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Putting the “up” in “hops update”


These things are growing like the national deficit. They’ve already reached the top of our trellis and it isn’t even May yet.


Let’s hope they’re as keen on actual hop flower production as they are about reaching the sun. We had a decent haul last year but all indications are that we will have a mega-haul this year, at least in Georgia terms. All that you see are Cascade, with the exception of the lonely guy on the right, which is a Chinook. Joel is knitting the Chinook plant a little sweater for the cold nights, just so he knows he’s still loved. And for good measure, an actual photo of Joel, looking longingly at what will soon be:


And don’t get me started on the thickness of the bines compared to last year! I will literally talk your ear OFF!

13 thoughts on “Putting the “up” in “hops update”

  1. Wow. Mine have just broke ground. Although I’m so far north that I can get Russian radio stations. The bad part is that I’m still getting the squirrels digging at mine. Even worse, I’m married to a vegetarian, so I’m not allowed to shoot them with my Red Rider BB gun.

  2. So, I’m curious as I’ve been thinking about growing hops myself. I’m guessing your trellis is no more than about 10′ tall. Do you all prune the tops of the bines to discourage further height, or are you planning on just having the bines take over the top of the trellis?

    I apologize for my ignorance, but I’ll admit that past looking at necessary soil conditions, expected height, and harvest conditions, I’ve done zero research.

  3. Look great for second year plants :-)

    You’ll have to have to have a hop harvest some Monday night.

  4. Speaking of hops, I stopped by Hop City last night on the way home. Interested to hear your thoughts about the store, MNB’ers.

  5. Sean, the trellis is only about 8.5 feet, a bit shorter than we’d like, but necessary for the preservation of good relations with my neighbors. The current plan is to let them take over the top of the trellis, which they appear to be eager to do.

    Adam, they are actually third year plants, though this is the second year they’ve been in this spot (after a less than impressive first season in buckets on a volleyball court in Jonathan’s back yard).

  6. Wow those things are growing crazy fast. Those vines look thick and healthy. What time of year are the hop cones ready to be harvested? August? September?

  7. Not sure anyone here will know this here but we’re having an internal debate about whether or not to add more rope in the middle for the vines to expand onto. My concern is that just the top is not enough space for these guys and having more rope for them would be good. Jeff disagrees with me. Eager to hear everyone’s thoughts.

  8. Joel, I agree with Jeff. It looks like all of your vines have already gotten to the top, which I gather is what the rope is for. As long as these beautiful plants don’t contract swine flu, you’re going to be up to your eyeballs in leafy green vines by September, whether you add rope or not.

  9. Maybe build another Trelis on the other side of the driveway and string up some twine across the drive so they can go horizontal. That is what I have been doing for the past couple years. I have been building the oposite support poles out of bamboo from the garden store and train the vines to grow on the horizontal as they get to the top of the vertical trelis part. Good luck, looks good you are about 2 weeks ahead in GA than I am in OR.

  10. Jeffery, is there still room to park your minivan in the driveway with all those hop growing faster than my weight gain freshmen year of college

  11. Great looking hops, guys! My wife and I visited with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law a while back for the Monday night brew. I really enjoyed all the knowledge shared and the demos.

    Been brewing down in Tallahassee, FL for a little bit now, and started growing my own Cascade hops this April. Hope mine look this nice in the 3rd year. Thanks again for the info and of course the beer!

  12. Nice. I love that hops trellis. I was just doing a search to find some pics on how others have done theirs (trying to avoid the gaudy) and I came across this site. I’m not sure if you’ll find this useful, but you can keep your 8.5 ft height & use an adjustable trellis system. The idea is that you keep giving your hops some slack to grow on, then you take up the slack in the rope where you already have a vine (yeah, yeah, bine) & coil it up somewhere.

    I had to do it this way this past summer cause we grew ours in pots & there’s no sunny spot on our house or garage to tack them up to. There are more details about the adjustable trellis in this article in Brew Your Own, here’s a link:


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