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Growing hops to shade structures in summer?  RSS feed

 
Matt Smith
Posts: 181
Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
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Been exploring homebrewing a bit and as such have been looking to get some hops growing on the property.

Then I had a lightbulb moment and figured with the proper supports I could grow them strategically to offer shade in the summer to the south facing side of a passive solar building we have.

Hops seem perfect for this as they grow fast, don't produce messy/heavy fruit, and are cut back to the ground every year (full sun exposure in winter). Plus you can make beer.

Anybody have any experience using hops like this? I haven't cultivated them before and would love to hear some first hand accounts.
 
John Elliott
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They grow semi-wild all over the place in Poland. I remember walking along the fence of an abandoned factory and there were hop vines climbing all over the chain link fence. Seems they don't need a whole lot of attention or care and at the end of the summer there were hop cones littering the ground all over the place.
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Ditto upstate New York, many years ago they were grown on structures very similar to what most people would recognize as outdoor clotheslines! BIG AL !
 
S Haze
Posts: 229
Location: Southern Minnesota, USA, zone 4/5
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I've started 3 or 4 rhizomes here on the farm one or two died one's doing awesome and the last one should be okay but it's getting established much slower probably because of shade. This summer will be either their third or fourth season.

The one growing most robustly is outside the southwest corner of the barn on a section of chain link fence. It's a cascade variety I believe. We have heavy, black, clay soils here and there's probably lots of residual nutrients built up near the barn that I've been told is 150 years old! Also that particular path of ground seems to be pretty well drained relative to what's typical around here. The apple tree planted 15 feet south of it is doing well too.

I'll be starting more plants west, east, and possibly south of the passive solar house I'm building. It seems like a great idea although I have heard of problems with vines growing on stucco buildings; severe mold infestations. I don't know the particulars so just do some research and be cautious. I'm guessing the south side would be the safest to grow any vine on if it gets exposure to sun and wind. We frequently get blasted by 30 mph hot SW winds in the summer. I plan on setting up the trellises down from my overhangs which extend four feet.

An image search for hops vines may yield some cool ideas if they could be sifted out!
 
S Haze
Posts: 229
Location: Southern Minnesota, USA, zone 4/5
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the hops growing by the barn:
DSC03501.jpg
[Thumbnail for DSC03501.jpg]
 
Jordan Lowery
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Location: zone 7
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ive been planning this for a few years and got hops coming in march for planting. id like to shade the south and west side of the house walls during summer.
 
Sherri Lynn
Posts: 89
Location: Piedmont, NC
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My husband and I built an arbor on the south side of our last house on the deck and planted hops on them. It took a while for them to get long enough to shade it. On one side, they were shaded too much. On the other side they grew well, but they seem to attract small bugs that made it a little difficult to put my patio chair next to. However, they were at a good height to harvest. I would highly recommend looking into the best hops to grow in your area for this purpose.
 
Nick Kitchener
Posts: 477
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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If you are on heavy clay then you're best to build a mound into which you plant. Also, if you're brewing then go for a variety you like, or fits with the beer style you prefer.

A lower alpha (aroma) hop is probably more suited to you because you can use it for bittering and late hop additions, even dry hopping. Cascade, or Mt Hood are popular American varieties.

Now is the time to be placing orders.
 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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I was considering grape vines on chain link or snow fencing inside a green house. As the weather warmed they would leaf out and offer shade, and the greenhouse plastic would be removed.
Hops, are the leaves edible?
 
Nick Kitchener
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Only if you're a caterpillar
 
Tim Malacarne
Posts: 226
Location: South central Illinois, USA
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Last season I used sweet potato vines to shade the rhubarb. Was figuring a way to use them on the 'maters too, for later in the year, when the sun is really hot. Hops ought to work, good idea!
 
Kelly Smith
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Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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i am growing them up and over the chicken coop to help shade it from the harsh sun.
i just planted them along a fence, then tied some twine between the top of the fence and the coop roof. im hoping they will do the rest.

i have cascade, glacier and and unknown variety and have used them in the past in beer. i noticed the ones grown locally are nearly as "potent" as commercial versions of the same variety (smell mainly). we werent using them for the main bittering though, so it wasnt a big deal. we have used some as a dry hop also.
 
andrew curr
Posts: 288
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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William Bronson wrote: I was considering grape vines on chain link or snow fencing inside a green house. As the weather warmed they would leaf out and offer shade, and the greenhouse plastic would be removed.
Hops, are the leaves edible?

apparantly the new shoots are!! (poor mans asparagus)
 
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