Commingling Hop BinesBy
Avoid Dissimilar Varieties Intertwining
These hops are planted about 7 feet apart at the base but the 2 plants on the outsides of the center peak, angle in a couple feet to gain some height. Here the Magnum and Cascade bines are starting to intermingle at the tops – not good. Once dissimilar hop varieties mix like this, it is difficult to separate later during harvesting. You want to keep the varieties separate, especially these 2, Magnum is a bittering hop and Cascade an aroma hop. All I did was take a telescoping pole and separate them. I swung them to the opposite side of the bine heading downward (their weight is getting to be too much unsupported to keep going up or sideways).
As you can see from the 3 in this picture, the laterals are not close enough (yet) to try to intermingle. They have in the past and they probably will again, I just stay on top of it and don’t let them by separating with a pole and “train them” to go down or wrap to the other side away from the next bine. One year I didn’t stay on top of it (I was out of town for a week) and thought I would just separate them at harvest time – BIG MISTAKE. It took at least an hour to untangle and there was still some intermixing. That’s why it is important to keep them separate, unless they are the same variety, then it doesn’t matter.
Morale of this post – when planting, plant similar varieties 3 feet or more apart and dissimilar varieties at the bare minimum 5 feet apart. This was an important point to make to save you some agony in the future. I hope this helps you out.