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  • Update to a question about varieties to put in ground

    Awhile back I asked for opinions on which trees I should put in ground if I had to just pick one. Well, the landlord stopped by this past weekend and we talked about some landscaping, and she apparently LOVES figs. She agreed to let me plant a little hedge of them, so long as I kept them in check. I'm thinking up to 5 varieties. I'm on the border of zone 7b and 8a, with typical low temps around 10-15ish once or twice a year, and an average low of ~30 in the winter. Sorry in advance for those who think this thread looks oddly familiar to one I posted a month or so ago.

    Here are my criteria:
    -Can survive my winters
    -Can produce well on a medium sized plant
    -Will produce by 2nd or 3rd year
    -A mix that produces a long season is a bonus!

    Here are the varieties I'm still debating on after narrowing the list a bit:
    -MBVS *going in ground for sure*
    -Nero600m
    -LSU gold
    -Smith (Thanks Chris!)
    -Champagne (Thanks Chris!)
    -Ischia green
    -Barnisotte
    -Ronde de Bordeaux
    -Violet de Bordeaux
    -Excel
    -Adriatic JH
    -Alma
    -Black Mission
    -Brooklyn White
    -LSU purple (in its 4th year in a big pot already...that'll take a serious hole to plant!)
    And not sure how it affects things, but I'm looking to acquire Stella at some point this winter, so I guess Stella goes on this list too, potentially.

    As a bonus question, when should I plant these guys? I'm thinking early spring? I don't want to do it now, since so many of them have good green growth that a good frost could kill.

    Thanks for the input!

    Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

  • #2
    Based on my limited experience furthet north, RdB and Adriatic JH are a must!
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

    Comment


    • #3
      "Survive" can mean different things. Are you going to cover the inground plants or protect them in some way? Are you going to prune them back yearly to a size that can be covered or protected? Or are you going to let the tops freeze many winters and chop off the dead parts in the spring? If you are not going to really protect them well in ground, then you should focus on just those that reliably fruit after dying back, since that will happen many winters.
      I don't have the experience to suggest varieties myself yet.
      Ed
      SW PA zone 6a

      Comment


      • #4
        Hardiness is debatable in my opinion. I say this because all of my unprotected in-ground trees die back every year, but come back and produce figs so it's hard to say which is more hardy.
        Here is what is/was in my yard and produced figs after die-back.
        • Longue d' Aout
        • Carini
        • MBVS
        • LSU Gold
        • Dark Portuguese
        • Atreano
        • Bari

        Frank ~ zone 7a VA

        Comment


        • #5
          Good suggestions above.

          In my experience, while given your zone, your best bets would be multiple Mt Etnas and Late Bordeauxs, also Brooklyn White.

          The lone Mt Etna on your list is MBVS. The two Late Bordeauxs on your list are Nero 600M and Violette de Bordeaux.

          I would also try, especially if you are willing to bury over winter some low limbs with mulch: Ronde de Bordeaux and Adriatic JH, also Champagne. LSU Purple could work too, again, especially if low limb protected. Just going by what's on your list.

          If at all possible, come next winter, I would suggest pinning down to ground and covering even with a mere inch or two of mulch as many flexible low limbs as possible of all these varieties. It's a hedge anyway, perfect for bushy sprawl that can be shaped come summer if desired. And the hedge ground could be transformed/sculpted modestly or greatly into a raised mulch bed with wood chips or leaves or dirt or whatever looks nice. Even a small amount of natural/organic covering over pinned low limbs could make a world of difference over winter.

          Don't know about any root and bark chewing rodent issues you might have there, but in my experience mulch can protect while keeping the bushes semi-exposed to the elements in ways that rodents sometimes don't like and won't bother with. Sometimes, at least. Put rain-proof covering over anything and you create a nice dry shelter for rodents to happily munch up the bark and roots thereby killing the bush. My experience, at least. Protection from killing Arctic temps combined with exposure to the other elements can help protect from killing rodents. The mulch will then work wonders in other ways come summer, alleviating both the hunger and thirst of productive bushes.

          No sense subjecting them to an unnecessary winter if you don't have to. Planting in spring, if well done and well tended subsequently, should result in a good year.
          Tony WV 6b
          https://mountainfigs.net/

          Comment


          • brettjm
            brettjm commented
            Editing a comment
            I like this alot. Great advice, and greatly appreciated. I know that 6-8" of mulch can go a long way towards protection, and I'm willing to try my best with it. It should also help a little that I'm in a low lying area, relatively. We sit down in a bit of a valley...not too deep, but it should help with the wind a bit.

        • #6
          Brett,

          -MBVS *going in ground for sure*
          -Nero600m
          -Champagne
          -Adriatic JH
          -LSU purple (root prune while dormant to a manageable size rootball)


          -Smith (alternate to Adriatic JH)
          -Ronde de Bordeaux (alternate to Nero600M)
          -Brooklyn White or LSU Gold (alternate to Champagne)

          The cultivars are chosen for their distinct Flavor Group, but I have to echo Ed B's comments about surviving the winters since most fig tree branches cannot survive extended exposure to temperatures of 10*F - 15*F.

          Spring Planting is fine, I prefer to transplant in late summer, but continuous watering is necessary.
          Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by eboone View Post
            "Survive" can mean different things. Are you going to cover the inground plants or protect them in some way? Are you going to prune them back yearly to a size that can be covered or protected? Or are you going to let the tops freeze many winters and chop off the dead parts in the spring? If you are not going to really protect them well in ground, then you should focus on just those that reliably fruit after dying back, since that will happen many winters.
            I don't have the experience to suggest varieties myself yet.

            Tops will probably freeze. I may baby one or two with some caging/insulation, but I don't want to have that hassle with all of them.
            Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

            Comment


            • #8
              I don't have any first hand experience in ground but these are ones I was thinking about putting in ground some day. I would certainly have to provide protection.
              Adriatic JH (Late Ripening) Adriatic Berry
              Ronde de Bordeaux (RdB) or Malta Black Bordeaux Berry
              Marseilles Black VS Dark Berry
              Brooklyn White (Mid Ripening) Honey
              LaRadek's EBT (English Brown Turkey) Sugar
              Danny's Delight sweet mulberry juice mixed with sweet Pomegranate juice per Bob Harper
              Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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