The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Two more fig winter protection techniques uncovered

Uncovering a fig tree

We tried two new methods of protecting our fig trees last fall. The one I apparently forgot to blog about involved bending a young fig down so its branches sat directly on the ground, then piling old garden weeds on top to produce an insulative layer above which I layered a tarp for waterproofing. Despite reports that this is the preferred method of winter-protecting a fig outside its hardiness zone, our wet soil turned the attempt into a failure --- anywhere fig branches touched the ground resulted in dead wood.

On the other hand, our hay porcupine worked like a charm. Granted, this past winter was warmer than usual, so it's not an entirely fair comparison. But every branch survived and many are pushing out new leaves. If I ever have that much leftover hay or straw, I'll definitely repeat the trick again!



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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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Growing up in Chicago in the 50s,I remember my grandparents had a good producing fig- quite a large tree, but then I was only 3ft tall at the time, so everything seemed large to me. They gave it no special attention for the winter. But I also always thought Chicago was Zone 5, but recently discovered that the areas close to L. Mich are really Zone 6, so maybe that made the difference. I just found this page: http://ediblelandscaping.com/products/shrubs/Figs/HardyChicagoFig.php It claims The Hardy Chicago Fig will grow back from the roots when there's winter die-back. Does this apply to your specimen?
Comment by doc Fri Apr 28 07:50:21 2017
Correction: I brought this up with my uncle yesterday-- when the fig was young (before my appearance on the scene)it was his job to put up a make-shift silo of posts and wire fencing around the tree and fill the cage up, burying the tree in fallen leaves. He said building it was fun, but cleaning up the wet, soggy mess in the spring was less so.
Comment by doc Sat Apr 29 06:58:51 2017





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