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  • Advice needed for fig pops

    Hi everyone,
    I am trying fig pops for the first time​​​​​ and I need your help on what my next steps should be for the fig pops shown in the picture below. I have more than a few fig pops growing and my goal is to up-pot them in April so I can put them outside after the first frost in zone 7 in Virginia. Half of the fig pops have roots with green vegetation growth, and those are currently under grow lights, and the other half are rooting in a dark box with no visible vegetation growth.

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    I have a few questions below and would appreciate your thoughts.

    I don't have a lot of space, so I can't up-pot these figs until April when I can do it outside.

    * How should I determine if they need more water?
    * How much water should be added?
    * Should I remove the rubber band and open the bags?
    * Is there a greater risk of the figs dying if I keep the fig pops in their bags from now until April?
    * Should I consider trying to make the figs go dormant until the spring? I have a room at 55 deg f I could put them in.
    * other considerations?

    Thank you fig community!


    Northern VA, zone 7a/7b

  • #2
    i took a few rubber bands off of my fig pops and it seems to be ok. That would make it easier to water. Also i see no problem putting them in a room at 55 degrees. Would slow the growth down till spring.
    Independence Louisiana Zone 8B

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    • #3
      Thanks Nick.

      So maybe I should move mine to a colder space now to slow the growth, I am curious how long I can keep them in the bags with the tops closed before I need to water them. I don't want to overwater since that is sure to kill them as I have found with other methods.
      Last edited by Figs4All; 01-20-2020, 07:24 PM.
      Northern VA, zone 7a/7b

      Comment


      • #4
        Definitely need to pay attention to this thread. I have been considering starting a bunch of fig pops (partially to try them out - would be my first time) and leaving them in my garage until April-ish. The garage stays above 30 (I believe) and so I wouldn’t expect much growth from them. That’s where I currently have two cuttings which I rooted back in November. Could maybe start them now, move them to my sunroom in March, and then up-pot them outside around April.
        Central, GA - Zone 8a
        Wish list: Yellow Long Neck, Lattarula, Italian 258, Black Madeira

        Comment


        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          It will be interesting to see how your pops progress. Please consider posting to this thread and we can follow each others progress.

      • #5
        Check the frequently referenced topics sticky at the top of the forum, there's some good information on fig pops. If the soil is moist at all, leave it alone. If it absolutely starts to get dried out, use an eye dropper to put in a tiny tiny amount of water. Too much and you'll rot the roots.
        The problem with fig pops for the long term is there is not a lot of soil medium, so it can be unforgiving. I did like it the one time I tried, but I wouldn't want to try and keep a bunch of cuttings alive for a long period of time in a small plastic bag.
        ​​​​​​Once you get good roots, I'd get some small pots and put them into those. I save the veggie seedling pots and often use those as the next step up if they are not quite ready for a 1 gal pot.
        Jason. San Diego, CA - Zone 10A

        Comment


        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for that. I do think some are changing color on the bottom of the bag, and looking more dry. Also, would you leave the bottom of the bag as is or cut slots for drainage? I am thinking of adding just a little water as you mention and leaving the bag closed on the bottom.
          Last edited by Figs4All; 01-20-2020, 08:46 PM.

        • JCT
          JCT commented
          Editing a comment
          I wouldn't cut a slit, you may let gnats in. Poke holes like SubmarinePete mentioned

        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you

      • #6
        Mid 60's and good lights will keep them growing slowly, but they will continue to grow. Not sure trying for dormancy is a good idea given their young and still tender state.

        You will need to begin watering an adding some water soluble fertilizer soon. And the bigger the root mass gets, the more frequently they'd need watering. They look great right now, though!

        “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
        – Chinese Proverb
        MA 5b/6a

        Comment


        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you. When I start to water them I would probably open the bag and would you recommend cutting the corners off the bottom to let them drain or only use a small amount of water using an eye dropper?

        • ginamcd
          ginamcd commented
          Editing a comment
          I've never used figpops, but i have rooted in cups using coir. Once they have a well established root system and are past rotting danger, they start to get watered more frequently just until run off, so drainage is needed. At that point I was also adding 1/2 strength water soluble plant food with every other watering.

        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          That makes sense to me. Thank you.

      • #7
        Originally posted by Figs4All View Post

        I don't have a lot of space, so I can't up-pot these figs until April when I can do it outside.

        * How should I determine if they need more water?
        * How much water should be added?
        * Should I remove the rubber band and open the bags?
        * Is there a greater risk of the figs dying if I keep the fig pops in their bags from now until April?
        * Should I consider trying to make the figs go dormant until the spring? I have a room at 55 deg f I could put them in.
        * other considerations?

        Thank you fig community!
        Personally, I wouldn’t try leaving the cuttings in figpop bags until April. I just use the figpop for growing roots. You could water the figpops but I would just move them to a treepot with 5-1-1 or similar potting mix and water the treepots as necessary. 4x4x9 tree pots don’t take up a lot of room if that’s what you’re worried about. I usually move mine out of the figpop before they need water. If they do need water, I poke holes in the bottom and water from the bottom, but you could use the top if you wanted. I also wouldn’t lower the temperature yet. I’d let them get established before considering that. You might not need to lower the temperature. I’d just wait and see how fast they grow. Mine usually grow pretty slow until I put them in larger pots in the greenhouse.
        Fairfax, VA; zone 7a

        Comment


        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there in Fairfax VA. I am in Alexandra Va. Thanks for your advice. I suppose tree pots could be an option and I could expand my grow light set up. If I did this next year I think I would start in February and keep the cuttings in the fridge until then. Then I could go directly from the fig pop to tree pots in April without opening the bags or watering. Lesson learned.

      • #8
        They look great now. I failed miserably at my first figpop try. Just got them too wet and I had to 'up pot' sooner than I wanted to. They're all still hanging in there, but 1 of the 4 have stalled for over a month now and a second one has some weird peeled bark on the stem, (I've got a thread on that one elsewhere on the forum). You have some good tips to try so I wish you the best of luck raising those babies to trees.
        Tony. Pickens county, SC zone 7B
        WL: Azores Dark; Brooklyn White; Dominick; Florea; Golden Riverside; Napolitana; nothing I can't pronounce!

        Comment


        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you, Otis. yes, these are some great tips from everybody. I have had some failed attempts at a few methods and suffered from up-potting and watering-in woes. I read a lot about fig pops before I tried this and learned from AscPete posts about how much water to add to the media initially. He suggested a 5:1 ratio of dry media volume to water volume, which seems to be a sweet spot. I am experimenting near that ratio. I am at a tricky spot now. I believe my eagerness had me start too early, and I should have kept the cuttings in the ice box until January or February before starting fig pops. But I am curious to see where I end up with these figs. It is an opportunity to learn more and experiment, which is the spice of life.

      • #9
        Here’s what I’ve done in the past with figpops like yours. We took a toothpick n poked four holes in the very bottom of the figpop bag,(where the bag sits,2 holes on each side of the seam in the uline bags)) every 2-3 days I would use a container like a large plastic measuring cup from the dollar store, place water in the measuring cup and place the uline bag in the water for 30seconds to1:00 minute,Look at how much water is being allowed in the bottom of the uline bag. (You will see the potting medium darken with incoming water) not much 1/8 inch,easy way to water uline bags figpop with roots. Very small amounts water every 2-3 days. I only allow my fig pops to have morning sun or indirect light in zone 5b in our house.No lights n no heat mats.when the uline bag is filled with the roots,we up pot them.oh, my medium for my fig pops,is the 5-1-1-1-1 that ASC Pete recommends for potting medium. Good luck,Mike
        Last edited by Mike51050; 01-21-2020, 09:46 PM.
        Wish List: i258,Bi-39, LaRadek's, Bornholm, Sodus Sicilian,English Brown Turkey type trees,Any early ripening n cold hardy fig tree

        Comment


        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks. I am liking the bottom watering idea. SubmarinePete also mentioned this. It delivers moisture to the bottom of the bags which is dryer - that seems efficient. Also, the top of the bags could remain closed.

        • Mike51050
          Mike51050 commented
          Editing a comment
          Update,on the amount of time to submerge a 1 month figpop with roots in a measuring cup for bottom watering is 10 -15 seconds,which allows Approximately 1 ounce of water into the bottom of the figpop.Use your judgement for the amount of water you allow in the bottom of the bag.

      • #10
        I’ve had some T/C figs from Wellsprings on eBay still in their bags for over a year,but they don’t grow fast,you could introduce low levels of fertilizer also,but they will take off on you. I’m also interested in Bonsai,MikeClick image for larger version

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        Wish List: i258,Bi-39, LaRadek's, Bornholm, Sodus Sicilian,English Brown Turkey type trees,Any early ripening n cold hardy fig tree

        Comment


        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you. It is good to know the fig pops can be left for so long. Interesting pictures. It looks like you are training the one in the tree pot with wire. What shape are you wanting to end up with?

      • #11
        The more there’s a larger mass of roots,it’s easier to up pot.When you cut your fig pops bag from the bottom n up one side to up pot the root mass holds your medium in place to up pot. (Just like Ben’s youtube video on fig pops)The only exception would be medium such as DE,that tends to fall apart sometimes (that could damage your fig pop roots). That’s why my fig pops medium is the same as my growing medium. But different medium works for other people.Mike
        Wish List: i258,Bi-39, LaRadek's, Bornholm, Sodus Sicilian,English Brown Turkey type trees,Any early ripening n cold hardy fig tree

        Comment


        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks. The more roots the merrier

      • #12
        I've been using a weight ratio of 1:1 dry media to water. This works well to get the figs to "pop". Adding more water, after about 10%-20% weight loss, has been a real problem with many figs lost. I don't know what to advise, except to be careful about overwatering, and treating gnats quickly if you see any. Not too much light or heat. May the force be with you !
        Northern Arizona, zone 8a (micro-zone 9)

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        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the advice. I am very concerned about watering. I am planning to water from the bottom and will use a scale to measure how much is addded and keep track of the figs health. Maybe 10 grams to start out with.

        • Rico891
          Rico891 commented
          Editing a comment
          10g of water sound about right, If you don't have holes in the plastic and there isn't much evaporation, you may not even need 10g. I tried soaking my pops in a large glass of water for 5 - 10 seconds. It was too difficult to control the amount of water. Injecting water through the plastic maybe the way to go -- but ONLY if water is needed !

        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          I watered some of the dry pops by poking holes in the bottom and weighing them before and after. It is difficult to control the water flow so I had to keep putting the pops on a scale. It seems to be working well so far. Thanks for the advice.

      • #13
        Look on ASCPete profile,he recommends, if you use pro mix 5 parts ,Calcined clay 1,perlite 1,small pine bark 1, and rich mulch 1.he also recommends 5:1 ratio 5 parts of medium to 1 part water for fig pops medium. Mix it up so when you grab a handful of the medium it looks like dog dodo, the medium will hold together,but will fall apart easily. If water squishes out of it in your hand it’s to much water. Works for me everytime. Sometimes other brands of Sphagnum moss will need more parts to get the needed texture.Seriously it literally feels and looks like a dry dog dodo. Lol,Mike
        Last edited by Mike51050; 01-22-2020, 02:09 PM.
        Wish List: i258,Bi-39, LaRadek's, Bornholm, Sodus Sicilian,English Brown Turkey type trees,Any early ripening n cold hardy fig tree

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        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          AskPete posts have been very helpful. I am experimentimg with similar ratios of growing medium to water.

      • #14
        Click image for larger version

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        Wish List: i258,Bi-39, LaRadek's, Bornholm, Sodus Sicilian,English Brown Turkey type trees,Any early ripening n cold hardy fig tree

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        • Mike51050
          Mike51050 commented
          Editing a comment
          Right now I don’t have a nat problem,but I have 1 pad right buy my figpop bins

        • Figs4All
          Figs4All commented
          Editing a comment
          Good to know this works well. Thanks!

        • ginamcd
          ginamcd commented
          Editing a comment
          These will trap adults (and are a good early warning signal), but if you start seeing greater numbers on the traps, you need to start treating your soil. Each adult gnat is capable of laying over 200 eggs which will hatch in about five days. So for each adult on your sticky trap, you potentially have 200 larva that will soon be feasting on your roots. Look into BTi products (not just BT).

      • #15
        Hi everyone. Thank you for all your advice. I am going to try many of your suggestions. Up pot some, water from the bottom for some, etc. I am also going to try banana grafting per the post below which I am very excited about.

        https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...ock#post699684



        Last edited by Figs4All; 01-25-2020, 09:11 PM.
        Northern VA, zone 7a/7b

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