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  • Fertigation will produce more figs

    Fertigation and early fertilization of cuttings will result in faster growth, healthier and more productive fig trees.

    There has been much published about figs needing minimal fertilization. Its been my observation that this comment has been perpetuated and leads to lack of fertilization of newly rooted cuttings and young fig trees. The reduced fertilizer requirement actually applies to fruiting trees not young fig trees or cuttings. Fruiting fig trees need to produce less vegetation and more figs, therefore reduced Nitrogen levels are advisable.

    Rooted Cuttings and young trees on the other hand need as much vegetative growth as possible and should be provided with a fertilization schedule with balanced fertilizer (Macro and Micro nutrients). I've fertilized rooted cuttings with a dilute water soluble fertilizer (Miracle-Gro All purpose), starting with 1/2 teaspoon / gallon of water for newly rooted cuttings and progressing to 1 teaspoon / gallon of water with 1/4 teaspoon of Epsom salt as they grow and are potted into 1 gallon containers. In this early stage of growth, the cuttings are fertigated / watered only with this dilute fertilizer solution.

    Comparing the node spacing at the base of the young tree (the new growth from the cutting), its easy to see which plants have had good initial growth and which plants have struggled to grow. Close nodal spacing (measured in fractions of an inch) will result in slower growing trees, while longer nodal spacing will result in faster growing more productive trees.

    Whether you use a dilute Organic Fertilizer or a dilute Mineral Fertilizer the newly rooted cuttings and young plants should be provided all the balanced nutrients that they need for early and healthy vegetative growth.

    The attaches photos are of cuttings in 2 liter SIPs ready to be up potted to 1 gallon containers and 1 gallon plants ready to be up potted to 5 gallon buckets.
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    Please share your experiences and procedures, thanks.
    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

  • #2
    Belle Pete!
    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

    Comment


    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for commenting.

  • #3
    Thank you for this great info, Pete!
    Frank ~ zone 7a VA

    Comment


    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      You're welcome. Thanks for commenting.

  • #4
    Thank you Pete. What exactly is the difference between fertigation and light fertilization?
    Rafael
    Zone 10b, Miami, FL

    Comment


    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      Its basically the same, but fertigation is the combination of fertilization and irrigation at the same time. It could be done with a hydroponic fertilizer, but any ordinary "over the counter", inexpensive, complete (macro and micro nutrient) dilute water soluble fertilizer can be used.

  • #5
    Thanks for getting this started Pete,

    This is exactly the same response I'm getting....not using fertigation..but periodic fertilizations.

    I'm using a blend of hydroponic growing medium and a micronutrient supplement, regular two week interval...and have started rooting cuttings with pro mix hp soaked in 1/2 strength solution, wrung out and left alone with the cuttings for 2 weeks....initial results are promising with Zidi, Pastilierre and a few more showing roots at 2 weeks...enough to consider transplanting to gallons...( I transplant when I see the roots actively growing along the edge of a clear 24 oz cup)

    The one problem I've seen is possibly too much nutrient and near burn....extremely light leaf color gradually changing over a two to three week period to a darker green. Leaf thickness is good but not until the third week after formation....varying slightly variety to variety. I may have been pushing the window a bit.

    Most varieties have responded well...UCR 187-25 is showing nice growth and VdB has jumped in there as well...notorious for slow growth.....ongoing

    I have lots of photos but size is an issue and I haven't come up to speed on the photo manipulation to post...except through a gyration on another site then here
    Last edited by rusty hooks; 07-12-2015, 06:26 PM.
    Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra

    Comment


    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      I dilute the fertilizer "charge" to 1/5 or 1/6 recommended strength, its similar to the dilute fertilizer charge that's added to commercially available Seed Starting Potting Mixes.

    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      The Windows XP ,MS Paint resize instructions... Paint is located in the Accessories folder...

      edit (open) photo with Paint, go to Image (drop down box), then Stretch/Skew, then to Stretch type 30% in Horizontal and 30% in Vertical (they both have to be the same %), then Save As a new name... you will have to decide on your desired file and photo size, 30% is just an example.

    • AmericanFigLover
      AmericanFigLover commented
      Editing a comment
      If you have Facebook send the pictures to yourself in a private message. It will be resized for the web and then you can download those images and upload here. That's what I do when my phone take pictures that are too big.

  • #6
    Ross,

    Thanks for commenting and sharing your results.

    I also use dilute MG All Purpose fertilizer solution to hydrate Coco Coir for rooting cuttings at ~1/2 teaspoon / gallon of water and have not experienced any "fertilizer burn" or adverse reactions.
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    I download my phone's pics to a file on my hard-drive then resize, rename and save the edited photos into another file with MS Paint software.
    Last edited by AscPete; 07-12-2015, 08:22 PM. Reason: added close-up photo of Vista roots
    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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    • rusty hooks
      rusty hooks commented
      Editing a comment
      MS paint......I'd be lucky if I had "MS pencil"...I'm still on XP...

      I'll see if I can find it somewhere here

  • #7
    Pete what if your cutting has only roots and no leaves?
    Zone 6a Orange County NY

    Comment


    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, as long as its dilute and doesn't cause fertilizer burn. I start fertilization as soon as roots start to form and even before, since I add dilute fertilizer to my rooting mix.

    • rusty hooks
      rusty hooks commented
      Editing a comment
      If there are roots...the plant is looking for nutrients....sometimes so busy it forgets to put up the solar panels...(leaves)
      Last edited by rusty hooks; 07-12-2015, 11:26 PM.

    • sal
      sal commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks guys..

  • #8
    I've got a BI-39 from Mike that has had roots for almost a month no leaves...rabbit nibbled nodes....We'll see just how strong Fig intent is... Pete...I'm not showing anything near burn on the newly rooted cuttings...just after up-potting them...

    What is amazing....short little cuttings newly rooted with less than a foot of growth...with figlets...some double sets
    Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra

    Comment


    • Taverna78
      Taverna78 commented
      Editing a comment
      Give here little kiss and put in full sun with little humid dome over top😉 I just had same as you.heavy heavy Rooted cutting no leaf or bud from day I originally made post I was giving cuttings away. I just now popped green buds out the sides.

    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      The other advantage of fertigation is that most of the nutrients are readily available, because they're already water soluble.

  • #9
    Hi Pete.
    Can you elaborate on the bottle setup that you have ?
    Can that setup work with a wick in the bottle?

    Vito

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    • #10
      If you don't use sips, how often do you feed your plants?
      Ray in Columbia, SC Zone 8

      Comment


      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        With or without SIPs the plants are fertigated or watered with dilute fertilizer solution whenever its needed. Usually when the containers are light in weight, which can easily be measured with a scale. I guess the weight and use color change of the mix as an indicator and only water with a specific measured amount of solution, for the 2 liter SIPs its ~ 6 - 8 oz of liquid.

    • #11
      Vito,

      The 2 Liter soda bottle SIP can be use with or without a wick since the cuttings stay in the containers for a very short period of time (very few fill ups). I originally made them with wicks as explained in this old post, http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=6685398 , but have since stopped using wicks.

      This link and diagrams have all the info for fabricating the wicked mini SIPs...

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/greens...57604735985648

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      Good Luck.
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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      • #12
        And here I just convinced my daughter to stop drinking that stuff....arggg
        Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra

        Comment


        • #13
          test....how about that...thank you Pete

          how about a smiley jumping up and down.....
          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
          Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra

          Comment


          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
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            You're welcome.
            Looks great, What is it?....

          • rusty hooks
            rusty hooks commented
            Editing a comment
            It's an unknown I'm on the track of... in an orchard possibly belonging to Luther Burbank....I'm thinking Laturulla or Lattorolla...that's a breba...I'll start a thread on the unknowns now that I have the tools.....I'm redistributing starts to all the neighbors of the tree...who have been eating figs off it for...maybe 50-65 years

            Thanks again

        • #14
          Thanks Pete.
          Vito

          Comment


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

        • #15
          I agree with your fertilizer program. Many years ago there were some people who fertilized with 1 large TBSP per gallon of miracle grow and killed some newly rooted cuttings but I've never seen a problem with 1/2 tsp (the small scoop) or less per gallon. You don't want to fertilize a plant that's gotten super dry - hydrate it first - but other than that plants do best with mild fertilizer. Personally, I want my plants with fairly close internodal spacing. Your first set of photos show plants that are lankier than I'd want them - I'd get them in more light more quickly. I like my plants to look like your second set of photos, particularly this one

          http://www.ourfigs.com/filedata/fetc...0&d=1436746040

          Originally posted by AscPete View Post
          [ATTACH=CONFIG]n28090[/ATTACH]
          Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

          Comment


          • #16
            Bob C,
            Thanks and Thanks for commenting...

            After a little trial and error, I've found that the 1 tsp / gallon is mild but effective, and is also the typical dosage that is recommended by many Hydroponic Fertilizer Manufacturers as a "seedling concentration". The 1/2 tsp / gallon is a little weak for my intended purpose of increasing internodal spacing, but is used for rooting cuttings.

            I actually want increased nodal spacing in the main trunk (new growth from the cutting) and scaffold branches for less restriction and increased vascular flow between roots and leaves. This sets up healthier growth for the scaffold branches (with increased nodal spacing) and the fruiting branches. The fruiting branches are where I want and need the closer nodal spacing.

            The 1st photos depict the "lanky" far spacing of a new main trunk and scaffold branches, the 2nd photo depict the close nodal spacing of a fruiting branch, which is removed (pruned) yearly.
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            Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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            • #17
              My results following Pete's recommendations:






              They had a bit of a 2 month hiccup from 114F root zone temps (fixed by moving from the deck to a heavily mulched area). The second pic, Pete, are the poor, newly potted up 1 gallon figs that I "ripped" from the ground. I hope growth isn't set back too badly. Thanks again for letting me pester you so much!

              Oh, been averaging a little less than an inch a day of vertical growth and some varieties have 14"+ leaves.
              Last edited by nepenthes; 07-13-2015, 06:50 PM. Reason: Added last sentence.
              Alma from Maryland 7b

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for commenting and sharing your results.
                It looks like your trees are off to a great start, and they have the entire summer ahead of them. With a little patience those young plants will be productive multi-branched trees this time next year.

            • #18
              I find I like a 1-2" (1.5" being just right) spacing between nodes. If the spacing is too short, the trees want to grow all twisted. If they are too long, the limbs want to droop.
              Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
              N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

              Comment


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

                I usually get the initial "growing" out of the way in the 1st and 2nd year when the tree is trained and pruned to shape. The initial long internode spacing of the main trunk and scaffold branches are "trained" in an upright position with bamboo stakes.

            • #19
              [ATTACH=CONFIG]n28515[/ATTACH] I’m getting great growth on around three-fourths of my recent fig cuttings to trees by watering them every second time with a diluted Miracle Grow solution, 1 tsp. to one gallon of water. I use the same solution as an evening leaf spray once a week on my slow growers like Figo Preto and some new eBay/nursery trees that are stunted. I also use Floralicious Plus and Grow Big as alternative feedings. The trees in one gallon pots especially need checking and water two and three times a day on hot days to keep them from drying out in the summer heat. They all get afternoon shade.
              I might add that the larger “bare root” fig trees (2-4 feet) that I started at about the same time are growing just as quickly and are making more figs than they should as new trees –I have to pick off more than I like so the trees will grow. The idea of starving the trees so they will produce more doesn’t sound right, at least early in the season.

              Here is a picture of three El Molino cuttings started last January. Two rooted quickly, moved to one gallon pots, had roots growing out the bottom, so last week I moved them to five gallon pots.
              The one in the front only made roots for around 2-3 months, no green growth, then sent up a little tree some distance from the main cutting. It's not over til it's over.

              You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
              Last edited by Altadena Mara; 07-14-2015, 08:53 AM.
              Mara, Southern California,
              Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for sharing the photos and info

            • #20
              Pete, how tall do you let the main stem of your plants get? How tall total?

              I like close internodal spacing on the main stem because every time I pot up I bury as many lower nodes as possible. That way there are a lot of nodes underground. When the plant dies to the ground there are a lot of buried nodes that survive so the plant can grow back quickly. If there are buried nodes that are alive the plant will sprout in mid Spring and probably bear fruit that season. If there's live stem wood but no nodes it usually won't sprout until mid July to late August and you won't get fruit that year.
              Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                Usually a little over 5' with at least 3/4" caliper.

                The cutting usually has several nodes and those are buried to form additional roots when up potting.

                Also I've started planting my in-ground trees in 3' deep holes and back filling slowly to encourage deep roots, but its still a work in progress.
                Last edited by AscPete; 07-18-2015, 08:38 AM. Reason: typo...

            • #21
              Your chosen fertilizer delivery system is easy to fixate on but its success is not based solely on its frequency or concentration.


              It's a delicate balance of nutrient availability, sun light duration and intensity, temperature and hydration.


              Cells have a desired shape to be structurally sound. Etiolation is the lengthening of a cell caused by excessive fertilizer and/or reduced light levels and gives rise to soft lanky growth that in extreme cases cannot support its own weight.


              I have found strong, densely formed cells to always support healthy future growth and to increase plant life span.

              I am not a fan of constant fertigation - the excess nutrients end up in the soil and ultimately end up in water ways.


              But it's great fun watching a 'nuked up' fig grow!


              Figster
              Ian

              Really happy with what I have.

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for commenting...
                Nutrient availability and excess nutrients are key words when it comes to increasing growth of fig trees with FMV infectection(s).

            • #22
              Many years ago, when I was still in Houston, I used a Dramm Syphonject (I think that's the name) to fertigate my trees. Otherwise, time consuming to feed 130 trees by hand. It attaches between the hose bib and the hose. There is a thin tube that drops into a bucket filled with fertilizer concentrate. It sucks the concentrate in at a rate of 1:16 (again, I think). I had to time how long I fertigated each tree. The system works pretty good. There are some concerns with it, but again, it beats hand feeding a lot of trees.
              Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
              N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

              Comment


              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                I remember that you had mentioned it last year.
                I'm only fertigating young trees and cuttings, usually only the 1st or 2nd season if needed to establish healthy main trunks and scaffold branches. I'm also only a backyard hobbyist with several dozen cuttings and less than 100 larger potted trees, a few pounds of Miracle Gro is all I need for the entire season.

              • Harborseal
                Harborseal commented
                Editing a comment
                Pete! You're doing this in moderation! (No wonder you're a moderator) You're not a real addict! (Imagine me pointing a finger and squealing here) (From invasion of the body snatchers, first edition)

              • eboone
                eboone commented
                Editing a comment
                Less than 100 = moderation???

            • #23
              If we are using fertilizers with different NPK values do we add those numbers together if we combine them? I have fish emulsion that's 5-1-1 and bio root that's 1-1-1 would that become 6-2-2 if mixed? Could be a stupid question I guess.
              Proudly Serving in the United States Armed Forces, 2009-2017
              Everyone should have a green thumb

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              • don_sanders
                don_sanders commented
                Editing a comment
                I think he is suggesting to use half of each rather than a full dose of each to get to that number.

              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                The NPK numbers are % of the ingredients per weight (Lbs)... When you mix solid fertilizers the total weight and percentages have to be calculated mathematically. For liquid fertilizers the concentration (liquid) has to also be included in the calculation.

                For me (gardener) its simpler to use the prescribed amount of fertilizer at recommended dose or some increment of the recommendation and regardless of the actual amount used the NPK ratios will remain the same. That's why it would be a 3-1-1 ratio and from most posted info it will have a ratio of Nitrogen that is too high in relation to the other nutrients.

                3-1-2 ratios and 2-1-2 ratios (along with micro nutrients) have been used successfully with fig culture.
                Last edited by AscPete; 07-18-2015, 08:48 AM. Reason: edited grammar

              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                Solid fertilizers...
                If you mix 1lb (part) each of 18-18-21 with 3-3-0 you will get 2 lbs of 10.5 - 10.5 - 10.5 NPK...
                If you mix 1 part of 18-18-21 with 3 parts 3-3-0 you will get 4 lbs of 6.75 - 6.75 - 5.25 NPK...

                Liquid fertilizers
                The same would apply to liquid fertilizers if they were combined after mixing at the recommended dosages.
                If you mix 1 gallon (part) each of 5-1-1 with 1-1-1 you will get 2 gallons of 3 - 1 - 1 NPK...
                If you mix 1 part of 5-1-1 with 3 parts 1-1-1 you will get 4 gallons of 2 - 1 - 1 NPK...
                Last edited by AscPete; 07-18-2015, 09:22 AM.

            • #24
              When I was fertilizing around 200 roses for rose shows every other week, I made up a fertilizer "brew" in a large trash can and attached the hose to a slush pump that was at the bottom of the trash can. The slush pump moved the liquid up and out the hose. I had a feel for about how much liquid to give each rose bush, counting to the same number each time, before moving on to the next. That way I was able to fertilize a lot of bushes in a reasonable amount of time. The slush pump also came in handy when the basement flooded.
              Mara, Southern California,
              Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

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              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                I mix my liquid fertilizer in a 5 gallon bucket and water with a 16 oz measuring cup.

              • chauqg
                chauqg commented
                Editing a comment
                Good Ideas, especially when the basement is flooded (8~).

            • #25
              I know you've mentioned that you have tried Maxigrow. What dose per gallon would you recommend? 1 smaller scoop that it comes with per gallon?
              Zone 6a Orange County NY

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              • AscPete
                AscPete commented
                Editing a comment
                The small scoop is 1 teaspoon, the same dose that I've recommended and the same dose that most of the hydroponic fertilizer manufacturers' recommend for seedling applications. The normal dose for the hydroponic Fertilizers is 1 teaspoons increasing to 1 tablespoon for older plants.
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