X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Productive Container Grown Fig Trees; What? and How!

    What quantity do you consider productive for a small fig tree in a 5 gallon pot?
    What quantity do you consider productive for a fig tree in a 10, 15, 20, 30 and 55 gallon pot?
    Which common fig cultivars in your opinion grow too aggressively to remain in 5 gallon pots?
    These questions were asked and some answers were given three years ago (7). The compiled answers and Japanese Commercial Fig farming Prescriptive documents have led to my conclusion of approximately 10 to 15 figs per gallon of growing medium. By experimentation I've concluded that a 5 - 7 gallon container can be as or more productive than any larger sized container requiring less resources, labor and space for greater backyard fig production in colder zones. The comparative production equivalents are as follows;

    . 5 gal pot = up to 75 figs
    10 gal pot = up to 150 figs
    15 gal pot = up to 225 figs
    20 gal pot = up to 300 figs
    30 gal pot = up to 450 figs
    55 gal pot = up to 825 figs


    Photo of a single typical fig tree fruiting branch, pruned to a low tree form with permanent scaffold branches, root pruned annually (reducing the root ball size in spring) and grown in 5 gallon SIPs, the fig trees have produced 60 - 90 figs in 2nd or 3rd seasons.



    * To maintain this level of production an automated watering system or diligent watering is needed since any extended dry period may cause figs to drop or retard vegetative growth and production.

    Please comment and or share your answers to the questions. Thanks.


    References;
    1. Production.. https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...a-and-maincrop
    2. Potting Mix... https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...ng-mix-recipes
    3. Fertilizer... https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...-feed-schedule
    4. SIP Container... https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...8857#post48857
    5. Canopy Pruning... https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...-espalier-form
    6. Root Pruning...
    7. Original Topic... http://figs4funforum.arghchive.com/p...g-tree-6798163
    Last edited by AscPete; 01-23-2018, 09:15 AM. Reason: fixed broken link to f4f...
    Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

  • #2
    In a tropical climate I get two main crops. First crop in June-July, second in November-December.

    Figs that grow to big to fast for pots. Also all three had very low production in 25gal pots vs in ground.

    LSU Gold
    Black Mission
    English Brown Turkey
    Raspberry Latte

    Good for pots, slower growth, high production.

    Peter's Honey
    Figo Preto
    Violet De Bordeaux
    LSU Hollier
    LSU Scott's Yellow

    My fruit production

    25gal pots

    Second year 250 figs each main crop.

    I am shooting for 1,000 trees at 500 figs per tree annually. I have seen a drop in fruit quality, if there are to many figs on a tree. There are also airflow and branch weight issues, that would limit maximum production.

    Comment


    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for commenting and sharing your info...

      I've opted for the 5 gallon pots in this zone due to ease of moving and storage during winter dormant periods which extend from November through April or approximately Six (6) Months!!!

  • #3
    figgysid1 ,

    IMO, with a properly planned fertilization schedule and good cultural practice there should be few obstacles that would stop you from producing up to 375 figs in the 25 gallon containers in your longer growing season.

    Aside from fertilization and adequate water, pruning to create "fruiting branches" has been the key to increased and predictable fig production. Good luck.
    Last edited by AscPete; 03-11-2017, 12:49 PM. Reason: corrected typo...
    Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

    Comment


    • #4
      I have in the area of 100 trees, many going into 5 gallon bucket containers this spring. The has anyone found a better method than the "index finger" test for knowing when to water? I must admit I've killed more than one potted tree due to over watering. I've never developed a feel....add to that the mystery of knowing how much and how often to fertilize.... another topic of course
      Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

      Comment


      • justfigs
        justfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        Sips are always the way to go. I use water soluble fertilizer so it gets a constant fertilizer to water ratio also. You can easily make up to 55 gallon sips from Home depot with containers costing less that $25 each. HDX
        55 Gal. Storage Tote in Black

      • shaxs
        shaxs commented
        Editing a comment
        justfigs, The 55 gallon containers look interesting. I would assume those are not sturdy enough to move around a lot after they are filled with dirt and a tree.

      • justfigs
        justfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        Shax yes they will be heavy. If you tilt it and drain the water out letting the soil dry a bit when dormant it will lighten it somewhat. I actually prefer the Hi Top 54 gallon model as it is wider at the base and a little shorter. I cut 3 6" holes in the center to use 1 gallon pots for a wicker. In a few years when it is ready to prune I will simply wait for it to go dormant then tip it over and slide the tree out. I used this method for larger containers already. They do sell platforms with wheels if you like to go under your tree pots. I don't use them so mine do not accidentally go into my pool in high winds etc.

    • #5
      Originally posted by TorontoJoe View Post
      I have in the area of 100 trees, many going into 5 gallon bucket containers this spring. The has anyone found a better method than the "index finger" test for knowing when to water? I must admit I've killed more than one potted tree due to over watering. I've never developed a feel....add to that the mystery of knowing how much and how often to fertilize.... another topic of course
      If you have a mix that drains well enough then just water every day in summer. I've never killed a one yr or older fig by over watering. I use a coarse mix based mainly on bark nuggets. When mixed up it looks like it will be to dry. But get it wet and it holds enough water.

      I fertilize in pots enough to keep the trees growing into August. Figs like Strawberry Verte and many others set main crop as long as they keep growing. I do like growth to stop in late summer. That gives better cuttings than trees that keep growing too late.
      Last edited by fruitnut; 03-11-2017, 04:35 PM.
      Alpine, Texas 4500ft elevation Zone 7
      http://growingfruit.org/

      Comment


      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Steve,
        Thanks for commenting.

    • #6
      I was definitely using a heavier mix when things went bad. Now I mix my own 5-2-1-1 (pine bark, perlite, peat moss, manure) but I haven't done a whole season with it yet so I'm a big gun-shy still....
      Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

      Comment


      • #7
        AscPete I went to pick up some MG tonight to get ready for the season (first real season growing trees vs rooting). I got a couple 8lb bads of 12-4-8 all purpose shake n feed for $15.. Then saw the MG Citrus / Avocado Shake n Feed 8lb bags of 13-7-13 on sale and then mismarked for $10 a bag... I picked up 3 bags which I can return if need be but price wise its a decent deal. What are your thoughts on using 13-7-13 for grow, or perhaps thoughts on maybe just mixing them all for a (spitballing ratio) but 12.5-5.5-10? lol

        https://faa81132b7.site.internapcdn....291_121713.pdf
        Has Magnesium and Iron as well.

        Bio-tone is also on its way and I have the weekly supplement already waiting.

        Last edited by LouNeo; 03-11-2017, 07:52 PM.
        2017 Wishlist:CDDG, CDDN, CDDB, CDDR, Figo Preto, i-258, Pastilliere Dauphine, Figoin, Cavaliere, Any Bordissot's Thank you!

        Comment


        • LouNeo
          LouNeo commented
          Editing a comment
          Also if you are bored and want to help make sense of the ingredients the pdf link is in my original comment For those of us that dont understand the big words.

        • LouNeo
          LouNeo commented
          Editing a comment
          Also as always, thank you! Im trying to read up on high salt fertilizer as well. Im hoping to give activated biochar and compost tea a whirl this year and dont want to kill everything im trying to grow organism wise.

        • AscPete
          AscPete commented
          Editing a comment
          You're welcome...

          Most fertilizers will not create any "high salt" conditions in the containers if provided adequate water.

      • #8
        TorontoJoe ,

        As fruitnut mentioned, you could actually water indiscriminately when using a fast draining potting mix.
        I also water 1 gallon and larger pots until water runs out the drain hole without ever worrying about water logging the mix or drowning the roots.

        There are a few members that use the inexpensive moisture sensing probes, they appear to work (I have one), but I've never had the need to rely on it.
        http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...f-d6ea48538986

        There are a few topics linked in the Index of Topics (Frequently Referenced),
        https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...erenced-topics

        and in the OP's References that link to info on Potting Mix Recipes, Creating Fertilizer Schedules and Pruning for production.

        Note, your "5-2-1-1 (pine bark, perlite, peat moss, manure)" may have up to three (3) parts of "fines" or water retentive ingredients especially if its not sifted, there may even be fines in the Perlite. Both Peat and Manure are water retentive, possibly up to 1/4 of the Pine Bark and Perlite may be fines, resulting in a mix with ~ 62 % - aeration / 38% - water retention instead of 86% - aeration / 14% - water retention of the original 5-1-1 fast draining well aerated mix. In comparison many commercial potting mixes (Annual Potting Mixes) are ~ 15% - aeration / 85% - water retention. If weight is not an issue crushed Pea Gravel makes a very good substitute for coarse Perlite / aeration in potting mixes.

        One (1) part of my Pine Bark Mulch is usually fines which is why I initially sifted it through a 1/4" hardware cloth sieve, I currently just calculate the fines into the Peat portion of my mix. My general purpose potting mix is 2-4-1 ratio of "sifted" Pine Bark Mulch - Peat -Calcined Clay which has ~ 30% - aeration / 70% water retention but is relative well aerated especially when bottom watered in SIPs, its also been a good potting mix for 5 gallon and larger containers.
        Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

        Comment


        • #9
          Thanks Pete. I do sift the pine bark and perlite. That much I was taught. The rest of this however is quite new to me....I wasn't aware that the manure held so much water.

          Question - I've found a virtually limitless and dirt cheap source of worm castings. Guy near my who runs a bait farm, can't get rid of it fast enough. I was thinking of switching out the manure compost for castings... My sense is that it would hold less water as well... What are your thoughts on this?

          I'll be reviewing the links you referenced. Many thanks!
          Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

          Comment


          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            Organic material and small particles produce many small air spaces which "Hold" water in the potting mix. As long as you maintain your desired Percentage of "Aeration" then Worm castings or Composted Manure could be substituted for the "Water Retentive" portion.

            Problem occur when NO substitutions is made, when the water retentive portions are increased without regard to the changing ratio of Aeration / Water Retention.

          • Harborseal
            Harborseal commented
            Editing a comment
            It would be cheaper for me to drive to Toronto, pick up a truckload of castings and bring them back than to buy 100 lbs here.

          • TorontoJoe
            TorontoJoe commented
            Editing a comment
            @ Pete - a few questions if I may:
            -Do you think my drainage will be adequate if I sifted the pine bark and perlite?
            -Would I be just as well to not sift the pine bark and omit the peat moss?
            -Do you think sifting perlite through a storm-window insect screen adequate?

            @ Harborseal - If you want worm castings I'd do some searching for a bait farm close to you. At very least you wont have to pay retail.

        • #10
          Originally posted by LouNeo View Post
          AscPete I went to pick up some MG tonight to get ready for the season (first real season growing trees vs rooting). I got a couple 8lb bads of 12-4-8 all purpose shake n feed for $15.. Then saw the MG Citrus / Avocado Shake n Feed 8lb bags of 13-7-13 on sale and then mismarked for $10 a bag... I picked up 3 bags which I can return if need be but price wise its a decent deal. What are your thoughts on using 13-7-13 for grow, or perhaps thoughts on maybe just mixing them all for a (spitballing ratio) but 12.5-5.5-10? lol

          https://faa81132b7.site.internapcdn....291_121713.pdf
          Has Magnesium and Iron as well.

          Bio-tone is also on its way and I have the weekly supplement already waiting.
          OK. This is going against everything I thought I knew....I was always told that one wanted a lower nitrogen fertilizer as the nitrogen promotes foliage growth and you get less fruit.... And rather to use something like a 5-10-5 or 10-15-10.... I knew I should have never opened the fertilizer can of worms...
          Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

          Comment


          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            In-ground fig trees have been fertilized with 10-10-10 and are productive, but soil is mineral based with lots of available nutrients...

            This topic has some added info on fertilization for potted fig trees,
            https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...-feed-schedule

        • #11
          This is gold Pete. Thanks!
          Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

          Comment


          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            You're welcome.

        • #12
          DevIsgro ,
          It would be interesting to see if certain varieties yield more or less per fruiting branch. Productivity as a final count would vary by location I imagine, after accounting for length of season, wetness, dryness, heat, humidity.

          Would fig count per fruiting branch just depend on vigor of the tree (determining how tall that branch grew each season) and node spacing for each variety?

          I wonder if the production curve is like an economic production curve, a bell curve. Perhaps for each size rootball you reach a max capacity for fruiting branches. So if you have too many they just get shorter and fig count remains the same. This wouldn't be the same limitation for an in ground tree I imagine.
          These comments and questions were posted in another topic, https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...507#post147507 , I will attempt to address the questions here because its more relevant to this Topic.

          Although different varieties / cultivars have different characteristics and are grown at different locations and zones utilizing prescribed methods can provide predictable growth and yields / fig production. The ambient conditions have to be taken into account as well as choosing cultivars that perform under those ambient conditions, its similar to growing a farmed produce like Tomatoes, if the same prescribed method and procedures are followed almost anywhere (in the world) the harvest will be predictable and quantifiable. Container grown fig trees utilizing commercially available (standardized) potting mixes and fertilizers can be cultured to produce similar quantifiable and predictable harvests.

          Fig count per fruiting branch can depend on the vigor of the tree, but its been my observation that most trees will produce sufficient new growth and leaf nodes to produce / support the consensus quantity of figs / nodes each growing season once the scaffold branches and "main" fruiting branch nodes are established. The growth of the fruiting branches each season is directly related to the available nutrients, water and light. The quantity that ripen at any given location would be more dependent on the variety / cultivar that was chosen and the ambient conditions.

          The canopy size is directly proportional to the root-ball size, for container grown fig trees their limited maximum feeder root volume has to be provided with sufficient nutrients, water and culture to maintain the required canopy and production. If any of the required variables are limited, for that given Canopy / Root "ratio" the fig trees will not be as productive, per Liebig's Law, https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...-feed-schedule .




          Although in-ground trees will always have the advantage of possible greater feeder root mass the other cultural variables will be the limiting factors as well as the amount of scaffolds / permanent branches that survive winter, in colder zones with winter die-back fig production will be severely limited unless a means of protection is devised. Container grown fig trees have an advantage in the colder zones, especially if they are move to warmer temperature controlled winter storage locations where the protected permanent scaffolds will grow the fruiting branches and prescribed quantity of figs the following year.
          Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

          Comment


          • DevIsgro
            DevIsgro commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions. Everything that you have said makes lots of sense. It is really great that you have taken the time to test growing methods, productivity etc and help get real guidelines with quantifiable results from your trees. I can tell that I still have a lot to learn.

        • #13
          Pete! That fig tree nutrition schedule you linked to... I've been searching for this kind of info for months. My searches never yielded results like this... Thanks again!
          Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

          Comment


        • #14
          Pete, can you clarify which function is provided by peat moss, pine bark, and other typical mix materials, aeration or water retention?

          It does seem that the really fine particulate of bark, peat or other materials would be water retentive just based on physical size and ability to absorb some water. Does aeration simply mean that water retentive media is displace with a small chuck (i.e. coarse perlite) of non or low absorbent material?

          Peat moss seems very "airy" to me even when damp as it is spongy and seems you can compress it somewhat without water squeeze out, so air must be in the spaces between solid material.
          Conrad, SoCal zone 10
          Wish List: More Land

          Comment


          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            These article have info and answers to your questions,
            https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/nursery-.../potting-mixes
            "Porosity is one of the most important properties of a potting mix. It is the space available within a mix for water, air or root growth. Small pores contribute to water retention whereas large pores promote aeration.

            The shape of the container also affects the porosity of a mix. A soil mix in a shallow container will hold more water than an identical volume of mix in a deep container."

            The second part of that quote is related to the "Saturation Zone" as explained in detail in this article,
            http://www.ncbuy.com/flowers/articles/01_10076.html
            "If the soil pores are large, they will fill mainly with air, which limits water retention. On the contrary, if pores are too small, they will retain too much water, which limits air porosity (oxygen).

            Unfortunately, increasing water retention reduces air porosity and vice versa. Finding a particle size distribution that provides an adequate balance of air and water is crucial. "

            And this article,
            http://oregonstate.edu/dept/nursery-...roperties.html
            Last edited by AscPete; 03-13-2017, 12:17 PM. Reason: added link...

          • cjccmc
            cjccmc commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the links Pete, they were all interesting info.

            I was surprised that most of the emphasis was placed on soil particle sizes and resultant spaces (pore sizes) between particles. Almost no discussion on what I assumed was another important factor; absorbency of materials. It seems to me that material that absorbs and swells will be much more water retentive than one that doesn't even if dry particle shapes and sizes are identical.

          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            You're welcome.

            The absorbancy of the "fines" / water retentive (WHC) materials is not as important due to the actual volume of water absorbed relative to the size of each particle, its very small. They're essentially surrounded by water or are water logged, therefore water retentive...

            On the other hand ingredients like Vermiculite and Calcined clay will absorb large volumes of water "wicking" it away from the pores, maintaining aeration in the mix with their relatively large drier surface area / pore spaces. Perlite and Pine Bark chunks will have surface water, but for the most part will create the large pore spaces due to large particles / aerated (AS) as noted in the linked documents.

        • #15
          Awesome info, I was wondering how big of pots would be sufficient.

          Comment


          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for commenting.

            The 5 Gallon buckets can be used for the initial 2 years in colder zones, but to maintain the same (high) seasonal production root pruning has to be performed by the third season and almost every season thereafter. Good luck.

        • #16
          Originally posted by AscPete View Post

          5 gal pot = up to 75 figs
          10 gal pot = up to 150 figs
          15 gal pot = up to 225 figs
          20 gal pot = up to 300 figs
          30 gal pot = up to 450 figs
          55 gal pot = up to 825 figs
          Is there typically a different quantity based on fig size so that total production (weight of all figs) per container size is about the same?
          Conrad, SoCal zone 10
          Wish List: More Land

          Comment


          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            cjccmc
            No there is not, in my experience...

            Figs are produced at each leaf node and some cultivars are know for multiple figs at the same nodes, but the size / weight of the fig at each node is solely dependent on the cultivar. The fruiting branches are cultured to produce "Leaf Nodes" and the associated figs...

            For example Celeste is not as popular for potted culture because it produces very small figs (~12 grams avg.), for the same amount of time, resources and effort there are many other cultivars that produce the same quantity of larger figs, like the Mount Etna types or even the Italian Honey types (~25 grams avg. or greater).

        • #17
          Is there similar recommendation for heeled in containers? I am planning on heeling in 4 plants this coming spring. I read somwhere or saw a video providing guidance of 1 fruiting branch per 1 gallon of container. I was thinking of doubling that guidance if the container is heeled. Seems reasonable right???? I base that statement on no experience, facts, or anything other than my "gut". Its never lead me astray except for those oysters I ate once...
          Jose in Glen Arm, Maryland.... Zone 7a

          Comment


          • #18
            JMS ,

            Yes. The pruning recommendations are similar if by "heeled in containers" you are referring to Partially Buried Containers,
            https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...to-bury-or-not

            The difference would be that the growth of partial buried potted fig trees are less predictable due to the unknown amounts of available soil nutrients and water. In my experience more often there is excessive vegetative growth and increased fig production, but many figs may not ripen.

            One fruiting branch per gallon of potting mix or single stem training / pruning...


            The "1 fruiting branch per 1 gallon" is a comment that to my knowledge I originated when trying to explain the "Japanese" Fig Training / Pruning method. It refers to staking and training as a single stemmed tree for the first stage in 1 gallon containers then planting / up potting to 5 gallon containers and establishing 3 - 5 scaffold branches for future fruiting branches. In each stage the current season's branches are actually the fruiting branches which become next season's scaffolds. The "Rule of Thumb" / idea would be that in the early stages there should be 1 fruiting branch for each gallon of Potting Mix, not for each "1 gallon container". This diagram accompanied the initial posts and discussions.



            Increasing or "doubling" the quantity of fruiting branches can possibly lead to more vegetative growth, nodes and fig production with the increased available nutrients, but may also lead to reduced harvest in colder zones due to fewer ripe figs by the end of the growing season. I've been able to get over 150 figs to the stagnant / quiescent stage from 5 gallon potted trees in one season by providing increased nutrients and water, but only ~ 70% ripened. Good Luck.
            Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

            Comment


            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              CoolClimateFigger ,
              Yes, but I'm using actual 5 gallon buckets for the 5 gallon SIP containers, they hold ~ 4-1/4 gallons of potting mix but the 5 gallon single bucket SIPs are capable of maintaining equivalent healthy feeder root mass greater than a 7 gallon nursery pot due to the "contained moist" area. The rule of thumb was / is applicable to the initial Training and Pruning Steps / Stages (# 1 and #2) as discussed in the OP's linked pruning topic, https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...-espalier-form

              The attached diagram above was generic and refers to "3 - 5 gallon" containers because many members still use containers smaller than 5 gallon nursery pots as "intermediate" sized containers. In the OP its referenced as "5 - 7 gallon" containers because they will hold closer to ~ 5 gallons of growing medium.

              In other words you should aim for a minimum size of ~ 5 gallons of potting mix either a 5 gallon bucket or a no. 7 (~ 5 gallon) trade pot. To maintain the quantified "increased" production the variables that have to be properly / diligently maintained are Canopy size, Fertilization and Irrigation, which is why the specific minimum sized container is very important for best nutrient and water intake.

              Even with smaller sized containers the "maximum" quantity can be surpassed given adequate nutrients and water, the major limiting factor will always be the feeder root mass / size and or the size / configuration of the container.

            • JMS
              JMS commented
              Editing a comment
              @AscPete

              What do you mean by feeder root mass? Are there different types of roots serving different functions?

              My logic is that by allowing roots to escape and build up outside the heeled container (partially buried) I would be increasing the root mass. My plan is to heel four 5 gallon buckets about 4 inches into the ground, set them up on my drip system, and let them grow more than usual. Was going to drill at least two rows of one inch holes in the bottom 4 inch zone of the bucket.

            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              JMS ,
              The feeder roots are the branched hair like / sized roots that perform all the nutrient, water and air uptake and exchange functions. The thicker roots only provide anchorage and the main vascular pathways between canopy and feeder roots. Its similar to the relationship between leaves and scaffold branches, the scaffolds and main form the support and vascular pathways to the feeder roots. Increased volume / mass of feeder roots equals increased nutrient transfer to canopy.

              Partial burial of containers has produced the most vegetative growth second only to in-ground planted trees in my experience. One "problem" in my colder zone is that the trees stay green and grow later into the fall which results in a much greater amount of un-lignified growth and more die-back in spring. A recommendation is to place only one row of holes (16) on the side at the base of the bucket, it will be much easier to root prune and place back into the same bucket the next season (only a few inches of the bottom of the root ball needs to be removed). Good Luck.

          • #19
            And if you're following the guide for "Pruning to Establish Fruiting Branches" do you have a recommended height to head or top off at the different steps? I printed another diagram where at Step 1 you cut the trunk at 6 inches. Step 2 you let them grow 36 inches and cut. Step 3 you cut at 18 inches.
            I pinched the majority of my plants last year and none of the pinched branches got to 36 inches, but this year I've got a few plants I can play with that would be at Step 2.
            Cheryl (f/k/a VeryNew2Figs) Zone 5a/6a
            What I'm growing: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

            Comment


            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              The ~ 6" main trunk is typically a bush form tree, but the scaffolds have to have sufficient internode spacing on the main stem.

              Most 5 gallon potted trees will top out at ~ 6 ft with 16 in - 18 in main trunks / stems.

              Pinching is never recommended when Training and Pruning because it interrupts Apical Dominance resulting in stunted growth and branching (undesirable). The main scaffolds need to grow "undisturbed" at least for the 1st two seasons. In colder zones pruning the branch ends the beginning of the 3rd season will result in the "desired" fruiting branches along the scaffolds (last seasons fruiting branches). In warmer zones these stages could be completed within one growing season.

          • #20
            Great topic and information!

            I hope you don't mind me switching the conversation a little, but I have a burning question and y'all seem like the folk to ask...

            How have you found LONG TERM viability for trees in smaller pots (5-10 gal size) ? After the disaster of Hurricane Matthew Im thinking most of mine in pots ... can they be kept productive over a long period of time in such small containers ? Im assuming that they will be heavily pruned and root pruned every 2-3 years....

            Thanks in advance for the advice...
            Last edited by NativeSun; 03-15-2017, 11:40 AM.

            Comment


            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks, and thanks for commenting.

              5 gallon containers are good for 2 years max before they need to be root pruned (root ball size reduction), severe root pruning or bare rooting would only be required every 4 to 5 years or as needed, but yearly root ball reduction 9light pruning) should be performed by and after the 3rd year.

              Canopy pruning is done yearly, removing only the yearly Fruiting Branches the Permanent Scaffold and Main branches are not pruned or disturbed so severe or "heavy pruning" is actually never necessary.

              To maintain productivity as mentioned, basic Root Pruning, Fruiting Branch Pruning, adequate Nutrition and Water to maintain the seasonal canopy and fruit production.

            • TorontoJoe
              TorontoJoe commented
              Editing a comment
              Sorry about all the questions...Please let me know if it gets annoying.

              - Does it matter weather I root prune change mix in the fall after trees go dormant before tucking them into the garage for the winter vs in the spring?
              - Is the fig production reduced as a direct result of the root prunung or is that only a result of the acompanying canopy reduction? Trying to wrap my head around that one.

            • TorontoJoe
              TorontoJoe commented
              Editing a comment
              Sorry about all the questions...Please let me know if it gets annoying.

              - Does it matter weather I root prune change mix in the fall after trees go dormant before tucking them into the garage for the winter vs in the spring?
              - Is the fig production reduced as a direct result of the root prunung or is that only a result of the acompanying canopy reduction? Trying to wrap my head around that one.

          • #21
            TorontoJoe ,

            Questions are always welcomed, as long as they're on topic.

            IMO, it does matter when root pruning is performed, Its best done in early spring or late winter. Whatever "reserves" are stored in the roots can be used during the winter by the intact fig tree.

            Attached edited pruning detail Step #3 showing the Permanent Scaffold branches that are never pruned (Brown) and the Fruiting Branches (Green) that are pruned back each year for main crop fig production. The Red lines are the actual locations where the branches are "pruned back", once the tree is established the fruiting branches can provide 10 - 15 figs each.



            There should be no loss of production from year to year due to normal root and fruiting branch pruning after the scaffold branches and fruiting branch nodes are established. The yearly production should remain relatively constant. To maintain productivity as mentioned, basic Root Pruning, Fruiting Branch Pruning, adequate Nutrition and Water to maintain the seasonal canopy and fruit production.

            The only time there would be reduced production is when or if the scaffolds are pruned back and the fig tree is bare rooted to retrain and establish a newly pruned tree or bush, restarting from Stage / Step #1 or #2 of the Pruning Diagram.





            Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

            Comment


            • Altadena Mara
              Altadena Mara commented
              Editing a comment
              This is a great topic. The pruning pictures look fine on "paper", but what about fig trees like Col de Dame Gris that want to grow like flag poles? When top pruned, the next season they send up one shoot (perhaps another small one at the most). Next season, you prune that, they send up another one with little if any branching. They refuse to cooperate with the diagram.

            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              Altadena Mara ,
              Thanks for commenting, I will have to try a CdD Gris with this method.

              Typically the "flagpole" types usually produce the best scaffold branches when pruned at Step #2. Its entirely possible that its due to your location and the dormancy status of the tree when pruned.

          • #22
            I feel as though I should call you Sensei-Pete.

            OK, I'm back tracking to my mix. You recall my 5-2-1-1. Do you think I could omit sifting the pine bark if I left out the peat moss altogether? So a 5-2-1 (Unsifted Pine Bark, Perlite, Worm castings) Think that would drain well?

            This is going to be my figgiest year ever!
            Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

            Comment


            • #23
              TorontoJoe ,

              I've simply trialed some of the posted info on fig culture from the fig forums along with basic gardening practices and have tried to share the results, actually I'm a novice when it comes to growing figs.

              You should sift and make a specific amount of your mix to actually test and see if you are able to "omit sifting the Pine Bark". Your ratios should provide reasonable aeration if the Pine Bark has good particle size, but the mix should still be tested for its actual drainage, aeration and water retention before use.

              For example I use Agway Pine Bark Mulch in 3 cu ft bags, when sifted each bag yields ~2.4 cu ft 1/2" to 1/4" sized (sifted through 1/2" and retained by 1/4" hardware cloth) , ~ 0.6 cu ft passes through the 1/4" hardware cloth and is considered "fines" / water retentive and added to the Peat Moss portion of my mix. I now only sift / grate through 1/2" hardware cloth to break up the large chunks, but I still sift through 1/4" hardware cloth ~ every 12 bags to check consistency of particle sizing.

              My mix is more water retentive for use with SIPs, its a 2-4-1 ratio of Pine Bark Mulch - Peat - Calcined Clay, it uses one 3 cu ft bag of Pine Bark Mulch, one 3.0 cu ft compressed bale of Premier Peat Moss and one 40 lb bag of Calcined Clay as the primary ingredients. It was designed as a Perennial Potting mix to increase feeder root growth, being more water retentive than a Perennial Mix while being more aerated than standard annual potting mixes, it also works well in regular bottom drain containers.

              Pete S. - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

              Comment


              • DevIsgro
                DevIsgro commented
                Editing a comment
                Okay thank you very much. I found the calcined clay absorb stuff you mentioned here and in other threads for a great price at tractor supply. The peat I found was spagnum moss, is that what you use? Home Depot carries it. Thankfully I already am set up to screen pine bark from my citrus growing.

              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                DevIsgro ,
                Yes, Sphagnum Peat Moss, Premier brand compressed sold in green and white bags at HD and Lowes. I recommend the Premier brand because its a good quality relatively coarse Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss.

              • DevIsgro
                DevIsgro commented
                Editing a comment
                Okay thank you for your recommendation.

            • #24
              I've been growing figs maybe 3 years...gardening many more.... You don't seem a novice to me... I'm taking all of this in to practical use... And not only for my figs.. Thanks again...
              Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                You're welcome.
                This will be my 6th season growing fig trees, my 5th decade gardening....
            Working...
            X