In 2011, I purchased a “Hardy Fig” at a local nursery, kept it on the deck for the summer and brought it inside for the winter. I kept it just in my hallway, treating it like any other house plant – not knowing that there were “fig strategies” that I should be following.
Figs don’t mind some cold temperatures but not “Canada cold” so they need some special protection for winter months—- as well as the opportunity to go dormant! So treating them as a houseplant over winter isn’t a good plan.
In 2012, I purchased another fig tree so that I could do some experimenting.
Fig 2011: would be brought indoors again for the winter, stored in a cold room
Fig 2012: would be kept “in-ground”, planted on the south side of my house.
Fig 2011: looking good and this past fall, I laid the plant onto the ground, covered it with carpet and plastic for the winter http://gardentenders.com/members/MsDebbieP/blog/3803
Fig 2012: I thought it had died after the winter but a new shoot shot up and it, too, looked fantastic in the summer. Rather than digging it up, I bent it over onto the ground and covered it with carpet and plastic for the winter.
And now for 2014
Today is a BEAUTIFUL day and Rick and I spent most of the morning outside pruning the huge fruit trees in the front yard. Two years ago the plum tree was somewhat compact and covered in blossoms. Last year the tree grew in leaps and bounds and produced just a few blossoms. Since the tree was too huge for harvesting from the ground, I decided that I would do a severe pruning on it this year and bring it back to manageable size—hopefully it will like it and again be covered with blossoms. Now if Mother Nature will just cooperate with the plan.
(oh and on a side note: something dug up my little golden dogwood tree – just in the past couple of days—and it was doing so well !!! This is two years in a row that this has happened. I thought I had it protected this year. Hmph… I think this time I will just grow it in a pot for a couple of years and then transplant it.)
Ok.. back to the Fig Story.
With winter being over (I am confident that the severe weather is now over – my goodness it has been a cold winter), I thought I’d peel back the carpet/plastic blanket and take a look at my fig that is “in ground”. (there is still snow in the backyard so I can’t get at my other fig yet).
With winter blanket off, this is what I discovered:
Alive and well … the blanket worked!! YAHOOOOOOO
So now what .. still too cold, I think, to keep the tree out in the open, so I made a little tripod and wrapped the plastic around it. (I should have tied the fig tree into a vertical position – I will do that this afternoon).
I left an opening at the top of the plastic so that it doesn’t get too hot inside.
Now .. is this enough? Will it get too hot? too cold? too …. something I haven’t thought of?
Crossing my fingers!
Oh and here is the other surprise I found when I pulled away the plastic blanket. The flowers were hidden behind the covering. I am glad they were able to find their way to open air!
-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)