Giving my bines something to climb

Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:02 pm

I was a little late getting some rhizomes planted, but I figured I'd get them in the ground and see if they could start getting established this summer. They just barely sprouted, so I am wondering at what point I give them something to climb and how best to go about doing so.

I have two different rhizomes planted about 8' apart next to the pergola that covers my patio. The pergola is about 12' tall. I figured I would run a string from the top of the pergola to a stake in the ground near the bines. How close to the bine should the line be? At what point in their growth should I put the line in? Do I need to be worried about root damage with the stake? (I was thinking an aluminum tent stake, but I also built 16"x16" wood borders around where the rhizomes were planted and could anchor to these nearly as easily.)
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Re: Giving my bines something to climb

Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:50 pm

I usually wait until the bines are 8" to a foot or so. Then I put a large nail in the ground around 3-4 inches from the bine and run the line down to it. You have to carefully wrap the bine clockwise around the line a few times to get it started. Root damage isn't really a concern. BINE damage is a concern. I've broken bines a few times and it really slows things down. I also have the little bent metal rod tent stakes I use. The rhizomes are pretty resilient.
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Re: Giving my bines something to climb

Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:14 am

The bine should take on it's own if given time, rather than risking breaking it by forcing it to wrap around, just treat em tender...
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Re: Giving my bines something to climb

Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:11 am

I have 14 plants in the ground this year. This is their second year in the ground. I have a 4' garden stake from Lowe's about 1' behind the rhizome and pushed them in about 1-2' to anchor them. I then ran Coir from the stake to an anchor point on the edge of the roof (about 20 ft. up). I have been playing with single string and two string set ups to maximize the hop growth. Plus it looks cool. I let the new bines grow about 2' before I start to train them. I also wait to see which bines are starting to grow the best and select 3-5 of them and trim back the rest. I then train them and let them do their thing. It is a constant chore to keep new brines trimmed back (just at ground level). Once the bines are going well, I trim the bottom 1-2 feet of leaves and shoots off to reduce the risk of fungus, mildew, mold, etc...

This year we got hit pretty hard with Spider Mites and they all but killed 8 of the 14 plants. We lost the first harvest (it was a very early harvest this year in NC and pretty damn weak as far as aroma and flavor). I am working with a local university who has a hop research unit and we brainstormed some ideas to kill the Spider Mites. Before we could really do anything a natural predator beetle showed up and in a few weeks killed off the mites and we are good to go, which was pretty bad ass. By the end of the summer we had all new growth, the hops recovered well and we had a small second harvest. Enough to do a few casks with.

I learned a lot this year especially with all the issues we had. Hopefully this will helpful info for all the hop growers out there in the BN.
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