Kim Goff wrote:Hi Nicholas
I actually have my outdoor figs along the south side of my house about 6 feet back from the foundation where they get morning sun and some heat off the house. I believe that has helped them when we’ve had -6 degrees here.
It took them 2 seasons to start producing but I bought them as small 1 foot plants.
I’ve not had as much trouble with gray squirrels (none with birds but I grow berries) but opossum, raccoons and flying squirrels get after them at night, even that close to the house. The flying squirrels have been an issue before figs were fully ripe. The other critters just at the tail end of this season as multiple figs ripening rang the dinner bell for their little noses.
Sometimes just turning on a light or walking out and talking runs them off for a few hours. Don’t recommend that if the raccoons are aggressive in your area though. Mine here tend to be fearful of humans.
Some use Christmas lights for critters. I found that a string of the solar blinking fairy lights that cycles through different patterns worked very well to keep opossum out of one of my alpine strawberry beds. This was the first year I had such critter pressure with figs so I will be ready with blinking trees next harvest. They’re only like $9-10 on eBay.
If I am harvesting daily it gives the critters less to damage.
We have European hornets here, and they really got after my figs too. They are huge, 2 inches long but so far not aggressive to me ( but they kill bees and butterflies so I try to eliminate nests when I can find them) and they do stick to the fig they have pilfered before biting another unlike the flying squirrels, that leave bites in several ripe and unripe figs in a sitting if they are available for their tasting.
Hope this helps!
abbie kruse wrote:Perhaps someone here has some experience with this, and advice to share...
I’m in Zone 6b, and am trying to care for an approx. seven year old Chicago Hardy fig at a local community garden. I’ve only observed it for the past two years. So far, it has been unprotected in the winter, and died back to the ground each year. The vegetative re-growth has been extremely vigorous, a circle/crown of unbranched canes shoots up 10-12 feet. It doesn’t produce fruit. In trying to figure out why, and how to correct that problem and get some delicious figgy goodness, I found lots of conflicting information online- fruiting on current season growth vs. previous year growth... Finding out now it’s complicated with figs! With their multiple crops and whatnot...
I’ve read about other people having the same problem (no fruit) but also a couple reports of the first year re-growth fruiting but not ripening by first frost.
At this point, my best guess is that each year, the energy our fig has stored in the roots is all going to vegetative growth each spring, and could have been redirected to fruit by pinching the terminal leaf bud of each cane after it grows to about half its usual height?
Yesterday, in preparation for single digit F temperature, we did some winter protection to try to keep at least part of the canes alive, hopefully giving them a head start on veg growth for spring. I’ve learned that with figs, though, longer periods of not-so-extreme cold and wind are worse than short extreme drops in temperature, and noticed yesterday that the tops of the tall canes already appear dessicated.
I’m torn now between pruning the canes back to encourage new growth at comfortable harvest-level (assuming having a head start on growth will help it fruit) and just letting the winter prune them... What i’m thinking is that if I prune them myself, the cuts may be injurious, but it would be easier to fully cover and protect the remaining stems.
Any help/ideas would be greatly appreciated.