THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A DESIGN FOR HOPS TRELLIS
Trellising Humulus lupulus properly will increase the cones (strobiles) output their quality
Hop is the main ingredient in beer. Also, some parts of the hop plant are used in making several other products, such as soap, tea and pillow. Hops (Humulus lupulus) are grown commercially as well as on a small scale by beer lovers who love to occasionally brew their own beer. No matter the scale you are farming hops, one thing is inevitable – the efficiency of development depends greatly on providing the vine plants supports to climb vertically, hence the importance of a hops trellis.
Under proper conditions, hops make 12 inches of growth every day. With the aid of a hop trellises, a hop vine can climb to its desired height (many meters up) where it will begin growing lateral branches for flower establishment. Early growth of lateral branches without optimum growth of vines will lead to a drastic reduction in yield. Therefore, it is necessary to facilitate the growth of the vines by putting a hop trellis in place, which will encourage upward climbing of the vines, as well as exposure to sunlight.
Hop plants begins flowering in the second year. It spends most part of the first year establishing significant root depth that will ensure survival during drought periods in subsequent years. During this period, vine growth is usually about 8 to 10 inches depending on soil fertility and other conditions.
But in the second year, it concentrates on above ground growth, growing as tall as 30 feet before flowering. The advantage of growing hops on a trellis is that solar exposure will be greatly improved as well as the air circulation which will keep the plant dry and not as subject to fungal attacks, which in turns allows less chemical treatment of the vines, and possibly grow a fully organic crop.
DIFFERENT TRELLIS DESIGNS FOR lupulus AND THEIR ADVANTAGES
There are different hop trellis designs available. While some of the commercial designs may seem complex and expensive to set up, a few designs are adapted for a small scale use.
COMMERCIAL HOPS TRELLIS DESIGN:
a conventional commercial hops trellis is built to a height of about 18 feet with widely spaced vertically placed beams and cables, and additional cables placed horizontally at the top. You can see trellising hops pictures in our picture gallery.
It is installed by placing multiple very tall columns of 3 to 4 beams (3-7 feet apart) and cables running diagonally and horizontally from the beams.
The disadvantage of this design is that it requires a lot of space and has a high cost of set up because of the several beams and cables required. But, it makes harvest very easy. The space left in between the beams; make enough room for a ladder during harvest. Also, the design allows for easy maintenance and maximum exposure of the vines to sunlight.
THE FLAGPOLE TRELLIS DESIGN:
this design involves tying 2 to 3 cable lines to a flagpole making a tepee. The hop vines climb the cables to the top.
The advantage of this design is that much construction is not required. Harvest here is also easy because a pulley system is installed that helps take down the lines during harvest and to raise them up again in the spring. Unlike the commercial design, a ladder is not necessary. However, because 3 to 4 vines climb to the same flagpole, there tends to be competition for sunlight at the top.
THE CLOTHE LINE TRELLIS DESIGN:
this design is built from clothe lines and metal posts. It is a simple design that may already be in your backyard. In this design, the lines are attached diagonally from the ground to the post and back to the ground on the other side.
This hops trellis is especially good because it can handle the weight of the hop vines and the wind as well. However, it has a disadvantage of being low.