Introduction: Hop Trellis From Old Extending Pool Skimmer Pole
I needed to come up with a cheap hop trellis for some hops I need to relocate. I had an old pool skimmer pole to use for a base. I found and an old kitchen sink strainer basket lying around the shop that was perfect for tying twine through the side holes. The only thing I purchased was the twine since I replace the twine every year. I ended up with a 12 foot high trellis.
Step 1: Materials
(1) Old telescoping pool skimmer pole (1) Old kitchen sink strainer basket. Pull apart so you just have the basket. (1) Wooden Dowel that fits inside pool pole (from scrap wood pile) (approx. 1 foot in length) (1) Length of pipe that fits inside pool pole (from scrap metal pile) (2 to 3 feet in length) (3) Wood screws or metal screws (left over from window blinds) (4) Wood stakes for tie downs. (from scrap wood pile)
Step 2: Making the Base
Use some spare metal pipe and bury until about a foot sticks out from the ground. Pack the soil tightly around it to make sure it does not shift around.
Step 3: Modifying the Pole
Extend pool pole almost all the way leaving the inner pole about 4 inches into the outer pole. Where the inner and outer poles meet, drill through base pole into inner pole with small diameter bit. Just big enough to accommodate wood or metal screws. You can drill all the way through and use two screws, one on each side, but one screw may do the trick. This will prevent pole from collapsing back down once standing.
Step 4: The Cap
Take kitchen sink strainer basket apart so it can be screwed into wood dowel and inserted into top end of pool pole.
Step 5: Painting
Paint the cap (drain strainer) an the pool pole with any color you desire (optional).
Step 6: Stringing
String the twine through the holes in the strainer basket. I used four lengths of twine doubled up for added strength. Twine works best because the hops small sticky needles on the stem can easily grip it's rough material.
Step 7: Assembly
Insert strainer basket and dowel into top of pole. Place the pool pole onto the length of pipe in the ground.
Step 8: Tying Down the Twine
Tie down the twine to the stakes about 3 feet away from base of pole and opposite of each other to support pole all the way around.
Step 9: Care and Conclusion
I am growing Northern Brewers hops in the picture included which is from a previous attempt on a wooden trellis. If you intend on growing different species make sure you mark which are which or are able to properly identify them as they have a tendency to intertwine with each other. The best location for the hops is in direct sunlight near a source of water if possible for best results. To collect, cut one end of the twine and pull down and pick the hops off by hand. Wear gloves as the plant can irritate your skin! Now you can go and brew with your homegrown hops! Best of luck, drink responsibly, and thanks for reading!