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Old Clothesline as Trellus

I moved into my new house last spring and was originally going to just remove an old clothesline that was in the back yard. Since then I’m not starting to homebrew and thought it might be fun to try and grow a few hops for dry hopping purposes.

    *My first question is would it be ok to use this? Its' at least 7 foot high and has four runners going from post to post about 1-1.5ft apart. The total length of the runners is about 18-20ft. I was thinking of planting them a few feet away and running lines up to the "T" at an angle, then training them to follow the lines. *Second would the standard plastic coated lines be fine for the runners or should I replace them with twine/hemp rope as well? *Third would it be OK to run different species or just keep it to one due to the close proximity? Was also thinking for spacing run two from one side two from the other. *Fourth and final question, has anyone had luck with keeping them in large planters, or should I plant them in ground? (was thinking in an above ground planter)

I can post pictures if it’d help answer the questions

A few answers…

The clothesline posts will be fine, but the hops will overgrow them quickly. You’ll seen some sort of lateral for the hops to grow on. See the photo below of hops growing on my fence. It’s 7 ft. high, then I train them across the top.

Based on my experience, you’re thinking too big. First, the poles will only be big enough for 1 or 2 crowns. Second, as they grow hops take a lot of work. Not so much the growing as the picking, drying, and packaging. My single 13 year old Cascade, shown below, has produced up to 27 lb. of wet hops in a year. Sounds great, huh? In reality, it’s a PITA to process them all and I can’t use that much in a year anyway.

Use some sort of rough twine to grow them on so that the “stickers” on the bines have something to grab ahold of.


http://s794.photobucket.com/user/dennyconn/media/Hops%202012/442B624A-F8A5-4F25-BA53-4D283902EB05-2505-000002FA69AC88C2.jpg.html

You mention Laterals, wouldn’t the runners (lines) from pole to pole be enough? If 1 foot spacing isn’t enough for 4 species (wanted to test a few, heard some do better in certain conditions/climates than others), would it be better to just stick to one/two of the more popular, common dry hops and just do two plants, each would then use 2 runners.

My fear is that those runners wouldn’t hold the weight. You can probably see how they’ve weighed down my fence.

Yeah, 1 ft. between plants is definitely not enough. After a few years, the rhizome will spread out to 3 ft. or more.

And BTW, planters don’t work well unless you want to constrain growth.

I’ve been using an old clothes line in my backyard for years. The height of mine is about 5 3/4 feet which is perfect eye level. I think I get less hops this way, but I get enough. I still have almost four ounces of goldings left from last season.

How many ounces do you get total? I know the first few years will be low yield and no idea what my brew schedule will be later. Right now I’m thinking of a brew every 3 weeks so something like 12-24oz just to use as dry hopping would be nice rather than having to order them. Also I guess it’s still for the fun of it as part of the brewing hobby. Also do you just run them up to the T and then across the line/runners or do you just run them more in a tent fashion? If you run across, do you add extra support, Denny was saying it can get heavy? I was thinking I’d leave the plastic coated wire for support reasons, and then take the twine and wrap/swirl around them, and then do a cross hatch back and forth between two of the runners in a zigzag type pattern.

[quote=“wmwadeii”][quote=“Rookie L A”]I’ve been using an old clothes line in my backyard for years.
How many ounces do you get total? I know the first few years will be low yield and no idea what my brew schedule will be later. Right now I’m thinking of a brew every 3 weeks so something like 12-24oz just to use as dry hopping would be nice rather than having to order them. Also I guess it’s still for the fun of it as part of the brewing hobby. Also do you just run them up to the T and then across the line/runners or do you just run them more in a tent fashion? If you run across, do you add extra support, Denny was saying it can get heavy? I was thinking I’d leave the plastic coated wire for support reasons, and then take the twine and wrap/swirl around them, and then do a cross hatch back and forth between two of the runners in a zigzag type pattern.[/quote][/quote]

My total varies from year to year, this year I only got a little over three ounces of goldings after drying and eight ounces of sterlings. I don’t let as many vines grow as I could, hop growing is just a small part of this hobby for me,
I run some twine up at a 90 degree angle.
So far I’ve found regular clothesline (not plastic) to be strong enough for my needs, but do replace the line every 3 or 4 years.

thanks for the info :cheers:

[size=150][quote=“Denny”]
Based on my experience, you’re thinking too big. First, the poles will only be big enough for 1 or 2 crowns. Second, as they grow hops take a lot of work. Not so much the growing as the picking, drying, and packaging. My single 13 year old Cascade, shown below, has produced up to 27 lb. of wet hops in a year. Sounds great, huh? In reality, it’s a PITA to process them all and I can’t use that much in a year anyway.[/quote]

My two year old cascade produced 4 lbs of wet hops this year, and it took a good 4 hours to pull the bines down and pick the cones. I can imagine how much work 27 lbs is to pick, dry and package.[/size]

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