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

New methods of winter-protecting figs

Wrapped fig

Last year, I didn't wrap up our fig trees until early November, but the current cold snap is treating us to unseasonable lows in the lower twenties (with flurries of snow!), so I decided we'd rather be safe than sorry.  Plus, this cold weather produced a large leaf fall on the driveway, which made for easy raking, so the time seemed right.

Frost protecting a
figLast year's method of freeze-protecting a young fig tree worked great, so I repeated the method on all of our baby fig trees.  I wasn't quite as thrilled with my previous frost-protection of our larger fig, though, for a couple of reasons.  First, last year's tarp tended to blow off the top, and that plus natural settling matted down the leaves so the upper third of the tree wasn't protected.  I also felt like I didn't get much of an early (breba) crop because of cutting off so much of the top of the fig.  So, even though I pruned this year, I left the full height of the branches remaining, and used a tarp to completely encompass the tree, as you can see in the photo at the top of this post.

If you live north of zone 7 and still want to give figs a try, you might want to first read this post about cold-hardy figs.  The bit of winter protection required, in my opinion, is very much worth it for the heavy yields from a completely trouble-free plant.

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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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Looks nice! I hope you get bountiful harvests next year as well!
Comment by Eric in Japan Sat Oct 26 12:24:46 2013

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