So you just bought a fig tree…Here’s a quick post about how to plant it and a few links that could be helpful.
PLANT YOUR TREE IN THE GROUND
Its best to plant a fig tree after the threat of frost passes (around mid May) or in the Fall. First, dig a large hole 1-2 feet wide and deep. Mix a high quality lightweight soil with the native soil; composted manure is great too. Set fig tree 2 to 4 inches deeper than the root line. Plant, if possible, a few feet from your foundation on the Southeast corner or some Southern exposure. Press soil firmly around the roots and water. Do not apply fertilizer at planting time. From my experience, figs are unusually adaptable plants so don’t worry about getting it perfect, the trees going to grow and after two autumns you’ll be eating your first figs.
Do I need to wrap my fig tree in the winter?
I don’t…and they seem to produce tons of figs…Some people do. I think everyone has to decide for themselves. I feel like its an extra maintenance step that I don’t have time for in the fall! But please decide for yourself, I think its a personal decision. :)
Alternatively, it can be kept in its pot outside, but there is some risk of the roots freezing. The bigger the pot, the better chance of growing awesome figs…
I want to plant my fig tree in a pot, will it live through the winter?
First off, make sure the pot is as big as possible. I would recommend 18-24 inches wide. Some folks keep their potted fig tree after it loses leaves usually in late November, in a cool space like an enclosed porch or sun room or garage…And then they bring it back outside in May. This is a probably the best method. Others bury the entire pot in the ground. I’ve done this and it works great. Its obviously some extra labor but does an effective job at insulating the roots from freezing. I have also just left some potted fig trees outdoors which is the riskiest option. I would consider wrapping the pot with burlap and covering the soil with compost or dead leaves for some extra insulation and hope for best. My next door neighbor did that last year with a Flatbush Dark in a 24 inch pot and it survived.
I’ve heard that figs like their roots contained?
I think their is some truth to this, but for the record, I’ve never followed the advice below because for me its too complicated. I DO think that a potted fig tree, or one that has its roots contained, will fruit faster. Read what is written below with a grain of salt, for me its too dogmatic.
According to the UK Telegraph:
"It is essential that the roots are contained and not allowed to spread. Left to its own devices, the tree will make vigorous growth at the expense of a good crop of fruit. There are two ways to restrict the root run."
Grow the tree in an (18in) diameter pot
Alternatively, plant into the soil at the base of the wall where the root run is restricted to a planting pit that is (2ft by 2ft) and (2ft) deep. Dig the hole directly in front of the wall, bearing in mind that it involves a lot of digging and several barrow-loads of soil.
Line the three open sides of the hole with (2ft) square concrete paving slabs stood upright, so, with the wall, they form a (2ft) square box. Add (6in) of broken bricks or clean stone to the base of the hole for drainage.
For the full article, go to this link.
When I have fig related questions, I like to ask people on the figs4fun forum http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/ which is a friendly and very knowledgeable group of fig growers.
I can also be emailed directly at flatbushfigfarm AT gmail.com.