Jamin Grey wrote:Hi, first post.
I'm in Missouri, in zone 6A, and I've planted two figs a few weeks ago, which I'm sure will be doing an annual dieback + regrow, but will otherwise be fine (unless we get a particularly bad winter - then they might die entirely). It'd be nice if I can keep their temperature such that they don't need to dieback at all, though.
Jamin Grey wrote:@J Anders: Thanks for the link to the Fruit Walls. I've heard a little about those before, but that link went into much more detail and was very interesting! The serpentine walls in particular caught my eye.
Building a full wall won't work in that particular location; I guess I'm looking for something easier and cheaper that can help the trees that *almost* make it by not quite - the figs (which merely dieback), and maybe pomegranates.
At some point, I'll want to build a full greenhouse, and I strongly suspect lemons and other citrus will have to wait for that. =(...
@Mike Jay: I actually don't know if my *ground* freezes , but we certainly get below-freezing temperatures, averaging around 10° in January, and sometimes dipping quite a bit lower. The lowest I've experienced here after multiple years is -5° or so, but the historic record was something like -15°.
I would suspect the raised wooden beds (with bottoms open to the ground) are likely a degree or two colder than the surrounding ground, just because of potential wind-flow around them. Haven't ever measured it though.
What do you mean by "a backstop of cement"? Also, how could I use the heat of the earth?
My fig trees - like most my trees - have multiple t-posts about a foot away from them, so they can be supported using the "stanford tie" method. Most then have chicken wire wrapped around the tree (about a foot radius away) from t-post to t-post to keep deer off.
My "solution" for the figs this first year, just to ensure the plants survive since they were just planted, was to wrap the chicken wire, and up over the tree, with a plastic drop cloth, and to fill the chicken wire and up over the young 3'-4' tree with leaves. However, part of my issue is low maintenance.
I don't want to do this every year - it's only to protect it for it's first winter. I'll let it just die back in future winters. But.... if there is some "permanent" solution that doesn't add yet another annual task to my tasklist, I want to put in that labor - if financially cheap. I rather spend sweat than money, but prefer spending neither, and enjoy putting in up-front labor that provides long-term no-maintenance benefits.
Even if I can just raise the temp by 5°, that seems a worthwhile improvement, and if a particularly horrendous winter comes by, may mean the difference between life and death of some trees.
(I already mulch the trees, and have spiral white trunk-guards on them - which I check every year to make sure they aren't constricting them or accidentally holding in moisture)
Jamin Grey wrote:What do you mean by "a backstop of cement"? Also, how could I use the heat of the earth?
J Anders wrote:Why won't a full wall work at that particular location? Would a small greenhouse work? Clear plastic pipe over the trunk might make the difference? Anything you can do to make a micro climate would help.
S Bengi wrote:They die back to about 18inches (1.5 foot).
I throw a old chainlink gate over mines in the winter (1st snow). It bends the fig plant down to the dirt, others even add some leaf litter/stone/straw.
Come spring (April 15th-last frost), remove the weights and it will naturally correct its orientation in a month and then resume growth.
Some years I just let it winter prune to 18inches, other years I protect the Chicago hardy fig. But I always get to harvest and eat some fresh figs.
S Bengi wrote:This year I harvest my 1st bitter orange. Harvesting figs and 'orange-relative' fruit makes me feel happy.