Cold hardy figs



I just sampled a couple of Black Jack figs. It is a keeper. There are 20 more varieties to sample yet before Winter. Here they all are in pots.



Yep, looking good Clark.

Clark I would rip 2 x 4’s in half. Cut one end like a pencil for driving it in the ground. Probably (3) in the back and (3) in the front and (3) on each side. That’s not (9) upright beams but a total of (8). Higher in the back and lower in the front to allow for water and snow to run down after you build a top.

The only thing you need to allow for is that the slope of the top is consistent for the rectangular top to attach to. I wouldn’t use hinges or and hardware at all, but instead build a rectangle with a board down the center to make it rigid. I’d use screws to screw it to the upright supports.

Use furring strips to hold the plastic on. The top is removable with probably (8) screws and has its own plastic top. Allow for extra plastic to drape all sides of the top. After you have the plastic on the sides held in place, put the top on, screw it in place and when you want to over winter it for good for the rest of winter, add a few more furring strips to hold the draped plastic in place over the sides. It should be a relatively inexpensive project if you rip the 2 x 4’s instead of using full boards. I’d probably allow for 18" of drape.

You’re building something like this basically. I’d suggest you use a line level so the rectangle you build sits flush on top and to screw in place.



Those figs look delicious. I’m looking at the ones in the back in the yellow colored pots. I kept some in pots this year which worked out well. There is never enough figs for me.
Great idea! That looks like a fairly inexpensive design and I like it but I wonder if I used 2x4’s and didn’t rip them down I could double the plastic and leave 4 " of air for less heat loss. This is the concept discussed Something else I could do but that would be expensive is using panels


Have you seen cattle panel greenhouses? It looks fast, cheap, and easy. I don’t remember the height… TexasPrepper2 on YouTube has good video on building one. Careful though, his voice is addictive.


Will check that out. Thank you!


I use white Dura Skrim Clark. One layer is all you need. One application will last 10-years or more.

Whether you rip the 2 x 4’s or not is a money saving idea. Do add a perimeter around the structure at ground level that’s flush with the posts to secure your plastic/dura skrim or whatever you choose to use. That’s something I overlooked.



Most lumber yards sell 2x2 which would be less dangerous than ripping 2x4.


Do you go with the 20 mil duraskrim? That’s the heat shrink material that you tighten up with a blow dryer correct? Is there a supplier you would recommend? The lumber likely won’t cost much. My other question is when you screw the furring strips down do you do that after the plastic is full shrank into place? What do you prefer for heat? I’ve built similar structures before and have noticed 2x2" framing is easier at the corners.


I use 6 mil Clarke.

I use white because in the Midwest vs. say the Pacific Northwest, it’s sunny here nearly all of winter and you’ll cook plants in smaller shelters like what you’re going to build. You still will need be diligent about opening that up during warm stretches come late winter toward spring. On a very cold January day with full sun you can expect temperatures in there to be 70-degrees.

I’ve never messed with trying to keep a solitary tree warm with say Christmas lights. That’s what most people use. If you don’t have power there, one thing you can use are painted black drums filled with water that heat up during the day and give off heat thru the night. The other thing I like a lot is reflective insulation. Put that on the ground. Trying to run a small heater with a thermostat will work but it really racks up electrical bills.

My hoophouse is non-heated and the plants are up off the ground. I’ll lose occasional plants but for the most part it works great. My greenhouse I set the heater to kick on at 34 degrees all thru winter. Even it being 16’ long and 6’ wide, I see winter temps at or above 70-degrees on sunny days. That’s when it’s 0 degrees. It’s pretty well the same for 20 degrees and on the coldest days of winter at -10 I can still expect a sunny day to bring the temperature to 40-45 degrees. It faces south, is an attached greenhouse, plus the entire top of it is fully shaded because it’s directly under my deck.

Some things for you to think about there. I agree about the 2 x 2’s. Versus ripping you’ll probably only add 10 cents to each board or a total of 20 cents, for example. That’s a good idea. Your perimeter at the base should at least be a 2 x 4 though.



Thanks Dax great information!


You bet, Clark.



The last of the figs that will have a chance to ripen. Been a great year for figs!


Is the Bekaa one better or the non-Bekka one(from Bass?)?
Bekaa valley is 55-59F average in winter. I guess some try it in colder region?


I have heard people say both are good figs, but the Red Lebanese Bekaa from Marius is perhaps the tastier of the two.

One of the novelties of Lebanese Red Tripoli from Bass is its purported ability to generate enormous-sized breba-crop figs.


I agree with Matt. All my figs have to tolerate 25 f and all do so far. I can’t say how well they would do in the ground? Also Bekaa is more prolific, at least for me. I like this plant a lot.


Thanks, Bekka seems better and more people have it too. I would rather have tasty figs on a prolific tree than a big breba.


Mine had Breba but I think they all fell off, I had a late freeze. Noteworthy were Valle Negra and Unk Teramo for not losing breba. Last year I loved Unk. Teramo, but this year I was not impressed.The breba was fantastic though.


This hot weather is good for the figs. I’m getting ripe figs that might not of made it here.

My Tiger Panache tree is doing a lot better with the disease this year. I think it’s because I planted it in the ground.


Guess I might have spoke to soon on them being done!


You have had fig heaven this summer!