Limited water is a huge factor. That's part of the root competition effect. I also hold back on fertilizer. I've applied almost none this yr. It doesn't take much pruning. It's much more effective to limit growth than to remove it after the fact. Some are on a trellis but that's more to hold the limbs in place than to support the fruit. Some is unsupported. That requires shortening of limbs to support fruit. I got about 12-15 good sized peaches off each tree in second leaf.
You won't be able to keep trees this small outdoors in NY mainly because you can't control water. You could do this size tree with a 15-20 gal pot.
When it comes to picking out greenhouses how do you determine height and width needs for most people? I’m thinking of growing high tunnel figs. I think the greenhouse even Unheated would gain me a zone and make fig growing possible. I’m not sure about how profitable it would be. Wanted to ask someone with a lot of experience. I do know I can sell the figs already because there is a market here it’s just a matter of me supplying what they can’t get now. I’m looking in Farmtek magazine now at frames. I purchase some things from Farmtek and find for farms they are very good. Here is some of what they have. I don’t have electricity by the ponds but I have unlimited water and I have electricity by the house but only rural water. I suppose I could catch runoff from the roof to use to water the figs. What are your thoughts?
I think for many people a 24x48x12-14ft tall would be a good size. Mine is 16ft tall and that gets a bit sketchy for us older folks.
My primary issue is I don’t see the profit in growing figs for fruit. You will need a heated greenhouse to avoid winter freeze injury. Heating to avoid critical temperatures will increase your harvest season.
Even clouds reduces fruit quality. They swell up and burst or just don’t taste as good. Fig fruit is too perisable to get my interest.
You might not have spider mite issues if it’s open, roll up sides, in summer. But organic isn’t as easy as it might seem. Other issues will arise with regards to fruit IME.
If you are serious I’ll discuss more. There’s a lot involved with the goals/climate/design equation.
Chilling and cooling depend on your climate and your goals. I’ve done both in a mild sunny climate. I can get 2000 chill hrs in winter where temperatures average 60/30F in winter. Summer is 90/65.
I use evaporative cooling, wet wall and large exhaust fans, for both. Throw in some shade where needed. But chilling in particular is all about designing the right setup for your climate.
Greenhouses are designed around your crop, objectives with that crop, and climate.
If I can keep a bunch of fig trees alive in the winter I can get a big harvest the following year. I suppose the easier way to do that is let them go dormant and store them in a large barn which technically should be warm enough to not let them die to the ground even in pots. I could then move them outside in the spring and get a big harvest because I’m starting out with years worth of wood already. Do many people grow figs like that?
I overwinter my potted figs in an unheated basement. I throw a flimsy blanket over top to hide them from any ambient window light. This helps keep them dormant through winter, and not wake up prematurely. They need to be watered at least once every other month. One winter, I neglected to water my potted figs (a hassle) and I lost half my collection (I was so pissed at myself). Lesson learned. Bone dry roots = equals death.
There’s an old man in New Hampshire who digs enormous pits by shoveling to bury his fig plants every autumn. Every spring he digs them back up. I’m talking like insane Super Mario style. There’s a video of it on the internet somewhere.
I plan on keeping several young figs in my greenhouse all winter to see if they will start producing through the winter or early spring. I am hoping they don’t need to go dormant to produce but I guess I’ll find out. @clarkinks why do figs interest you? Just wondering that’s all. If you are selling them maybe you could make preserves or sell the excess dried? Just a thought.
I think I can do both. I can grow figs in pots and store them in a shed in the winter and tomatoes in a high tunnel or greenhouse. Working out the details in my mind now because a buyer requested I grow them. They are willing to pay a substantial amount for them.