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Subject: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: jonnyc10382
Mar 2nd, 2009
4:50 pm
I just ordered some rhizomes from Freshops and have a couple questions about building a hop trellis. I'm contemplating two similar designs. One Idea is to have a single 4x4 post, with a beam at the the top forming a big Tee shape. The other is to have two 4x4 posts with a cross beam at the top, forming more of a Pi shape. Either way I'm looking at around 12-14 feet tall. My main question is for a structure this high, does anyone know the recommended depth to bury these posts? Also do you guys think I can get away with the single post idea, or will it be too weak at this height?
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: danno
Mar 2nd, 2009
5:03 pm
I used to use a 2"x2" as the verticles and a length of galvanized fence for the horizontal for three plants with two sets of verticals each (6 total sets of bines climbing up). The 2x2's definitely needed bracing when the wind picked up. I think that you 4x4 will hold great. I would bury the vertical at least three feet, maybe four for something that high.

My latest trellis uses all chain link fence horizontal pieces for the verticals and horizontals. It's bo0lted to my raised flower bed with one 45° brace for each of the two uprights and a send 45° brace at 90° to the other on one upright. It is very firm. The uprights are bolted to 4x4's that are buried 2' deep but are the corners aof the rasied bed so there's plenty of other support.

If you go with the dual uprights, you won't have to set the posts as deep.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: SOGOAK
Mar 2nd, 2009
5:44 pm
We used to burry 4x4s about 6' or to where the post hole digger is about all the way in the ground. if you are really nervouse, you could dump a bage worth of concrete in there too.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: jonnyc10382
Mar 2nd, 2009
6:09 pm
I'm absolutely planning on cementing them into the ground. My calculations say that I'll need around 8 bags of concrete to put two posts 48" into the ground. I'm thinking that 6 feet is a little excessive though.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: SOGOAK
Mar 2nd, 2009
6:11 pm
You might not need the depth with the concrete.

FYI If you have Menards in your hood, they have 4 80# bages of gravel concrete for $9 right now. I think that is pretty good.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: jonnyc10382
Mar 2nd, 2009
6:31 pm
Dang, I'll have to check. I know 80# bags of Quikrete are usually like $5.50 each. 4 for $9 is less than half price.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: SOGOAK
Mar 2nd, 2009
7:14 pm
Prolly generic, but it is just ballast, not the parthenon.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: Dave97402
Mar 2nd, 2009
9:56 pm
I used 1/2 emt conduit. 10' lengths, hammered into ground about 1' or less. I am growing next to the fence so I took a short piece of 2 x 4 with a hole drilled in it and slipped it down the conduit and screwed to the fence for support. Then stakes in the ground at the base and baling wire up and across the top. Works sweet!
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: jtrainer
Mar 2nd, 2009
9:59 pm
sweet, I was wondering if EMT would be strong enough.... Seemed like it might bend under the wind...

Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: danno
Mar 2nd, 2009
10:05 pm
1/2" EMT might work for a vertical if it's well braced but I wouldn't span a horizontal distance too far with it (which depends on how many hop plants you put on there). Maybe 3/4 or 1" would be okay. The fencing material I use is around 1 1/2" in diameter.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: jonnyc10382
Mar 2nd, 2009
10:06 pm
I'm using the pressure treated lumber to maintain a minimum acceptable aesthetic level, or it won't likely fly with the SWMBO.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: lawdawg
Mar 2nd, 2009
10:08 pm
I'm working on maybe some kind of arch in front yard (backyard has two dogs that will eat anything) that SWMBO may approve. Gotta draw up plans tonight.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: DavidS
Mar 2nd, 2009
10:12 pm
"I'm working on maybe some kind of arch in front yard..."

I'll have to find out where you live in a couple of years.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: jonnyc10382
Mar 2nd, 2009
10:13 pm
I think I'm gonna buy two 16 foot treated 4x4's and bury them 48" deep with concrete, 8 ' apart, for a 12' trellis height. At the top I'm gonna mount two 12' long 2x6's horizontally. I'll angle the ends of the horizontal beams. I think it'll definitely be overkill as far as strength, but any smaller lumber, and I think it'll look a little cheesy.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: DavidS
Mar 2nd, 2009
10:20 pm
"I think I'm gonna buy two 16 foot treated 4x4's and bury them 48" deep with concrete..."

You're sure gonna be tired.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: jonnyc10382
Mar 2nd, 2009
10:33 pm
You bet I am BB. I'm still trying to figure out how I can build the whole structure and set it in place in one piece to i don't need a ladder tall enough to reach the top of the posts to hang the cross members. Honestly, I'll be so excited that it's warm enough to spend time outside that I may not even notice how back breaking the work is.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: SOGOAK
Mar 2nd, 2009
10:35 pm
That'll work, we used 16 footer when we built our volleyball rigs on the beach.

Music, Beer, 24hr lighted Volleyball-pretty much everything you need to draw drunk chicks in for 3 miles north or south.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: Suncrow
Mar 2nd, 2009
11:25 pm
Treated material outlasts untreated lumber, for sure, but when I have built raised beds, plant trellises, arbors, etc. I never use PT lumber. Those chemicals can leach out into your soil and foul your edibles, hops, etc. Cedar is expensive but a good replacement.
Just a thought...
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: jonnyc10382
Mar 3rd, 2009
12:36 am
If all of the wood that is actually underground is entirely encased in concrete, then will you still have that much of the chemicals leeched into the soil? I guess the runoff of rain water from the rest of the structure. Oh well, I really don't think I can afford that much cedar.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: DavidS
Mar 3rd, 2009
12:37 am
I don't think the newer stuff is that bad. They got rid of the arsenic.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: uisgue
Mar 3rd, 2009
1:10 am
"I'm working on maybe some kind of arch in front yard (backyard has two dogs that will eat anything) that SWMBO may approve. Gotta draw up plans tonight."
This is what I did with a 16' hog panel. The 2nd year was much thicker.
http://img134.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hopsandbench1sw1.jpg
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: DavidS
Mar 3rd, 2009
1:13 am
That's really nice, Doug.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: uisgue
Mar 3rd, 2009
1:20 am
Thanks, I planted two Freshops Jumbos at each end. Willamette on one side and Cascade on the other. I have to spend some time hand-training them and then keeping the two varietals separate at the top where they meet.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: rfischer
Mar 3rd, 2009
8:10 pm
I never heard of a hog panel, but my wife wants something similar but taller. That looks less expensive than the premade ones she was looking at Home Depot.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: jonnyc10382
Mar 3rd, 2009
8:45 pm
I sketched up what I'm planning on doing and figured I'd post a link so you guys could check out my plan:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9633350@N02/3325912583/

I'm still thinking that 48" depth with concrete will be enough to support the trellis. I'm gonna plant a jumbo Fuggle on one end and a jumbo Mt. Hood on the other. The two in the middle will be regular Cascades. At the top I think I'm gonna put threaded hooks up and attach the twine to rings that can hang on the hooks, so come the end of the season I can just lift the rings off of the hooks and lower the entire bine to the ground to harvest.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: lawdawg
Mar 3rd, 2009
9:42 pm
That's exactly what I had in mind Doug! Hog panel....I'm thinking Tractor Supply carries them? right?
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: Dave97402
Mar 3rd, 2009
9:57 pm
I found the 1/2 emt conduit plenty strong with the braces. I have 3 rhizomes that put out 2-3 vines that get really big with zero issues of strength. This picture shows the setup, though it shows twine where I now use baling wire.

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k279/dave97402/hops2.jpg
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: DavidS
Mar 3rd, 2009
9:59 pm
That conduit sure looks bigger than 1/2", but it's probably just the way it was shot.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: uisgue
Mar 3rd, 2009
10:44 pm
It looks like Tractor Supply carries hog panels for $26.99. I don't think I have one of those locally but you can find them at most any farm/ranch store and probably at H.D./Lowes.
As to the height, in order to keep it semi-circular, a sixteen foot long panel arced with he ends 10'2" apart would make the arch about 5'1" tall.
C=2pi*r
1/2C=pi*r
16'=3.14*r
16'/3.14=r
5.09'=r
of course you could make it taller by pushing the ends closer together.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: Angler
Mar 3rd, 2009
11:05 pm
The set up that I started last year and will use this year uses pvc. I have two pieces of 2" pvc set into the ground, a 10' piece of pvc with eye hooks every two feet with ellbows on both ends, and 2' lengths of pvc and couplers. Tie some twine to the eye hooks and as the vines grow, just add two foot sections with couplers and a few wraps of duct tape to raise it and it seems to be stable enough in the wind.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: jtrainer
Mar 4th, 2009
3:10 am
David, The 1/2" EMT looks interesting.

The twine going from the groun to each pole (2 per pole) is that climbing twine for the hops or is that added stability for the poles?

Are the wooden braces that the EMT passes through just 1x2 pine sticks?

How tall are they?

Have you thought about adding length to the existing poles?



I happen to have 3 full pieces of 1/2 EMT and 2 partials in the garage....
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: WApilot
Mar 5th, 2009
4:34 pm
"I'm working on maybe some kind of arch in front yard..."

this is the arch that was already in place when we bought our house. It's kinda ugly but at least in the summer, it's covered up some. And the Hal. Traditions love it
http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk46/wapilotbrew/archway08.jpg

"backyard has two dogs that will eat anything"

I installed the "radio wire" around the backyard perimeter(one of our dogs can climb fences) and I simply made a detour around where I have hops planted. Works like a charm.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: lawdawg
Mar 5th, 2009
5:08 pm
I've got a flower bed in the back that gets some shade in mid afternoon that I could possibly seal off from the mutts. Tried with a two foot picket fence and one learned to jump it and the other just pushed it. Gonna step up to possible a section of chainlink with a gate. Supposed to be in mid seventies all weekend so gonna transplant the azaleas and the japanese maple to the front yard and plant a veggie garden with the kiddo (he loves to dig plus its right outside his bedroom window so he can sneak peeks at it). SWMBO has pretty much shot down growing them in the front yard for aesthetic reasons. If I had a walkway like that I could pull it off but no luck there.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: JayS
Apr 17th, 2009
2:40 pm
As for the depth you want to be deeper than the frost line. If you're not deeper than the post will eventually get pushed up.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: JayS
Apr 17th, 2009
2:50 pm
Hello all,
Itís time for me to build my trellis; my hops are on their second year. Does anyone have any ideas on where to get materials? Ideally I would like 20 foot poles so I can have 4 underground and 16 above. I thought about a 20í 6x6 pressure treated wooden beams but Iím a little concerned about chemical leaching into the ground. I started to look at flag poles but they seem expensive.
Thanks
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: epat72
Apr 20th, 2009
2:21 am
I've just finished my trellis. I used a mailbox stake from Home Depot, its a 30" metal stake with a clamp area for a 4x4 to go into it. A 4x4 post , 1/2" galvanized pipe of various lengths, and twine. The plans are from Brew Your Own Magazine (Mar-Apr 2009). Tuned out nice. http://www.byo.com/stories/issue/list/issues/260-marchapril-2009
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: Goldfngr77
Apr 20th, 2009
2:27 am
If you are burying a post in concrete try this, drive a few big thick nails part of the way into the post on the end you are going to bury or screws, but leave quite a bit sticking out of the wood. These nails will give the concrete something to "grip" and should help strengthen the system. this is a "belt and suspenders" approach for sure, but it is similar to what is done when steel is embedded in concrete.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: BrasserieBatty
Apr 20th, 2009
3:22 am
I have 2- 12ft 4x4s in the ground @ 2 ft w/ 1 bag of quickcrete at the base of each, and they hold famously. I then pull electrical jet line (I'm an electrician) Between them and and the top of my 11ft. backporch. Then I installed half lines to help them branch out. Pretty extensive but, nice. The 12 footer with a "tee" drilled in with 1 bag of quickcrete at the base will be fine for a 1-4 rhizome hill. These guys are voracious and are willing to grow on almost anything!!!
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: jonnyc10382
Apr 20th, 2009
1:24 pm
Man Reg, only one bag of Quikrete sounds a little weak to me. And only 2 ft deep? Where are you located that you don't need to go deeper than that for the frostline?

I went with two separate trellises, each formed of a 16' 4x4 set 3'6" in 4' deep holes filled with Quikrete. The holes were 12" diameter and I ended up using about nine 80# bags.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: Christine
Mar 17th, 2010
4:41 pm
Our hops are in their second year in Oregon. They are already two feet tall and it's only mid March! We are ordering 20' pressure treated 6x6's from Parr Lumber for $224. they deliver for free over $200. I've read the posts here and have decided to dig 4' holes and I have already purchased concrete and will use the little nail trick from Martin. I dont really know how wide to dig and I am also afraid that the wood will rot under ground in a year or two and we will have to replace it AGAIN. Has anyone used this method for more than two years with no issues?
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: DConn
Mar 17th, 2010
4:48 pm
Christine, I've heard that setting posts in concrete will accelerate rotting at the wood/concrete joint. Just a heads up for you to check into.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: Christine
Mar 17th, 2010
4:54 pm
Denny- Thanks!
I just thought i might be safe with the pressure treated but after receiving your answer i searched harder for more tips:

always put about 6 inches of crushed rock or gravel at the base of the hole to ensure good drainage and prevent rot. Once the bottom of the post is placed against the gravel, leave it there.

Don't pull up on the post after concrete has been poured into the hole or you'll end up defeating the purpose of the gravel.

Also, concrete should be poured level with the grade and have a slight crown so that water will drain away from the post and prevent rot at this vulnerable location.

Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: DConn
Mar 17th, 2010
5:08 pm
From my minimal knowledge of the subject, I've gathered that last point is key.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: BryansBrew
Mar 17th, 2010
6:18 pm
Ditto those last 2 posts. i've had the unforunately privaledge of setting up some posts. Usually you want to bury 1/3 of the length in the ground. Crushed rock on the bottom and fill with concrete that you do pour at least at grade if not a touch over, and crown away from the wood.

Even doing that, I ran a cable for a dog run, and she yanked that thing off plumb. The hop trellis seemed to fare a bit better. But never underestimate the weight of full grown wet hops when it rains.

I need to move my hops this year and find a better place (and support) for them. I'd love to make a dome teepee with rebar and have them grow into a huge mound that you could take shelter under.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: brewman63
Apr 12th, 2010
12:44 pm
"This is what I did with a 16' hog panel. The 2nd year was much thicker.
http://img134.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hopsandbench1sw1.jpg"

Doug - This looks similar to what I want to do on the top of the hill in my backyard. I have a question - what did you use to anchor the sides of the panel into the ground?

Thanks.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: uisgue
Apr 12th, 2010
1:47 pm
I used two 24" (or so) rebars at each end. I pounded them in like tent stakes, outside the lowest rung and inside the second one up. It took a little work to flex things right for this, but it was fairly solid when done.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: Green_Machine
Apr 12th, 2010
9:02 pm
the 1/2" electrical conduit is likely going to fail (laterally) under the weight of mature bines. if your plants are happy you may need to upgrade to larger diameter (2-1/2" galvanized fence posts in a year or two.

like BB mentioned, pressure treated lumber is now treated with copper instead of arsenic.

i spoke with a gentleman at one of the local hop farms here in the willamette valley last year about sourcing some actual 21' tapered hop poles. they are custom fabricated and ordered by the thousands so not practical for hobbyists, but he was amenable to selling me a few for about $40 each, or some old ones they have stockpiled (couple feet shorter) for about $20 each. i never followed through because they are 21' long and i was going to have to rent a trailer etc. but if you are local and have the means to transport them it's worth calling around.

christine,
think about a concrete footing in the 24" diameter range. on long 6"x6" post i would suggest swapping the nail/screw anchors for (2) 12" long X 1/2" dia. rebar each way ($1 each at HD/Lowes), drill 3/8" dia. holes and hammer thru post 6"-12" from the bottom.
Subject: Re: Building a Hop Trellis
Author: FightingBrewer
Apr 12th, 2010
9:22 pm
I finished mine last week. Took 12 foot 2x2's and screwed them into my fencepost with a wire running between them. My hops are in a corner of my yard so the line makes a triangle. Then I ran twine down from the wire to each plant.

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