In-ground zone6 fig unprotected

A thread for zone 6(or colder) in-ground figs with unprotected fruit production…
Figs that often don’t die back z6 unprotected?
Figs that die back yet dependably produce zone6 regrowth?
Unprotected zone 6.
Or if you did protect in-ground zone 6 or colder, what did you do and did it help?
I cant wait to see what my young plants do the next few years…, wanting to hear some inground success stories. :slight_smile:


I have been able to get a VDB and Hardy Chicago to come back in ground by either burying them or making a fort. Last year I made a fort by stacking sand bags around them, stuffed straw in the center and then covered the whole thing with a tarp. You can also bend them down to the ground and cover with mulch and a tarp.
I almost forgot I am in zone 6B


Even here in zone 7 it is complicated. Variety has less to do with hardiness than the current growth condition, trees that grow late into the season are much more vulnerable to cold damage. Variety does play a part in that, but so does water and soil fertility, perhaps a much larger one. Also, a more refined branch structure that limits growth is a benefit, young trees (or older established trees that were pruned hard or froze back the previous winter) which are growing primary trunks are much more vulnerable than those with existing secondary branches. It is important to protect young trees for as long as you can, until they have gotten too big to manage, and protecting some young flexible growths after that by bending to the ground and covering is a good insurance policy.

Generally the varieties that do best in cold climates are those which are precocious, early ripening and do not grow excessively. Hardy Chicago and the many synonyms known as Etna types are famous examples which can produce a smaller late crop the year after freezing to the ground, and also Florea.

Also, ultimate winter lows are not the whole story either, as fig trees can be killed to the ground in zones 8 and 9 when a cold snap hits them when leafed out. Temporary frost protection with row cover or a tunnel will not only help them enter dormancy without damage but also extend the harvest. When they receive gradual cold and fully enter dormancy they can withstand single digits or maybe even sub zero temperatures for short periods of time, but wind is also a factor.


Zone 6 none.

So there isn’t much we can do to encourage lignification/dormancy on in grounds but do you ever let the weeds go later in the season thinking competition encourages shut down?

There may be some plants that could slow them down late in the season, but I’m not sure what, maybe cool season grasses would work. I’ve got a few that are planted in mint, and that seems to slow them down some but mostly just early in the season so I haven’t seen any improved lignification and they seem to set figs late. Deep tillage in late summer to prune some roots and dry the soil is something I’ve wanted to try but never have.

I’ve read claims that potassium silicate (products like Pro-Tekt) can encourage earlier lignification, maybe enhance cold tolerance. Wonder if there’s any truth to this?

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