I am interested in growing my many fig trees in pots of some sort, partly so I can move and protect them more easily for cold weather, partly so I can move and rearrange them, and partly in the hopes of increased yield as a result of others on the forum indicating that they experienced such. I could try and source leftover landscaper’s pots in the 5 to 10 gallon range, but I am wondering if buying grow bags (preferably in brown, so they are less obtrusive to the neighbors) would actually be better. I do have some concern as to whether the effective lifespan of the grow bags will be sufficient for my purposes. Would y’all please chime in and offer up your experiences and suggestions for my situation?
I’m not a fan of the grow bags. They work great and you should get several years out of them. The problem I found with them was the roots sticking to the material when you try to get them out. I had to cut the material and peel it off the root ball.
Grow bags are just not going to be very sightly and will become less sightly as time goes on. I would not want to move my grow bags after moving them and tearing them when I moved them. The animals will tear them apart over time making them unsightly which is why I say they will get more unsightly over time even if they stay in one spot. I have found the handles to not be very effective since they brake when moving them with the weight and wear and tear of weather. They are good for a raised bed situation or a potted situation where you are not planning to move them or plan to just move them once. They are nice for perennials that can overwinter outside as my perennials have come back every year in them opposed to dying off like in my terracotta pots. In fact my zone 6 plants have now survived a -15,-10 and -8 three days in a row outside so some could argue they have heating properties.
Are you suggesting that you might get higher yields from potted figs than in-ground figs? Surely not! No matter how large pots I used - including 1/2 55 gallon drums, my potted figs never got even 1/2 as large nor produced 1/2 as much as my inground figs of the same variety
Here in our maritime area most folks grow figs in pots, It sounds a bit nonsensical, but the suns heat creates a warm spot around the potted roots creating the impression that fruit needs to ripen faster, so the fruit responds accordingly. One friend gets the best out of this and also lets the deeper roots penetrate into the soil to support the larger tree production. In your area you have enough heat to ripen figs, but here that’s not true, so you have to trick the tree into thinking it needs to ripen faster. Otherwise the main crop gets wasted by the early winter!
OK, now I understand. I sometimes forget how different all our growing conditions are. Here I really hated my potted figs sooo much. I had to water them almost every day, they never got very big (compared to in ground) and never produced very much (again, compared to ground). Eventually I decided that whatever advantage I got from hauling those darn pots inside in the winter just wasn’t worth it, especially since my older in ground figs would come back - even if killed down to the ground- enough to produce a decent crop the same year. And they only get killed to the ground about once every 3-4 years. So here, pots make little sense. But you guys aren’t here!!! haha. Thanks for explaining.
BTW…I’m scared to ask, but did your wild plum I sent you come back this year? How is it doing? I feel bad about not sending you more this year…we can try again next year if you want. You would pass out if you saw the land around my wild plums this year. For like a 10 foot circle around my now-established wild plums, it is basically just a whole carpet of suckers coming up!!! There are hundreds if not thousands. I’ll be mowing them like grass!!! It wouldn’t do any good to let them grow for you now because they will be way to big by fall, but I can let some go around July or August if you really need some next year. I’ve taken on a 2nd job in my private life so I was and am insanely busy this year, but I’ll give it a shot next year if your lone survivor isn’t making its own suckers by then.
the fabric pots need more water than regular pots! like terra cotta they breathe and the water can get out through the fabric.
I have put two figs in these this year. I usually grow all my potatoes in them, and chamomile, and olive treed (they like it dry). so the fig growing in them for me, just started.
the trees I have in them are olives, and are doing as well or better than standard pots. I’m assuming figs, which like a bit of dry weather before harvest, will be the same.
I move my pots twice a year: once onto a wagon to get them ready for the sun, then to the ground outside. then in fall I do the same putting them back in the hoophouse.
I don’t drag them much, and usually stick cardboard under to use as a “sled” if I’ve got to.
I figure if they start to come apart they are fabric and can be sewn or patched. I’ve got one that I plan to take apart to make a tall pot out of by adding another on the bottom to get a potato tower pot out of it and I’ll post when I do that, maybe make a thread. I’m not the best at sewing, might improve my skills
Exactly why I have so many grow bags. I started with plastic pots but realized even a 40 gallon plastic pot would take up my entire car. Shipping was insane due to size and weight. I was looking at 300 dollars shipping 4 years ago when shipping was far lower. With 40 or even 100+ gallon grow bags free shipping and 23 dollars on Amazon and you may even get two for that price. Heck you get labels for the amount too. Like I said above not a bad deal if you are using them like a moveable raised bed. For pots to be moved just not a good idea. Like I said you could move them once to a few times but you are not getting away with moving them too many times. The entire point of them is they are a cheap pot that air prunes plants.
Actually out of the group, Kevin I have one survivor!
The others may not make it as there is nothing green above ground but you never know when the live roots I planted may get ready to grow!
Meanwhile I am continuing to build variety of my wild thicket with Wild Goose, beech plums from PA an and Long Island, seeds from WI and MI, and some scions from Rio Grande valley. So I have a bit of everything so far among my three other local natives. Someday I may begin to see some cross breeding as they mix up pollens. Yes, do count on sendin me some of your best scions as much variety as you have this winter. I am fascinated by the prospect of so many millions of years of evolving species coming together in one spot! Here is my one survivor of your rootstock, a start! First mason trying to visit your flowers someday! Do you think yours are Chickasaw or some other variety?
I think the grow bags are designed to degrade over a few years. some last longer than others. I bought some from A.M. Leonard and they are suppose to last 3-4 years. I bought them to put tomato plants in. I have horrible soil where I need to grow them. It is the only place that gets enough sun in my yard.
I have container gardened for a long time, and have fabric pots that are years old (they’re pretty ugly looking though). They do root prune nicely, but they also will dry out very quickly in hot weather. The mix I use is light enough that I can move 25 gallon pots that are partially dried out pretty easy on my own (I’m female), so that’s an advantage. I have yet to have a handle snap. They will break down fast on the ground versus a hard surface like concrete or asphalt. My figs are currently in plastic pots because I wanted to be able to clean them off and bring them in my house, which I would not do with the fabric ones because they get so gross, at least in my climate. I hope that helps. I do feel plants grow really well in them.
@thecityman, it was most certainly not something that I had considered as being beneficial to increasing the fruit yield of my fig trees. It was reading the experiences of others that led me to consider the myriad possible benefits to myself. Here are a selection of those responses:
I use a mix I got off of gardenweb eons ago…5 parts pine bark fines, 1 part peat moss, 1 part perlite, and then garden lime unless you are potting an acid-loving plant, can add controlled release fertilizer, as well. It can be hard to source the pine bark fines although since you’re in Ohio like me I can suggest a few places if you decide to go that route. The advantages…light, extremely well-draining, roots just love it; everything I pull from it to up pot is beautiful…lasts a long while without compaction. Disadvantages…if you can’t source things easily it can be pricey and/or annoying, and it will dry out even faster especially in fabric pots in high heat. I honestly have not tried anything else, though, so I am not sure if it is the best or just something that works.
@Buckeye, on the subject of pine fines, I’ve had an interesting theory that I’ve been considering: when I received the trees that I ordered online, I chose to repot them with my own blend of potting mix. Many of them had a large quantity of pine fines in the mix that the vendor had initially used. There were many fine roots, some of which were holding on to the pine fines. However, instead of thinking that this is a good sign, I am wondering if the presence of these fine roots is actually a cry for help, a signal that the soil is not providing what the tree is seeking. I have predicated this consideration partly on the large quantity of fine roots that I’ve seen developed when people post pictures of the fig cuttings that they have rooted in Optisorb or similar diatomaceous earth.
Maybe this is a good method for speeding the growth of many roots, then to be transplanted into better soil. Would anyone care to weigh in on this subject as well?
I can say that I have grow bags from 2020 when I first started growing in grow bags. They are a bit beaten up by animals but still in tact. The animals target the spots without soil to rip up. Tearing will not happen until you move it so my pots are not struggling that I had not moved. If moved I am sure there would be wear though. Most mixes will be very similar for pots. It will be a mix of peat moss or coco coir as a growing medium then perlite or vermiculite for drainage components, fertilizer for food then some will add things like worm castings or pine bark as they see fit. That is basically going to be everyone’s soil mix. In regards to pine bark being hard to find bark is really easy to find at least where I am. Home Depot sells bark as mulch.