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  • my new fig garden

    My wife and I live in a small suburban neighborhood that was built right after WWII and we do not have a ton of land but a couple years ago I dug up half the front yard and planted a vegetable garden (3 beds that are 3' x 15' long). Our front yard gets full sun and is ideal for things like tomatoes and garlic. My wife has been telling me since then that I needed to do the other half of the front lawn so it would be symmetrical. So today I put 3 beds on the other side of my front walk that a 3' x 15'.

    Seeing this was a new garden area I double dug all the beds. I usually double dig new beds and then double dig a few beds a year depending on the last time they were double dug.

    Here's a link to double digging:

    http://www.growbiointensive.org/Self_Teaching_2.html

    The plan is to use 1 or 2 of the beds to partially plant my potted figs next year. When my potted figs are larger and I have adequate backups, I may plant some in-ground.

    Here are the photos of the operation in progress. Overall, it went much smoother than previous garden beds on my property. If you have ever dug in New England soil, you'll know that I was extremely lucky to only have filled one 5 gallon bucket full of rocks. Sorry about the last photo being so dark, it took me all day to complete the work. Everything was done by hand.
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 7 photos.
    Last edited by fitzski; 12-11-2015, 08:37 PM.
    Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

  • #2
    Looks like a lot of work Kevin!!! Where are the work lights? Get busy, the figs aren't going to build their own raised beds!!!
    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

    Comment


    • fitzski
      fitzski commented
      Editing a comment
      I was planning on doing this next spring but it has been very warm for Dec here in MA and the ground isnt frozen yet. Major work is done now, just need to amend the soil, plant winter rye and cover in straw.

      Going to be a little stiff tomorrow. Nothing a few Advil can't cure though

    • COGardener
      COGardener commented
      Editing a comment
      I feel your pain my friend, I spend a lot of time doing the same. I'm lov'n the awesome warm weather!!!

  • #3
    Oh wow, that looks great! That's alot of work...
    Zone 7a in Virginia

    Comment


    • fitzski
      fitzski commented
      Editing a comment
      But it is all done now and I don't have to do it next spring

  • #4
    You're much better than I am! We have so much clay out here, I build my beds up. This year, I'm going to smother the grass with bags of topsoil then till it up in the spring.
    Zone 7a in Virginia

    Comment


    • fitzski
      fitzski commented
      Editing a comment
      I have clay here but probably nothing compared to what you have in VA.

      When I build my beds I 'fill' the trenches with partially composted leaves and then start the next row. The leaves slowly decompose and add organic matter to the soil. They also attract worms and other things good for the soil.

      I also adds lots of lime as my soil is pretty acidic to start with.

  • #5
    Here are some pictures of my fig garden now. Unfortunately my wife has started frequently asking "how many fig trees do we have?"

    I still haven't counted so I truly don't know

    Attached Files
    Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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    • #6
      Just keep hiding them behind the tomato stakes
      Hi my name is Art. I buy fig cuttings-so I can grow more figs-so I can sell more figs-so I can buy more fig cuttings-so I can grow more figs....

      Comment


      • fitzski
        fitzski commented
        Editing a comment
        I have 15 tomatoes so I may need to double or triple the number of tomatoes to hide all my 1 yr olds in the GH

    • #7
      Kevin they look amazing!! All your hard work has truly paid off! How many trees do you have there partially buried?

      PS Love the fact that you still haven't counted your fig trees! Haha!! I made that mistake and mentioned the number in front of my boys.. Now they tell everyone we run into that I am obsessed with fig trees and have 188 (which I don't even have that anymore lol) of them.. Garnishes all kinds of weird looks.. So Stick to your plan of not counting them lol
      My Plant Inventory: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...HZcBjcsxMwQ7iY

      Rooted Cuttings Available 2021:
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...fxsT1DuH8/edit

      Comment


      • fitzski
        fitzski commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, Jamie.

        I think there are around 30 or so partially buried. They are a mostly 2 or 3 yr olds. A couple are older than that. I hoping they do better partially buried. Time will tell.

    • #8
      That looks great!!!
      Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)

      Comment


      • fitzski
        fitzski commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, hope your garden looks good too.

      • hstark
        hstark commented
        Editing a comment
        It's looking better every day! I'll take some pix tomorrow... I even have a few teeny figs on my new trees!!

    • #9
      Originally posted by COGardener View Post
      Looks like a lot of work Kevin!!! Where are the work lights? Get busy, the figs aren't going to build their own raised beds!!!
      lol
      Shailesh, Pennsylvania, ZONE 6B

      Comment


      • #10
        Lots of hard work and it looks great. GOOD JOB!
        Shailesh, Pennsylvania, ZONE 6B

        Comment


        • fitzski
          fitzski commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, Shailesh. They're doing much better now that they are partially buried.

      • #11
        Wow--they look fantastic!!!!
        Zone 7a in Virginia

        Comment


        • fitzski
          fitzski commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, Sarina. They are much easier to water now.

      • #12
        Nice job. Congrats.
        Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

        Comment


        • fitzski
          fitzski commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, Jerry. How are your figs doing this year?

        • jmaler
          jmaler commented
          Editing a comment
          Kevin, my 2nd year figs trees have been a really pleasant surprise for me. They are growing so much and a few have a few figs. The few cuttings I managed to root this year are finally starting to take off and the nine airlayers I took are growing well.

          Thanks for asking.

        • fitzski
          fitzski commented
          Editing a comment
          That's great to hear, Jerry. I'm hoping for some figs from my 2 yr olds too.

      • #13
        Looks great !
        I keep seeing a greenhouse over the whole space.
        Have a lot of double digging in my past. Certainly a great way to start things off.
        Kerry - NH zone 5

        Comment


        • fitzski
          fitzski commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, Kerry. It's funny you mention th GH, i have thought about having two rows of in ground figs and putting up a temporary GH/hoophouse to protect them in the winter.

          Did you recognize any of them? Most of the two year olds are from cuttings I received from you ( mbvs, scott's black, nero 600m, jh adriatic, conadria, etc.)

          Thanks again for the great quality cuttings.
          Last edited by fitzski; 07-04-2016, 04:56 AM.

      • #14
        Looks very good. I wish I could do something with my front yard. We have HOA restrictions though, so no front gardens. I wish I had your acidic soil for my multiple in ground blueberries. Do you have any planted?
        Houston, TX Zone 9a

        Comment


        • fitzski
          fitzski commented
          Editing a comment
          I have 1 inground fig but over the next few years I plan on putting 3-5 more inground. They'll have to be early ripeners like rdb, mbvs, florea, and my workhorse hardy chicago.

      • #15
        beautiful job and gorgeous figs. the only straw we have here is huge rolled up horse feed straw. since it is cut out of fields that have weeds, I really don't want to go that route. does anyone have feed back for using cyprus mulch, which is what i use around my citrus trees and in landscaping. don't know where i can get bales of straw.....

        Comment


        • fitzski
          fitzski commented
          Editing a comment
          I think next year I'm going to use pine wood chips instead. Even though its straw some weeds seeds come with it.

        • SarinaP
          SarinaP commented
          Editing a comment
          Here in VA you can get straw for $3/bale at Lowe's. Home Depot is more expensive, about $9/bale. I didn't have any weed problems with the straw I bought--I think it's a seasonal thing for people to cover up their grass seed with in the spring.

      • #16
        Nice!
        Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

        Comment


        • fitzski
          fitzski commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, Don. How is your garden/orchard doing?

        • don_sanders
          don_sanders commented
          Editing a comment
          Pretty good. Thanks. I finally got the last of my cuttings out of the house and out of cups. I still have a handful to get into 5 gallon containers but most are where they are going to stay for the summer. Figs everywhere, hehe.

          I should get to try several varieties this year with some already ripening on a few that don't know what time of year it is.

          Really looking forward to next year as I think I'll have plenty of figs ripening.

        • fitzski
          fitzski commented
          Editing a comment
          i'm in the same boat, Don. I have a bunch of new figs that i'm going to try this year but probably double that number in 1 yr olds that I'll have to wait until next year to try.

      • #17
        You can buy a bale of straw at any Animal Feed store, it's basically horse food. One bale lasts me the entire year for just mulching potted plants. It does grow weeds sometimes, but easy to pick out of pots. This year, I planted sweet potatoes to help control weeds, since they grow fast as hell and spread along the ground widely shading everything. So far, it seems to be working pretty well.
        Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)

        Comment


        • #18
          helen that is a great idea do you get tubers fitz i am leary of pine bark because of termites here and the pine bark beetle

          Comment


          • fitzski
            fitzski commented
            Editing a comment
            Oooh, yeah. Adding more wood that would attract termites or other local insects would be bad.

            Straw (not hay) has worked ok for me so far. Hope you find something that works well for you.

          • hstark
            hstark commented
            Editing a comment
            Well, this is my first year trying to grow sweet potatoes... so I don't know yet! But whether I get tubers or not, I don't care. I really just wanted the ground cover for the summer, and they are doing that so well in the section I've planted them, that I think I'm going to dig some up to plant all over that fence bed this fall to keep the weeds out.

            Sweet potatoes would be a GREAT bonus, but the low and very fast growing ground cover is the big big help here! I hate weeding! hehe.

        • #19
          Looks really good Kevin.
          I think there are a lot of us trying the partially buried pot method. Looking forward to hearing the results from fellow growers. So far mine seem to be growing well but they have only been sunk in the ground for about 4-5 weeks
          Ed
          SW PA zone 6a

          Comment


          • fitzski
            fitzski commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, Ed. Mine have only been in for about 4-5 weeks too.

            I do notice that I haven't had to water them as much. I'm hoping for other benefits too.

        • #20
          Kevin,

          The garden looks like it progressing quite well. Congrats!

          Its been my experience that after the mains have been established partial burial also requires summer pruning / tip pruning of the fruiting branches to slow excessive vegetative growth to ripen more figs before fall.
          Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

          Comment


          • fitzski
            fitzski commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, Pete.

            Yes, i plan on giving many of the fruiting branches a trim this weekend.

            Hopefully that will help in the ripening of some of my 2 yr olds.

          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            Yup, same here...
            Started tip pruning / summer pruning / pinching fruiting branches this past weekend.

        • #21
          helen I was wondering if the sweet potatoe vines tilled under this fall would add nutrients you know like clover ground crops that farmers plant?

          Comment


          • #22
            Hi Joyce... good question, I don't know for sure... but anything that is tilled under should help the soil? I think you can eat the sweet potato leaves too, but I haven't tried that.
            Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)

            Comment


            • #23
              On the issue of partial burying, I am a big fan. I have quite a few 5 gallon buckets partially buried and once the roots find their way out of the pot they keep going. You will see this when you dig them out. Quite a cardio session it is.

              Comment


              • fitzski
                fitzski commented
                Editing a comment
                thanks, Coop. Glad to hear about your experience with partially buried pots.

                One of the figs partially buried is a Dominick Italian which has little figlets on it. I'm hoping they ripen this year.

            • #24
              "how many fig trees do we have?"
              LOL I hate that question! I keep saying.."It's a selection process, I don't plan to have them all when I'm done". Then I get the follow-up of.."When are you going to be done?". And I say "I'm not sure, as I said it's a process these things take time".

              Nice work, I love doing that kind of stuff.
              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!

              Comment


              • fitzski
                fitzski commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks, Calvin. I hope you don't mind if I use the whole "it's a selection process, i don't plan to have them all when I'm done".
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