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Starting Off Fig Season with a Bang

Hi there! My name is Ross and I am a fig educator with an unmatched passion for fig trees. I would like to invite you to join me on my fig-growing journey this fig season. If you’re new here or you haven’t already, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

If you love figs just as much as I do, help me accomplish my goal. To spread the joy of growing figs. In fact, some of you reading right now may have been inspired by me to start your own fig journey. Nothing in the world makes me feel better and liking my videos or subscribing is one of the best ways to spread that mission.

And for your own sake, my videos are a great supplemental guide to all of the information found here on the Fig Boss blog.

My latest video was filmed inside a commercial greenhouse which will be the home of some of my fig trees for the season. The greenhouse provides a perfect environment for my fig trees to grow, and the warmth helps to kick-start their growth.

In the video, I take you on a tour of the greenhouse showing the heating system, irrigation system, and potting benches that help maintain an ideal growing environment.

I am excited to share that a friend of mine, Chip, invited me to grow alongside him. He started a local seed company and I can't wait to see what he will grow and what tricks I can learn along the way.

Growing Figs in a Greenhouse

When it comes to growing fig trees, one of the most effective ways to extend the growing season and expand the variety selection is to grow them under plastic. Plastic-covered structures, such as greenhouses, provide a controlled environment that can regulate temperature for optimal growth and fruit development.

One of the biggest advantages of growing fig trees under plastic is the protection it provides from rain. Rainwater can easily seep into the fruit and cause it to rot or split just before they’re ripe, especially in humid climates. By covering the fig trees with plastic, you can avoid this problem and ensure that the fruits are healthy and intact.

Warm temperatures are another advantage for fig tree growth and ripening. Figs love heat, and warmer temperatures during the ripening stage can shorten the hang time, leading to better fruit quality. Under plastic, the temperature can be controlled to provide the optimal temperature for the figs, which can lead to earlier and better-quality fruit production.

Growing Figs under a Low Tunnel

Low tunnels are a simple and affordable season extension technique that can help extend the growing season for fig trees. These structures consist of hoops made of PVC pipe or other materials that are covered with a layer of row cover or plastic. Low tunnels can be constructed quickly and easily and can be removed when no longer needed.

Low tunnels work by trapping heat, which creates a microclimate that is more favorable for fig tree growth. By protecting the fig trees from cold temperatures, low tunnels can help to promote earlier growth and fruit production.

Using low tunnels can help promote earlier fruit production by what I’m hoping is two weeks. By constructing the tunnels in early spring, fig trees can wake up from dormancy earlier leading to earlier fruit production. Conservatively, fig trees can produce their first main crop fruits within a month after waking from dormancy, which can be as early as mid-April. This can extend the fig season and allow for a longer period of fig harvest.

I brought some of my one-gallon-sized fig trees into the greenhouse to wake them up early for the season and my larger five-gallon-sized fig trees will eventually be brought to another space, which receives full sun. This environment is ideal for their growth and I am excited to see how they turn out receiving this early head start and what differences I can observe with trees that receive sunlight all day.

Fig Tree Maintenance

In the spring, staking, feeding, watering, mulching, selective positioning, and pruning are all crucial for the growth and success of fig trees. I take all of these steps to take care of them properly to ensure the best results.

A quick fig tree maintenance checklist:

Protecting fig trees from late frosts is crucial. It's essential to consider the severity and duration of the frost, the growth stage of the fig trees, and the microclimate of the location before deciding whether to protect a fig tree from frost or not. If necessary, we can move or cover fig trees with heavy-duty trash bags, tarps, or nursery pots to protect them from frost damage.

Fertilizing fig trees is an important aspect of their overall health and productivity. The best time to fertilize fig trees is in the spring, just before new growth emerges or shortly after. A balanced mix of macronutrients and micronutrients is essential, including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, zinc, copper, iron, and many other trace minerals. We can supply fig trees with micronutrients through organic fertilizers, compost, or mineral-rich amendments.

Pruning fig trees in late winter or early spring is necessary to ensure healthy growth and high-quality fruit production. It's important to remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches, thin out new shoots, and maintain a well-balanced tree with an open canopy to allow sunlight to reach all parts of the tree.

Staking fig trees is an effective technique to improve their form and fruit production. We can stake the scaffolds horizontally to create more space for growth and sunlight exposure.

Watering fig trees during their initial growth phase in the spring is crucial. Keep the soil moist at all times to help them grow quicker, fruit more abundantly, and produce figs that ripen earlier.

Weed control is essential for avoiding unnecessary competition. Remove weeds by hand or apply mulch to prevent weed seed germination.

Spring is the perfect time to propagate fig trees through rooting cuttings, layering, or grafting. Make sure your temperatures in the soil or in the air (depending on your propagation method) are consistently reaching 78F for the best results.

Dividing fig trees is a propagation method that involves dividing an established tree into multiple smaller trees. It is best for large, overgrown fig trees or those that have been stool layered. The process involves carefully digging around the root system, gently separating the tree into smaller sections, and replanting them in a suitable location with good soil and sunlight.

When transplanting an established fig tree, it's important to choose a new location with ample sunlight exposure and well-draining soil. The best time to transplant is in the early spring or fall when the tree is dormant, and the new planting hole should be prepared with compost or organic matter before transferring the tree. Care should be taken to avoid damaging the roots during the transplanting process, and the newly transplanted tree should be watered well and supported with stakes or ties until it becomes established.

To plant a fig tree, one should choose a location with full sun exposure and well-draining soil. The planting hole should be twice as wide and deep as the root ball, and the soil should be amended with organic matter. The tree should be staked for support and watered regularly during the first growing season while mulch can be added to retain moisture and suppress weed growth.

Treating and identifying a common fig tree pest called scale can help improve your harvest and the overall health of your fig tree.

Root pruning container fig trees in late winter or early spring can be essential to prevent nutrient deficiencies and stunted growth.

Here are some additional articles regarding fig tree maintenance:

This article provides a comprehensive checklist for fig growers to follow for a successful fig harvest from healthy trees.

This post is dedicated to helping beginner fig growers along the way of their season. This will give you the information that you need at any point during your season, so if you ever get lost, you can figure out exactly the things you should be doing for your fig trees to ensure success.

I will also remind you of the fig tree maintenance video that was published recently. If you want exponential gains for your fig tree’s production and performance, I would highly suggest checking it out!

I have different types of fig trees in the greenhouse getting established for shipment, and they will be available for sale at different times. Stay tuned as some will be available in May, while others will be available in June or July and through the summer and fall for those that are interested in growing very special fig varieties.

We're Off to the Races

Growing fig trees can be a rewarding experience for anyone who is passionate about it. In this article, I covered the advantages of growing fig trees under plastic, which can regulate temperature for optimal growth and fruit development.

I also highlighted the importance of fig tree maintenance, including staking, feeding, watering, mulching, selective positioning, and pruning. By following my advice, anyone can successfully grow healthy fig trees and enjoy the delicious fruits they produce.

As always feel free to subscribe to the Fig Boss monthly newsletter for more fig-related content like this.

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14. März 2023

This is so inspiring! Let's go!

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I'm Ross, the "Fig Boss." A YouTuber educating the world on the wonderful passion of growing fig trees. Apply my experiences to your own fig journey to grow the best tasting food possible.
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