Growing Hops 2013

I will be growing hops in 2013 and I am just thinking about what I should be looking out for to build a support for the vines. I have in my head to pick up a couple poles for each end, and stretch and anchor a cable through them. Then I would attach ropes in V shapes to hold the hops. How does this sound?

The question I have for those in MN, what height (H) should I make the posts above the ground? I was thinking 12, because then I can still reach to clip the ropes at the end of the season with my 8 ft ladder. However, if hops in MN grow farther than that I could pony up for a pole clipper or a taller ladder.

Let me know. Thanks.

I use two eye hooks on each end of the mainline so I can drop my plants down at the same time, and hoist them back up.

I like the concept, but from what I’ve read I think you’ll find the top line will be too low in a short amount of time.I grew hops for the first time this year and my Brewers Gold outgrew 10’ by the end of the season. If the pictures post this is my set up. The first picture was taken on 07/01/12. The second picture is of the new end standards 16’ tall, and the last picture is of the bases that are jointed so that I can lay the post down to attached cords and to harvest.

What variety (varieties) are you growing?

I don’t have a picture handy, but I connected wire from my chain link fenceposts to a basketball hoop pole, and the bines had 25 feet if they wanted them.

I will be planting some low AA hops for flavor and aroma hops. I understand that it is difficult to get to the alpha concentration of yakima valley hops here in MN.

You can get decent yield from Cascade, Chinook, Nugget, and perhaps Glacier (maybe more varieties too) on a trellis as low as 10 feet. If it’s easier, cheaper, or you think it’s better for your situation in some way and you decide to go short, you’ll still get hops.

The height is not a problem, more of a problem would be ground space, as they will be growing in my back yard. But thank you for the information. I will not worry about height, and I will manage that when the time comes.

The big low-trellis grower in WA (Roy Farms) grows CTZ, Cascade, and Summit on their 10-ft trellises.

I’ve been growing in MN for about 6 years, and my hops reliably go full-height on my trellis (18 feet). You said you’re limited more by ground space in your yard. I would try to resist the temptation to plant your rhizomes too close together. They really do spread! And make SURE to plant the rhizomes vertically, otherwise you’re just asking them to shoot out runners 6-8 ft away.

How far north are you? Mine grew well in Detroit Lakes and now in Alexandria.

PS - nice job on snagging the 2013 hops thread this soon! :cheers:

I would go higher than 10’ if you can. I just put a pulley and a cleat to drop my hops down. Mine grow to the top of my 16’ trellis. I also agree with the vertical planting. Hops Direct have some good videos on planting and trellising. I planted mine way too close. They did spread more than I anticipated. This will be a long spring of digging up and redoing mine. I guess it depends on how many varieties you plant, but when I redo mine there will be at least 10’ between different varieties.

I’m thinking I will just do one low AA variety and use them for flavor and aroma additions. Most likely cascade or something. I’d love to get a few Citra rhizomes. That is my ultimate favorite flavor hop.

Good luck on the Citra/Simcoe/Amarillo rhizomes. Let me know if you score some!

Cascade will give you all the cones you want, and Zeus is also a HUGE producer. I’ve had good luck with Chinook as well.

I’ve had mixed results with Centennial, Sterling, and Willamette. The hops are excellent quality, they just don’t always produce much for me.

I’ll be renovating the hop yard this spring as soon as the ground thaws - I added a bunch of trellis space and now I can space my crowns out a bit more. So I’ll be doing some major excavation and pruning. If we managed to meet up, you could have tons of free rhizomes.

Where do you live? I would be interested.

Where do you live? I would be interested.