I recently bought a Willamette hop plant and planted it next to my kids' play structure. After a few days, I realized that the play structure (made out of 4" x 4"s ) was not conducive to climbing hop bines (that's not a typo, bines are different from vines).
Hops grow up to 25' high. I've seen home hop growers string up twine all the way to their roof and attach the trellis to the gutters. I originally wanted to do this, but I live in a two story house, and don't have a ladder that's tall enough. I also didn't want to add any extra weight to my gutters.
Since my latest plan failed, I went back to the drawing board. I figured the next best thing would be to attach them to a second story window. When I looked at a window on the south side of my house, I noticed a tiny hole drilled into the window frame. Bingo! Add some twine and a carabiner, and we have a hop trellis!
- I affixed a short loop of twine around the hole in the window frame.
- Attached a carabiner to the loop.
- Tied twine to the carabiner.
- Threw the spool of twine out the window.
- Cut the twine at the bottom.
- Repeated steps 3-5 two more times. That gives me three ~20' sections of twine.
- Tied empty beer bottles to the bottom of twine sections to serve as weights. It fits the theme, doesn't it?
- Gently wrapped bines clockwise around the twine. Those in the southern hemisphere should wrap them counterclockwise. True story.
So far so good. Let's see how they come along in a few weeks. If this works out well, I'll add more plants next spring.
7/26 update: The plant is doing very well as the spot gets a lot of intense sunlight each day. The longest bine is now over 6 feet tall. Since I planted it so late in the season, I don't expect to get any hop cones. But hopefully, with a little luck, I'll get a few.