Hop Growing Supports

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MattyMayo
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Hop Growing Supports

Post by MattyMayo » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:03 pm

Hi everyone.
I'm not sure if I need to post this question here or in a builder's forum :D
Does anyone know if full length (21ft) scaffold tubes standing vertically (say 17ft above ground height, 4ft buried) would bend/break if I used them to support a spanning wire for a few hop plants to grow up?
I'm thinking about growing the bines like they do in traditional hop yards but I don't have access to the telegraph poles they seem to use for the spanning wire. The scaffold tubes could be slightly outward leaning to counteract the hop bine weight pulling down on the span wire, but I'm not sure how rigid/strong scaffold tubes are.
If this is a no-go, does anyone have any other ideas for the vertical poles which doesn't involve telegraph poles (restricted access and no heavy handling gear available!)?
Thanks in advance!
Mat

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gr_baker
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Re: Hop Growing Supports

Post by gr_baker » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:14 pm

I'm sure they would work but you'd need to guy them or set them in concrete/something study to stop them falling inward.

MattyMayo
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Re: Hop Growing Supports

Post by MattyMayo » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:22 pm

Thanks! I suppose I could guy them if space allows but I was definitely going to postcrete them in their holes.
I planned on digging a foot square hole and putting the tube right up against the side of the hole where the hops will be planted, with the tube leaning back against the 'outside' side at the top of the hole if that makes sense. Then filling the hole with a couple of bags of postcrete, so they'd be fixed at about 10-20 degree backward lean. I want them to lean enough to not break/bend inwards when the hops are fully grown (in strong winds like we've currently got), but not fall the other way when there's no weight to counteract the fixed lean.

Robwalkeragain
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Re: Hop Growing Supports

Post by Robwalkeragain » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:40 pm

To be honest mine are suspended on a trellis, then just twine wrapped around nails intermittently, hops are fairly light so only need a small amount of support, I'm sure scaffold pole would be enough!

MattyMayo
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Re: Hop Growing Supports

Post by MattyMayo » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:59 pm

Thanks Rob, just out of interest, do yours grow more horizontally than vertically (trying to imagine how high the trellis is)?

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gr_baker
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Re: Hop Growing Supports

Post by gr_baker » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:18 pm

I used to have a frame made of quite lightweight wood. It was about 4 metres high and lasted for 3 or 4 years until the top and bottom crossmembers broke. The hops (Challenger and Goldings) grew vertically but overhung by 1.5 - 2 metres when they reached the top. That placed a lot of weight on the top crossmember leading to it breaking eventually. It stood up top the winds on the allotment pretty well. Your scaffold poles may turn out to be overkill.

I think postcrete should be fine. How are you going to attach the strings for the hops to grow up?
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chefgage
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Re: Hop Growing Supports

Post by chefgage » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:55 pm

I would say scaffold tubes is a bit over kill with regards to being strong enough to hold hops bines up with. Saying that it would of course work. If you are concreting them in i would put the pole in the middle of the hole with the concrete all around and not if i understand it put the pole at the edge of the hole as you have stated. Having the pole at the edge would create a weak spot for the pole to move over time.

I have grown hops horizontally before so the great height was not needed. They just need a bit more attention to get them to wrap around the string rather that doing it themselves up and up.

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