Hop Trellis Design (Revisited)

In an older post, we began to discuss our early thoughts on trellis design and in this post I’d like to examine the decisions we made, and considerations that moved us towards a different concept for our larger yard.

Our First Big Trellis

  • Row Spacing: 10′
  • Plant Spacing: 3′
  • Pole Spacing: 50′
  • Pole Height: ~22′ above ground, 4′ below
  • Cable Pattern: Inline with top and bottom wire
  • Anchorage: 4′ anchors with 6″ discs were used in conjunction with turnbuckles on every end row pole

This design was created to support our first substantial hop yard, and was established in the spring of 2011. The trellis is built to support vertical plant growth, and required very based farm equipment to setup. We built much of this design based on notes from UVM and Fatty Matty.

 

Walking The Yard

Plants growing in The Hop Yards original space

Our Latest Trellis

  • Row Spacing: 14′
  • Plant Spacing: 3.5′
  • Pole Spacing: 42′
  • Pole Height: 18′ above ground, 3′ below
  • Cable Pattern: Perpendicular to row weight bearing cable, w/ parallel to row cable to support twine and plant growth
  • Anchorage: 4′ deep with 4″ disc anchors

We made several changes from out original design, and all with the goal of increasing maintenance efficiency, optimizing plant health, and increasing overall yield. First off, we spaced out our rows a bit more which is mulch-faceted. We are able to driving machinery around with greater ease, but also increased the spacing between bines. The spacing between bines plays into the new cabling structure, as we are not leaning the bines into the rows oppose to having them grow vertically inline with the poles. We shortened our pole spacing in part due to our limitation of row length in conjunction with our desire to have 3.5′ plant spacing, but also to increase the structural integrity as we anticipate having a higher yield on this system. We also reduced cost by removing the turn buckles from the system, as they seem to offer little value to the structure. We also removed the use of “bottom wire” as this was a pain in the ass and served little to no purpose…it simply seemed like a good idea at the time and was part of several other peoples recommendations.

Several new lessons were learned about constructing this yard, as was with the last. We’ll post a third revision of our trellis design after we finish engineering our next iteration, which is looking to be our biggest yet.

Gorham from above

Looking at The Hop Yard’s newest space from 50′ above the yard