Even if you’re not a home brewer dealing with the hops shortage, hop plants are great to have in your garden. The trick is that they like to grow vertically up twine, so you have to rig a trellis. You can make one using scraps of soaker hose and antenna wire while taking advantage of tree trunks already in your garden.
The soaker hose is used to protect the bark (in this case of a Douglas-fir tree) from the wire. Cut the hose just long enough to go around the trunk at the height you want (higher is better) and thread a length of wire through the hose. Before tying the wire to the tree, notch the hose in each place where the twine will come up to the top of the trellis. Put s-hooks onto the wire through the notches in the hose. Set eye-hole or hooked stakes in the ground away from the base of the tree trunk and attach the twine with s-hooks through the stakes as well. The s-hooks simplify replacing the twine each season when the plant dies back.
String twine from stake to wire and back again to form the trellis. The vines readily grow up the twine and soon provide a vivid green contrast to the dark brown bark.
For a variant project, you could mount eyebolts to the side of a building to create a similar trellis. But then what would you do with your leftover soaker hose?
Thanks to my dad for taking the lush “after” pictures and letting me share his project!