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Trellis Installation at Old Dutch Farms
Old Dutch Hops trellis Installation | Photograph by Brady Kirwan

 

Hops Trellis Construction

The following article is reproduced from an article originally published by the Ohio State University Extension, written by Brad Bergefurd, Horticulture Specialist, The Ohio State University South Centers and Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Ohio State University Extension - Scioto County; Thomas Harker, Research Assistant, The Ohio State University South Centers; Wayne Lewis, Farm Manager, The Ohio State University South Centers; Duane Rigsby, Systems Manager, The Ohio State University South Centers; Joy Bauman, Information Associate, The Ohio State University South Centers.

Hop Yard Trellis Construction

Constructing a durable trellis is essential to hops production. This fact sheet will outline the basics of post selection and preparation, bracing, and construction of the trellis.

Equipment Needed:

Supplies Needed:

Post Setting

Post Setting

Determine row width by the size of the equipment you will be using in the hop yard. The spacing of the lineposts should be 30-50' between posts, depending on the thickness/strength of the cable used for trellis wire.

Auger 12" holes for posts a minimum of 3' to 3.5' [deep]. Set post plumb in the hole and tamp.

Notching and Drilling Holes in Posts

Using a chainsaw, make a notch about 1/2" deep in all end posts, approximately 6" from the top of each post to prevent the brace wire from sliding on the post. Using a 1/2" drill bit, drill holes through the row-end posts (excluding the corner posts), above the notch about 4" from the end of the post, perpendicular to the rows. In the center line-posts, about 6" from the end of the post, drill 1/2" holes parallel with the row. At about 4" from the end of the post, drill 1/2" holes perpendicular to the row.

Cutting Cable

Cutting Cable

Cutting of the aircraft cable is performed with a torch. By cutting the cable with a torch you melt the end of the cable together preventing it from fraying.

Anchor

Bracing

Each perimeter post will have a brace wire attached in-line with the trellis wire. Additionally, the corner posts are also braced 90 degrees from the trellis wire.

10' from each perimeter post, secure a 4' screw-in ground anchor with a turnbuckle attached. All four corner posts will be double-braced.

Anchor Tie-in

Bracing of the hops yard trellis is completed by stretching 1/4" aircraft cable from the notch cut into the top of the trellis post. Stretch the cable from the post through the turnbuckle, mark and cut the cable, leaving enough length to clamp with a cable clamp. Next, attach the cable to the turnbuckle. Both ends of the cable are secured using 1/4" cable clamps.

Securing Cable Bracing

Trellis

1/4" aircraft cable is stretched between posts the length of the field. Start by looping the cable around the first end post and securing with cable clamps. Next, run the cable through the hole drilled in the center post. Continue with the cable running through all the posts in the row.

After reaching the final post, wrap the cable around the post and mark it to be cut. Once the cable is cut, attach a come-along to the end post, stretch out come-along cable with havens grip attached.

Attach the havens grip to the cut cable, then start to ratchet the come-along to tighten the aircraft cable. Once the cable is tight, loop around the post and secure with cable clamps.

Cable is also stretched perpendicular across the rows and at both ends of the hop yard by threading the cable through the drilled holes in the posts. Everywhere the cable is passed through a post, cable clamps are placed on both sides of the post to help prevent the movement of the posts. Once cable is in place, add tension to the run of the cable by tightening turnbuckles at each end of the hops yard.

Attaching Stabilizing Cable

Stabilizing guide wire

Use high-tensile wire to create a stabilizing guide wire approximately 10" from the ground, running the length of the rows. This wire can be used to attach drip irrigation and/or the twine used for training the hop bines.

Gripple

Stretch the high-tensile wire the length of the row and allow enough additional length to wrap around the end posts. Slide a gripple onto the wire and then wrap the wire around the end post.

Insert the end of the wire back through the gripple. On the opposite end, attach the gripple using the same technique, then tighten the wire using the gripple tool. Along the row, use fence staples to secure the stabilizing wire to the line posts.

Typical Hop Yard Layout

 

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