Brew Haven DIY Series: Hop TrellisEducation
Hop trellis and the moon
I have been wanting to grow hops for a while but was not able since I lived in a condo. However, after moving into a house with a decent sized yard last May I thought NOW’S THE TIME. There are likely a lot of people in our club that have housing restrictions just as I once did so this article may not apply to all, but I write to inform and spread more DIY knowledge!
The trellis design that I decided to go with is a simple T shape with 2 supporting arms shaped like a Y.
2 – 4×4 8′ pressure treated posts
2- 2×4 8′ pressure treated boards
4 – 5″ galvanized 3/4″ bolts
1 – 8″ galvanized 3/4″ bolt
5 – 3/4″ washers
5 – 3/4″ nuts
6 – galvanized hex head wood screws
2 – mending braces
4 – screw eyes
1 – 250′ spool of natural twine
1 – 50lb bag of quick drying cement
The first obstacle that I faced was the length of the post. The lumber yard did not carry a 16′ 4×4 post. This forced me to get 2 8′ 4×4 posts and join them with mending braces. This added about $10 cost to the project. Once I had all the parts unloaded and laid out I got to work by first joining the 4×4’s with the mending braces.
Cutting 45’s for the supporting arms
At this point everything was measured (twice.. haha yeah right.. good thing I bought 2 8′ 2×4’s!) and cut to size. I laid the the now 16′ 4×4 on the slightly level floor in my garage and started bolting everything up.All holes were drilled with a 3/4′ wood spade bit. First up was the 8′ 2×4 which was joined horizontally on top of the 4×4. I secured this with 2 4″ hex head screws. Next I cut the supporting Y arms, each having 45 degree cuts on the end. I decided to use a single 8″ bolt to connect the bottoms of the supporting arms. This took carefully planning and drilling.
Bottom of supporting arms
Once the bottom was secure I simply screwed the top of the supporting arms to the underside of the horizontal T, from the top down through the 2×4 and into the supporting arm. Once this was done the primary construction of the trellis was complete.
Top and side view of trellis
Next up I installed the screw eyes which I would string the twine through. I decided to create a mock ‘cleat’ by driving 2 angled nails into the 4×4 to hold the excess twine for when it comes time to lower the main line and harvest. I measured out enough twine by essentially doubling it and tying the non supporting line to the cleat.
Stringing up the twine Nailed cleats
Alright.. now onto the fun part. digging a hold in the woods through roots and mini boulders. I guesstimated the hole to be about 1.5 ft wide x 2.5 ft deep. I employed my amazingly supportive wife’s help to assist in lifting the trellis and hold it relatively straight up. As soon as she had it stabilized I filled the bottom of the hole with crushed stone and then filled the hole about 1/3 of the way full with water. I then mixed the fast setting cement and water using a trowel until it was mostly incorporated. It took about 10 minutes to get to the point where we could let go of the post and it stood on it’s own. For added support I tied off the twine to a few close lilac trees.
Hole Easy work
After about 1hr I untied the supporting twine and began planted the hops (cascade and CTZ). Next I stuck posts with the twine attached into the ground next to each hop plant. Lastly I installed 2 raindrip irrigation drippers. The raindrip kit cost me about $40 on amazon and comes with 50′ of tubing, about 20 drippers, posts, and tees. Oh yeah and a automatic timer.
Cascade plant Raindrip and cascade plant training
And thats it. Now to just let mother nature do her work. I hope you enjoyed the write up. Let me know if something wasn’t clear or if you have any questions. Also, I am by no means an expert on this stuff so if you have a recommendation let me know!
Does your wife know you snuck a picture of her butt into that photo?
Haha that’s my 3 yr old son!
Helluva build, Kevin. Good luck with the hops growing. It’s a lot of fun, and once they get going, you’ll have a ton of yield. You have some great vertical space so they’ll have room to breathe and grow.
Thanks, John. Wish I had a beer project every weekend. I really enjoyed building this. Can’t wait for all of these hops. I really like cascade hops so I’m glad it grows well in this region.