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  • Executive decision time...pick one to go in ground.

    I rent a house, so putting things in ground is....well....not taboo (the old owners/landlords have blueberries galore on the property, and were all about me putting in flowers and a vegetable garden)...but I still should be frugal and not plant 8 different fig trees in ground like I would if it were my own. We hope to rent this place for 3-5 years so we can save up and put a down payment on a nice house in the future, so keep in mind that it has to be a good grower/early producer.

    Basically, pick one of the following to go in ground that I can enjoy within that span of time, and list why if you can. Here are some basic criteria:

    -Vigorous: I want to be able to air layer it if I can't take it with me, so I needs me plenty of branches.
    -Produces decent crop by 2nd year, great crops by year 3-4.
    -Can survive winters in Athens, GA (Zone 7b/8a, typical annual low temp is between 10-15 degrees, but most days only get down to the mid 30's at worst). Site has good wind protection.

    Here are the candidates:
    Adriatic JH
    Violet de bordeaux
    Ronde de bordeaux
    Excel
    Marseilles Black VS
    Nero600M
    Brooklyn White (Bass's)

    I have plenty of other options, but these all stood out to me, as all of them are reportedly cold tolerant, healthy, and many are supposed to be vigorous.

    Current standouts to me are Adriatic JH, Excel, and Brooklyn White. I've got multiples of all 3, so if I kill them by transplanting in the 98 degree weather, its not a big deal. Adriatic JH is nice because its already trying to make me figs as a first year plant. Brooklyn White/Excel are turning out to be super vigorous and seem to actually be enjoying the summer heat wave compared to my other figs.

    Thanks for the input!
    Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

  • #2
    MBvs
    Art
    Western Pa -6a

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    • #3
      I have 3 from your list VDB, RDB, and MBVS so I can only go from my experience of those. Of those 3 I would think that Ronde de Bordeaux would be a good candidate. My experience with it shows that it is a very vigorous grower, produces a good crop and is fairly hardy. Maybe others who have grown the remaining on your list have more input about them. Which ever one you choose I'm sure it will be a good one.
      Wishlist; Green Michurinska, St. Rita
      Tony
      Sarver, PA Zone 6A.

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      • kubota1
        kubota1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi Tony, I will try and call you one of these days.

    • #4
      ...the irony of course is now dawning on me that I said "executive decision," then promptly called for opinions.
      Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

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      • #5
        I 2nd MBVS. Mine is in it's 3rd year, in pot. Year 2 it wasn't so productive and growth was similar to, or maybe a bit less than the other Etna types. This year so far..holy cow. The thing is growing like gang busters, it was the first to start producing main crop, and it's covered with figs.
        Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
        Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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        • Erick
          Erick commented
          Editing a comment
          What size pot do you have it in now, been in its third year and that productive..
          Last edited by Erick; 06-24-2015, 01:12 AM.

        • cis4elk
          cis4elk commented
          Editing a comment
          12ish gallon terra cotta. There is a little curvature so that throws some "ish" variable into the math.

      • #6
        Brett, I live in the same zone as you and our temps are identical. I have these in ground.
        Adriatic JH
        Violet de bordeaux
        Ronde de bordeaux
        Marseilles Black VS
        Nero600M

        My choice would be Nero600m followed closely by Marseilles Black Vs



        newnandawg 7b Newnan, GA

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        • brettjm
          brettjm commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm thinking its gonna be MBVS, though I'd like a few more inputs. It hasn't done well in a pot, probably because its roots are getting cooked and it can't recuperate quickly with only 4-5 leaves. Going in ground will probably help it tremendously. The Nero600m on the other hand, is growing like a weed in a pot, so I've a mind to just let it be.

          Strangely, MBVS was probably my last choice, originally.

          As a side, how is that Adriatic JH in ground? It may be the single fig I'm most excited about...it kills me to pop the baby figlets off of my first year plant.

        • mountainfigs
          mountainfigs commented
          Editing a comment
          newnandawg, in a previous post you mentioned that you have about 100 trees in ground. Is there a half dozen or so that have proven especially productive for you, non-stop fruit (while also being of real good flavor)? If so, might any of those include some of these varieties that you have in common with Brett? these late Bordeaux types, the early Bordeaux, the Mt Etna?

      • #7
        Fellow experienced fig grower close by with most of the varieties in ground that you ask about...newnandog has given you the best advice you can get.
        PPP
        Eatonton, GA zone 7b/8a

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        • #8
          JH A is an excellent white fig but it is not as hardy as many others. Slow to recover from winter die back here
          newnandawg 7b Newnan, GA

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          • #9
            None of those are "bad" choices especially if you give it a little winter protection.
            Ed
            SW PA zone 6a

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            • #10
              Ed, you are so right. I should have also stated that the only protection any of my in ground
              trees has is 2-4 inches of pine straw. I am looking for the most hardy of the hardy.
              newnandawg 7b Newnan, GA

              Comment


              • #11
                mountainfigs, two of the listed above Nero600m and Marseilles Black vs fit in that category. Also,
                Malta Black, Black Bethlehem, Unk Carini, Unk Afghanistan, Alma, Rose Marys NY Purple, Hardy
                Chicago and I believe Kearsaini will be another one although it just wen in ground this spring.

                newnandawg 7b Newnan, GA

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                • mountainfigs
                  mountainfigs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  So about half Mt Etnas, another early ripener in Malta Black, a late Bordeaux type, the beast that is Alma, and another one or two. I'm surprised not to see Ronde de Bordeaux, Celeste, and LSU cultivars.

                • newnandawg
                  newnandawg commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My RdB does ok but has not kept up with those others. I had an eight year old Celeste
                  that was killed to the ground and I gave it, LSU Purple, Gold and Tiger away. I only
                  have one LSU and that is Scotts Black remaining and it does ok also.

              • #12
                My choice would be Nero600m
                Wish List -

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                • #13
                  Hey Brett. How about a different approach . I keep three trees in large 7 gal and 10 gal pots in ground in their pots! They all produce a good amount of figs, I put them away in winter after I dig them out and prune all the roots that have grown over and out of the pots and I keep my chances of getting good Breba crops alive since I can take em back inside in case a late freeze hits. Plus you can always dig em out and move with no damage to the trees whatsoever! Just a thought brother. Best of luck with whatever you do .

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                  • #14
                    My late two cents worth. Vigorous also means you'll need to prune ....a lot. My LSU Gold grows over six feet each year so I have to bend over limbs to reach the fruit. I will start hard pruning this one next year so that I can develop more branching and lower new growth for more main crop figs.

                    As long as you have three branches you should have plenty for air layering when you move.

                    In my limited experience figs from pots planted inground tend to go a bit berserk growing like crazy at the expense of not fruiting. Don't expect your good fruiting characteristics from the pot to carry over to the ground at least not for the first few years.

                    Cold hardiness is job one!

                    You might get better production by keeping them in a larger pot and root pruning every other year. Buy a cheap timer for a sprinkler to cool the pots during the hottest times of the day. A misting timer would give many short duration sprays to keep the root zone cool even on scorching Summer days.

                    Maybe with your multiples you could go both ways giving it a good test.
                    Darkman AKA Charles in Pensacola South of I-10 zone 8b/9a

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                    • #15
                      Ok everybody, thanks for the input. Marseilles Black is in the ground, sort of. I actually just buried the pot, since I JUST transplanted it to a 10gal last week. My biggest concern is actually that the hole I dug will just flood the poor thing...its just raw, compacted red clay and it did NOT drain well at all. Some mulch will help with that I hope. If it survives the summer, I'll bring it in for the winter, then put it in ground next spring.

                      To the Nero600m suggesters...I had a couple big things to consider. First, its a harder plant to replace than the MBVS, I would think, should the transplant go awry. Second, the Nero600m has been growing quite well, while the MBVS has been struggling, I think because the roots are getting cooked. I didn't want to slow down the Nero600m and let the MBVS keep struggling...just seems like a poor choice. Maybe I'll find another place on the property for the Nero600m though :-P

                      @Chrisk: I definitely want to bury my pots, if I could. I have compacted red clay to work with, and I just dug a hole outside with a 104 heat index. Brutal. I may find a few spots to try what you describe this weekend though. As a side note, your future plants are doing okay. I had a scare with the Excel plants, as they did NOT appreciate the heat this past week, but I potted them up and they've been recovering. They're still pretty small, but I feel like they're far enough along that we could do a swap in a couple weeks if you want. I'll keep you posted.
                      Last edited by brettjm; 06-24-2015, 03:04 PM.
                      Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

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                      • #16
                        Easy to fix Brett. Dig the hole twice as wide and a few inches deeper than the pot . Line the bottom with 4 inches or so of gravel and some garden soil on top. Sit the pot on desired hight and fill around it with more garden or top soil and there you go. Then they will behave like Charles said. Restricted enough to produce fruit with some of the inground watering benefits.I would also mulch heavily.

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                        • #17
                          Originally posted by brettjm View Post
                          Ok everybody, thanks for the input. Marseilles Black is in the ground, sort of.
                          MBVS or Hardy Chicago should do well and produce some ripe figs by the second year.They both are reliable producers.If you decide to leave the fig in the ground,a wire cage around the tree filled with leaves should insulate it from the cold.

                          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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                          • #18
                            Brettjm. I have grown many fig in my life so far and have too many more to grow. I live in Chicago. Zone 5. Has gotten with wind chill to -47 degrees below zero and multiple feet of snow per year. I have all of my large trees in ground. And that includes any tree that out grow 3 gallon pot. Yes is easy to pick up pot. Or pull pot out of ground but really make no sense to plant a pot in ground unless there is root ports on the pot to extend out. Is very VERY easy. Is a bit more work rather than picking up a pot but you trees will grow much faster and make more fruit being in ground vs pot. Once a tree is in ground 90% of the potted tree problems are over. If you like a step by step how I do it in winter let me know and I will post.
                            Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                            1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                            2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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