Setting up my trellises
My hops grew about two feet during the three weeks I was over in Europe. I went right to work setting up a formal trellis system the weekend I got back, as most of the plants didn’t have much more room to grow upwards. I rented a post hole auger and dug 2 ft. holes in the ground to help support the 8 ft. landscaping timbers. I also used 300 lbs. of fast-drying Quickcrete (the red 50 lb. bags). to secure each support timber in place. I’m using eye screws and rope to give the hops room to grow sideways another few feet after they surpass the six feet of height available.
All in all, the entire project probably took me five or six hours, start to finish. Would have been so much more work had I not rented the auger, and that part was actually a lot of fun. Total cost? Somewhere in the neighborhood of $100.
Here’s the finished product:
You’ll notice I didn’t give one of the plants its’ own trellis, instead leading it over to the fence. This was due to a compromise with the wife in not wanting to intrude too much on the neighbors. Though I’m not completely happy with this, I am interested to see whether that plant (Northern Brewer) can thrive on the fence.
I’ve included some pictures below of each plant’s leaves. Kinda cool to see the slight differences exhibited by the different varieties. Pictures were taken on 6/12/11, two months after I planted the rhizomes. You can’t tell from the pictures, but I trimmed the leaves off each vine for the first six inches of each plant. I did this to prevent mold and other diseases from affecting the plant later on. Also, those leaves near the bottom don’t get much sun anyway. In reading around online afterwards, it seems I may have done this a bit prematurely. Though trimming appears to be widely practiced, people don’t seem to do it until July/August when plants are healthier, not in early June. Whoops. We’ll see if this has any catastrophic effect on my plants, though I doubt it will be much of a setback, if any.