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  • Companion planting for figs

    I recall a thread about this on f4f before, but this is ourfigs so let's discuss it here!

    Anyone do companion planting for figs? I haven't found much info out there on it for figs, but I usually plant perennial herbs and smelly plants near all my fruit trees to deter deer and other pests (with little success). Chives are supposedly good to plant with apple trees. Some marigolds help with nematodes.

    Thyme, chives, and perennial geraniums abound in my yard. I've also planted some sedums around figs to fill in amongst the rocks, but that's more for weed suppression. Using the term a little more loosely, I also plant flowers that attract predatory wasps (mostly native plants).
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

  • #2
    I usually put a few lettuce seedlings in newly potted containers. It looks nice, and is a good indicator for water and fertilizer.
    .

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    • #3
      I'm going to plant some newly rooted cutting of thyme, rosemary and lavender in some of my larger fig pots. I'll probably add some chives and roman chamomile that has spread into the yard.
      Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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      • #4
        I've begun to use a lot of common comfrey and Russian comfrey around in-ground fig bushes as fertilizer and living mulch. They add great beauty and I'm expecting extreme functionality. I planted comfrey for the first time last year, so my thoughts on this are still tentative due to only limited direct observation so far but my hopes are great and I'll know a lot more by the end of this year, and then by the following year especially.

        I prefer Russian to common because Russian is a hybrid with sterile seeds, therefore don't have to worry about the plant spreading by seed. It will spread by root if you dig around its roots, so don't disturb the plant if you don't want it to spread. Its roots grow deep basically straight down not interfering with fig roots which spread above. Comfrey is such a powerful all purpose mineral extractor (clay, no problem) that I anticipate that comfrey will completely eliminate any fertilizing needs of in-ground fig bushes (not that I fertilize them much anyway). Alex Ojeda claims that comfrey even brings up water from deep to surrounding plants. (I'm a bit dubious but can see a point in that its abundant foliage holds a lot of water and that foliage can be cut regularly and mulched under.) Comfrey can be cut back multiple times per year, is extremely frost resistant, comes on very early in spring as if it were summer, a month ahead of the growing zone, so it's a delight to see it come booming on when most all else remains barren. In addition to its mass of lush long leaves it has beautiful small bell like flowers. (Good info on comfrey: http://www.nantahala-farm.com/comfre...ing-14-s.shtml)

        If you need to get rid of comfrey you can't typically dig it out but I've read that you can put a tarp or possibly garden fabric and mulch over it for a year and eliminate it that way.

        I also use swales (ditches) dug on contour (more-or-less) mulched in the dip and over the berm to capture water and to divert it into the ground preventing run-off. Eventually, my hope is that my swales will be deep enough and heavily mulched enough that I will not need to irrigate. One of the photos here shows a swale above a common comfrey plant and a small fig bush with one limb preserved over winter by the low limb technique. I've planted recently many seeds of a variety of herbs and flowers along these swales along with many small comfrey roots, so this scene next year should show a mass of green instead of the current bare wood chips. Most of the surrounding in-ground fig bushes are waiting to come up from the ground. Next year I will low cordon or low limb all of those bushes so that they will also show green at this point next year, leafing out like the one low limb here next to the comfrey plant.

        Alex Ojeda talks about using permaculture to eliminate fertilizating and irrigating, and to improve the health, nutrition, and vigor of the plants, trees, their produce, and the ecology in general, all of which is my goal. See this entire great video, or for his remarks about comfrey see the 21:06 mark: Permaculture Principles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDh774uVmP8
        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 5 photos.
        Last edited by mountainfigs; 05-10-2015, 10:43 AM.
        Tony WV 6b
        https://mountainfigs.net/

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        • ako1974
          ako1974 commented
          Editing a comment
          I have Purple Comfrey and if it's similar to Russian, it's great stuff. I don't use it as a cover crop, rather as a compost accelerant. Rip off a few leaves, tear them up, throw them in the compost bin, and it decomposes what's in there in a week. Good stuff - I use it all summer long. I can also make a fertilizer tea out of it, though I've never done it.

        • AscPete
          AscPete commented
          Editing a comment
          Purchased my Comfrey from, http://www.coescomfrey.com/comfrey.html
          Started with root cuttings and a few Crown cuttings as easy to grow as Curly Dock, with is also useful in composts.

        • mountainfigs
          mountainfigs commented
          Editing a comment
          I purchased some comfrey from Coe's Comfrey too initially, crown and roots. Good stuff. I've also traded fig cuttings for comfrey with Jesse in Maine - zone5figger - more good stuff.

      • #5
        Is there a carnivorous plant that eats birds and squirrels?

        if so..... that's what I'm planting! !!!
        Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

        “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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        • Kelby
          Kelby commented
          Editing a comment
          Feed me, Seymour!

        • COGardener
          COGardener commented
          Editing a comment
          LOL

      • #6
        Do deer eat plants, leaves and figs or just figs? I would think the milk sap would deter deer.

        I need to know because I just finished potting 18 cuttings to gal pots and are unprotected from deer. I can move them to my enclosed garden area if need be.
        Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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        • #7
          Don't know about the Texas deer. Haven't had any problem amidst lots of deer in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
          Tony WV 6b
          https://mountainfigs.net/

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          • #8
            Only problem with deer and my potted figs is they seem to think I shouldn't place the pots in their trails and so they turn them over sometimes.
            North Georgia Zone 7

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            • #9
              I am sure that an inquisitive deer might take a bite, but I think the consensus I have read is that deer don't like the latex in the sap.
              Ed
              SW PA zone 6a

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              • #10
                I met a guy in Austin who said in the past his horses would chew down his trees.
                Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
                N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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                • #11
                  I was thinking about planting a pole bean or two around my in ground fig trees.The added nitrogen to the soil from the beans should be beneficial.
                  Barry
                  NE GA ,Zone 7b Low Temperature of 4F in 2015,17F in 2016,17F in 2017,6F in 2018,17F in 2019

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                  • #12
                    I don't do companion planting with potted figs, but have practiced the use of cover crops http://extension.psu.edu/plants/crop...blication_file over the past decade and can attest to the benefits. A mixture of grasses, legumes and Brassicas (annual Rye, Clover, Field Peas, Cow Peas, Vetch, wild Mustard, Turnip and Radish) Russian Comfrey, Mints and weeds are my cover crops (companion plants) that are used as cut and drop mulch and for compost. A site with lots of good concise info, http://extension.psu.edu/plants/crops/publications. My practiced Permaculture Gardening bible, http://www.appropedia.org/images/d/d3/Onestraw.pdf
                    Click image for larger version

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                    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                    • #13
                      I recently came by a couple thousand grapevine growing tubes....placed around newly planted vines to protect them against rodents, wabbits and the like....I'll be using some of them to protect the new figgies to be planted out this year...they're 18" tall and have a perforation along one side to split open when the time is right.

                      I'd be afraid of harboring pesties under the foliage...I'll keep mine clean until they're teenagers

                      Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra

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                      • #14
                        Ross,

                        Many years ago, I bought a fig tree from a nursery in NJ that was staked and had a plastic tree wrap around the trunk. When I took the tree wrap off, I found a mass of roots growing between the tree and the stake as well as in the open space in the wrap.
                        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 5 photos.
                        Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
                        N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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                        • Kelby
                          Kelby commented
                          Editing a comment
                          It was already airlayered for you!

                      • #15
                        These aren't wraps but tubes about 4" in diameter which protect vines from mainly rabbits and deer during their first year. I'll take a pic in the morning when the big yellow globe comes up. Planted one this afternoon...with a tube.

                        I like the label...."small" deciduous tree....out here a mission fig can easily be 30-40' tall and wide
                        Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra

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