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General Category => Ingredients => Hop Growing => Topic started by: fmader on March 23, 2013, 02:55:15 AM

Title: Bamboo Stakes?
Post by: fmader on March 23, 2013, 02:55:15 AM
Last year (my first year for hops) I used a tomato plant cones to start my hops up to the twine. I had to bridge the gap between the steel cone to the twine with some kite string. So, I got a plant magezine in the mail today and was looking at options to use to be better. I saw a picture of a tomato plant that grew into three bamboo stakes that were in a teepee shape. Basically the reverse of the cone. Would you think that the hops would stick to the bamboo? I'm thinking about using 4' bamboo stakes in this shape (buried about 6-8") up to the twine. I figure that I could cut back the shooters to the 3 strongest and let them grow up the stakes and then all combine onto the twine that is suspended from the roof of the barn. I'm going for a shape that is shown in the picture below. These appear to be 6' stakes, but same sort of concept of shape. I'm just concerned about the hops gripping to them. What do ya think?

Title: Re: Bamboo Stakes?
Post by: tschmidlin on March 23, 2013, 04:43:16 AM
Um . . . why not just use longer twine?  I always put a small stake in the ground near the mound and tied the twine to that.  Or I just put a rock on top of the twine to hold the end in place, and trained the shoots onto it as they grew.  I never had a problem.  Is there a reason the twine can't be closer to the ground?
Title: Re: Bamboo Stakes?
Post by: fmader on March 23, 2013, 04:59:13 AM
There's no reason really why the twine can't be closer to the ground. I guess my thoughts are if the shooters are spread somewhat apart when they are younger, they would have more aeration, therefore having more availability to CO2. This in turn would promote better growth during the earlier stages of the sprouts. Basically the same concept of why you should prune back fruit trees and berry shrubs in late winter.
Title: Re: Bamboo Stakes?
Post by: tschmidlin on March 23, 2013, 05:03:14 AM
I guess.  But they should be in a spot that gets good air circulation anyway, and later you strip off the bottom ~4 feet of leaves anyway.  I think you are making it more complicated then it needs to be.  But go for it if you want.  If you are worried about the bines ability to climb bamboo, take some coarse sand paper to the poles and rough them up, that should be enough for the hops.
Title: Re: Bamboo Stakes?
Post by: pinnah on March 23, 2013, 01:38:57 PM
I am going to say fresh bamboo stakes are a little smooth for good bine growth.

However, extending the twine down the bamboo, and perhaps circling the stake a couple times on the way down, will allow the hops to climb the bamboo.

True, probably not needed, but might be a nice visual as the plants fill out.

You might think about not pruning too much back on your first year plants.

Title: Re: Bamboo Stakes?
Post by: fmader on March 23, 2013, 05:04:13 PM
Thanks guys. I think I'm going with it. I ordered 50 of them for like $11, so if they fail, I'm not out much. I'm just trying to provide the best growth opportunity for the hops. The three plants that grew last year did pretty good considering not much prep was done. I want this years to have a much better opportunity to grow. I put far more effort into prepping the soil. As far as air movement goes... That shouldn't be an issue. They're planted next door to The Windy Hill Tree Farm. I checked our latitude last night. We're a little farther north than I thought. These hops are planted at 40.68 N latitude. I'm hoping that all the new breeds that I added will take off. I guess we'll see.

Tom - I understand that I will trim back the leaves later. This is to maximize the airflow and sun light exposure to the young shooters, to insure a great start. They are only going to get sunlight exposure on three sides, so I want to maximize that. Am I making it too complicated? lol Probably, but I like to be outside playing in the dirt  :P