about the rhizome itself or the buds and they emerge from the soil?
 

jeri

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My plan is to plant them along an ugly chain link fence in hopes of also getting a nicer looking fence along with the hops. Just bought the house last spring and replacing the ugly fence just isn't in the budget. If they look anything like those photos I'll be thrilled.
 
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My plan is to plant them along an ugly chain link fence in hopes of also getting a nicer looking fence along with the hops. Just bought the house last spring and replacing the ugly fence just isn't in the budget. If they look anything like those photos I'll be thrilled.
Well he has twine ran, so unless you went out there and picked the path for them to grow, I don't think it will look like that.
 

Cliff897

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These were first year hops. They grow much bigger and bushier now and cover the whole fence. It works fine if the fence is getting good sun. You just have to spend 5 minutes a day training them to where you want them to grow. Oh yes, and the missus actually LIKES them! :)

Oh my~!! Sort of gives a whole new perspective to growing 'em.

I got an old stone building that's falling in on itself. There is a spring inside the building. I wonder if hops would cover the thing. Seems they'd do it pretty quickly.

What do you do to control bugs and blight?
 

Retrofit

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My first year Cascade grew about 25' tall and produced a whooping 3 oz of dried hops. My total lack of experience fighting Japanese Beetles in addition to adjusting my soil to accomodate my hops needs likely influenced my yield. That I got anything at all, I consider a sucess.
 
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My first year Cascade grew about 25' tall and produced a whooping 3 oz of dried hops. My total lack of experience fighting Japanese Beetles in addition to adjusting my soil to accomodate my hops needs likely influenced my yield. That I got anything at all, I consider a sucess.
So what advice do you have for soil conditioning and bug control?
 

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I tried about 8-10 varietals last year. Only 3 produced any kind of hops. Tettnang did fantatisc for me in Michigan. I treated each equally, digging a bigger hole (12"x12"x12") put gravel and compost and fertiziler at the bottom and then i added bricks all around the bines when they first showed up (it keep humidity and prevents accidental weed whipping when young.) So - I would suggest getting hops from someone local if you can. the two varietes that produced the most were taken from local rootstock and i think it made a big difference. They're acclimated etc. I had 3 Gallon zip lock freezer bag full. not a huge amount but great for finishing hops. I'm looking forward to this year!

As an FYI - I had some nuggets, horizon had a few and cascades a handful. I hear cascades does great here but it varies year to year.
 

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i would also liek to hear more about bug control. what does everyone use? i live in farm country and feel like we have super bugs from all the chemicals used around here.
 
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