« on: March 29, 2016, 07:20:05 PM »
The best engineering I did for my hops is to make a system for lowering each bine down for picking and allowing them to continue to grow up rather than sideways (and entwine with their neighbor). At each hill, I run twine up to an overhead cable (15-20 feet high), through a carabiner attached to the cable, and back down to the ground with enough slack to allow me to drop the entire bine down for picking. At each hill the twine runs at enough of an angle with respect to the overhead cable (looks like an inverted V) so the laterals tend not to entwine the downward leg of the twine.
I have found that besides the safety advantages of staying off of a ladder, my system allows me to selectively pick the ripe cones from an individual hill and return it back up to ripen the rest. I use braided polypropylene line as the twine so I can pull off the dead bines at the end of each season and not restring the rig every spring.