Perfect fall

Fall has been great, no Artic freezes, easy on the plants and trees. Finished 2 more large potted figs in good size holes. Start bending limbs to grow low and horizontal. When temps drop in the mid fifteen, I,ll cover them with leaves till March, depending on the temps, maybe sooner to clear cover.
This is just one out of 8 possible failures, Artic freezes in October, happen far too many times.


We haven’t been any colder than 23 yet.

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The mild fall really helped all my trees harden off well. I’m hopeful they will have the best chance to withstand the winter weather.

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Still no big freeze. Garden this morning…


Snowiest fall I ever remember here near St. Paul.

I was a perfect fall except for 36 hrs below freezing with a low of 20F on Oct 27, a month ago. For the third yr in a row our first freeze toasted the outdoor figs. Frozen to the ground, again. It also froze my pecans on the tree. The shucks are frozen shut. In 2018 our first freeze of 17F in late October was the coldest temperature of the entire winter. Where else can you match that?

But thanks to my wonderful greenhouse I’m in my 7th month of harvesting marvelous main crop figs. There is nowhere in the US that can match my greenhouse for perfect figs for that length of time.

So despite a sometimes crappy climate this is a great place to grow fruit, if you have a greenhouse.

It was a nearly perfect fall. None stop sun. And only 3 inches of rain so far this yr. I didn’t mow most of the yard even once. It was basically none stop sun all year.


So have you not begun chill hours for your stone fruit yet this year?

I started chill yesterday. This is the first sustained cold of the winter. We were 80 or above 10 days in Nov.

How does the fig production rate vary over those seven months? I presume it’s much heavier earlier than later.

That depends on how well you can control growth. If you could maintain moderate growth into September then you’d have heavy production the whole time. I hold back on water trying for mature wood for early cuttings. That cuts off growth early and reduces the late figs.

If you just grew figs and managed for a long season of fruit you could do six months of heavy harvest every yr. More if you want to heat more during the cold season. Right now I’m headed into 60 days of chilling for stone fruits. And I probably won’t heat much in spring. That should still give at least 5 months of fig harvest next yr.


So you’re implying the fig trees don’t have an internal clock. Their behavior can be totally manipulated by the way you treat them. Interesting idea. I wonder how far you could push it before you’d start seeing bad consequences. How would the trees do if you did not allow them any annual rest but kept the heat on uniformly all year? Tropical figs do well under those conditions, but how would temperate figs do?

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I can’t afford to heat enough to find out. It’s too cold for 2-3 months to be worth the effort. And even thou we gets 75% sun all winter the short days won’t produce good figs if I heated to 70F all winter. Plus I want to grow other fruits. It just makes sense to work with nature not against. Five months of figs is enough. I’m going back towards what I was doing, grow fruits that ripen all yr long. Citrus, mango, many stone fruits, grapes, blueberry, blackberry, persimmon and many more. I got away from those in order to sell fig trees. It’s time to start back.


Crazy out here too. We’ve finally got some cold this week, no shortage of wind though.