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

Year old Chicago hardy fig

Baby fig

Chicago hardy figOur Chicago Hardy Fig grew beautifully in its first year and would have given us some ripe fruits if our growing season had been just a month or two longer.

My winter-protection of autumn leaves enclosed in some of that green plastic trellis material I love so much worked great, but I unwrapped the tree prematurely in the spring.  The tender buds were nipped by a late frost and the fig had to regrow from the ground, which is probably why it got such a late start on fruiting.

The jury's still out until I taste a homegrown fig here in zone 6, but I have high hopes that the tiny tree will come through for us next year!

Our chicken waterer turns the modern chicken coop into a clean, healthy environment.

Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

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.

Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.

If it's any consolation, my figs froze back to the roots their first year. The second year growth should be big enough to not freeze.
Comment by Errol Mon Oct 17 11:34:23 2011
That's what I'm hoping for, with the fig and with our hardy kiwis. The latter keep dying back to the ground with late spring freezes, which is what's holding them back from fruiting, but I'm hopeful that they've put on enough growth that they can withstand the cold this coming spring.
Comment by anna Mon Oct 17 13:52:15 2011

Hello I grew one in the back of my garden facing S/SW. This is Zone 6/6a about 2 miles from the coast. After three years, it reached 10 feet in height and a diameter at the base of 3.5 inches. The figs were smaller than the Brown Turkey tree that I used to have, but sweet enough! [The Brown turkey Fig was buried in a "grave" three feet deep every year until it got so large that I could no longer handle. it. [The branches spread 8 - 10 feet and it was 8 feet tall. Cutting branches back to bury it cut down the production of figs. One year it did have 80 huge figs!]

The Chicago hardy Fig, alas, was killed by rodents girdling it during last year's unbelievable amount of snow. They remained unseen for months while they tunneled through the snow feeding on six of my mature dwarf fruit trees and the fig. Never had this happen in 50+ years of gardening.

I have three other Chicago Hardy figs, that I have been "bringing along" and replanted in the back section where the other one grew. They are wired above and below the surface this time. Things grew 2x as fast back there as the parking lots back there help the hottest time of the day to be even hotter. The CHF loves the heat and good "medium density" loam.

You may want to try the dwarf Black Fig. Have one in a pot and it is now forming figs. It crops about 2x a year. Grows about 3 -4 feet, but easy to maintain. Keep indoors in Winter and out in latter part of Spring. Nice small figs...some fairly large too. You can find it on-line.

Wish you luck with your figs one and all!

Happy Holidays!

Maybe next time I'll tell you about my Giant Sequoia tree!


Comment by Richard in MA Thu Dec 8 14:19:44 2011

It sounds like your fig got huge for your climate! I'm surprised, though, that it didn't sprout back up from the roots when the rodents girdled it since the trees will come back when killed back by cold.

Very smart about your parking lot microclimate....

I'd be tempted by the potted fig, but we love our Meyers lemons more and there's a very limited amount of space inside in the winter.

Comment by anna Thu Dec 8 18:32:41 2011

profile counter myspace

Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.

Required disclosures:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies every time you buy something using one of my affiliate links. Don't worry, though --- I only recommend products I thoroughly stand behind!

Also, this site has Google ads on it. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to a website. Google's use of advertising cookies enables it and its partners to serve ads to users based on their visit to various sites. You can opt out of personalized advertising by visiting this site.