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2013 #82: Shh!! The Figs Are Sleeping

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 11-04-2013 07:30 PM 1331 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 81: ENGLISH CHESTNUTS FINAL TALLY Part 82 of 2013 series no next part

November 4/13

We’ve now had two mornings of freezing temperatures and the fig trees that had been clinging to their leaves finally let them all to the ground and it is time to put the trees down for their winter nap.

I really should have put them down to sleep on the weekend but it was a very busy time and the figs simply didn’t make it to the top of the priority list.

The In-Ground Fig Tree
The little fig tree, planted in the ground at the front of the house, got a temporary winter environment this morning. I wrapped it in several layers of burlap, tilting the little tree over, at the same time, getting it as horizontal as it could go without too much pressure. The weight of the burlap is, or at least “was”, holding it to the ground. I haven’t gone back out to check on it, as I’m now watching my grandson and he’s having his nap. After he goes home, I will go check in on the wee tree.

My plan for this “in-ground” fig tree is to bend it over horizontally (check!) and then cover it with a few layers of old carpet. I had the carpet all ready but after the furnace oil spill in the basement that carpet became a floor protector and had to be tossed out after it had soaked up footprints of oil. I did find another remnant in the shed and hopefully it will be enough to insulate the tree against the winter temperatures. I will then place a tarp overtop of the entire area—and, finally, finish the process off with crossing my fingers.

This little tree had frozen last year but sent up a new shoot in the spring so I’m hopeful that with these layers of blankets that it will survive again.

The Potted Fig Tree
This morning, my potted fig went into the greenhouse until I can get around to winterizing it. I decided that since it is still a young tree, with not too many years invested in it, that I would attempt an outside insulation strategy rather than hauling it inside and out every year. My plan is similar to the one above but it will have the added benefit of being inside the greenhouse. The plastic greenhouse, although still holding up fairly well, doesn’t have a door that closes. I’ve tried attaching a plastic flap for a door but it hasn’t stayed on. I will try again after winterizing the tree but I won’t count on the door as a source of protection. Perhaps I can find my giant tarp that I used to use for camping and cover the entire greenhouse with it – including the doorway. And then perhaps the tarp won’t get blown away during wind storms.

I’ll have to keep you posted.

2014 Update >>> http://gardentenders.com/members/MsDebbieP/blog/3930

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)



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MsDebbieP

14684 posts in 2689 days
hardiness zone 5b

gardening is a journey, a journey of learning how to connect with and support Mother Nature

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9 comments so far

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jroot

5081 posts in 2319 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 11-04-2013 09:01 PM

I wish you good luck with your experiment. I wonder what would happen if you added leaves to the tarp to provide extra insulation during those really cold nights we get here in zone 5.

Damp carpet can become quite heavy when damp. I wonder if building a frame to support the weight might be a consideration.

Many Europeans actually bury tree, keeping half of the roots in their initial resting place in the ground. Then tipping the tree over and burying it with soil. This provides the insulation needed, and we don’t have to worry about the weight of the carpet resting on unsupported limbs.

... just a couple of thoughts.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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MsDebbieP

14684 posts in 2689 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 11-04-2013 09:09 PM

I’ll be checking out Steven Biggs’ book for specifics.
I could dig a trench to bury it .. don’t want to have to do that
I could cut half the roots to lean it over.. don’t want to have to do that.
I could pack it in one of my raised beds.. an option …

I’ll keep you posted re: final details.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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jroot

5081 posts in 2319 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 11-05-2013 12:34 AM

... always interested in gardening “experiments”. This is how we test the boundaries, and work with Mother Nature to see what she will accept.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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MsDebbieP

14684 posts in 2689 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 11-05-2013 12:45 AM

I agree!

I had thought about using one of my raised beds that isn’t filled with dirt yet—but it is filled with so much other stuff and I have so little time available this week, I think it would be easier to create something new. I’ve been re-reading Steven Biggs’ book and am narrowing down the ideas.

I thought I was going to get time tomorrow morning to take care of my trees but it seems that I’m watching the little guy all day tomorrow so no time for figs!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MsDebbieP

14684 posts in 2689 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 11-05-2013 03:11 PM

I think the figs kept me up all night.
With just 2 hours of sleep I woke up and couldn’t get the fig trees (and other winterizing tasks) out of my mind. I think I got another half hour of sleep this morning. Crazy.

But, I’ve now been outside and completed “Phase 2” of the winterization.

The in-ground fig tree now has some pieces of carpet laying over top—not enough yet but it is a start.
The potted fig tree is inside the greenhouse, laying on its side. I pulled the branches together and wrapped them with some burlap and then covered the entire thing with an old foam mattress cover that I had saved for that “this could be good for something” project.
I still have some more protecting to do, but this is a good start.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MsDebbieP

14684 posts in 2689 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 11-05-2013 04:43 PM

OK. Phase 3

Remember this experiment?
Click for details

Well, I took the metal wires and created a “hoop house” over top of the mattress foam, leaving space for air circulation. I then pulled a tarp over top of the wire frame and then put more wires on top to hold the tarp down.
I have created a hoophouse inside of the greenhouse which should raise my Zone 5 up to at least a Zone 6.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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jroot

5081 posts in 2319 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 11-06-2013 01:26 PM

Interesting idea. I hope it breathes well so condensation is not an issue. I look forward to seeing the results, because, if it works out, I may try to have figs here again.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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MsDebbieP

14684 posts in 2689 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 11-06-2013 01:32 PM

We’ll see.
Crossing my fingers!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MsDebbieP

14684 posts in 2689 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 11-25-2013 10:54 PM

an update

the high winds we have been having have ripped apart the roof of the plastic greenhouse. The tarp I put up for the doorway is doing fine so now I need to get another tarp for the top.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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