My hop structure is now complete. I think it stands about three metres in total now, which should be tall enough for the hops to climb up and do whatever it is they need to do that results in producing things to make beer out of. That’s a highly technical description of the scientific process there.
In the end, I opted to strap some bamboo canes together with some garden twine. I’ve used that obelisk I put together as a base, with three canes tied near the top of it. I also have another cane strapped horizontally toward the top of those three canes. Then I’ve tied some garden twine from the high up horizontal cane down to the other bamboo cans that have hops growing around them. It looks a bit like a ceremonial structure they would use as part of a sacrifice in a Wickerman-style event.
But considering that my DIY skills are seriously lacking and I’ve never attempted anything like it before, I’m pretty pleased with my efforts. It’s almost exactly as I’d sketched out, albeit a little wonkier. I’ll be more pleased if the hops actually grow onto it. I’ve also cut away from branches from the sycamore tree above so the hops get more sunlight.
A neighbour is mine is doing the same thing and has built a much more technically impressive structure out of wood that looks a lot more professional and robust than my efforts. It is also three metres tall and one of the hops has almost reached the top already.
I’m thinking next year of moving the hops to the front of the house, where they’ll get a lot more sunlight and be able to grow much higher. But I’ll worry about that once this year’s crop is done and I’ve drunk the nine pints of communal ale that will be heading my way.