Here’s how we overwinter fig and cocktail pumelo (sorry, couldn’t resist). A brutal 74F here today.
Comments like that could result in a barrage of snowballs from the north.
And it’s still arctic here in So. Calif. compared to our clients in Congo and Uganda, here they are suffering through another brutal winter.
Do figs work in those parts of Africa?
Where’s the “dislike” button?
As a side note, when you search for “things you cant grow in hot climates” google auto-corrects it to “things you can grow in hot climates”.
There’s a lot of things that CAN grow there that aren’t. Figs is one, persimmons are another. Haas avocados are also unknown, even though there are tons of other avocados. “Low chill” stonefruit like Florida Prince peach and Panamint nectarine could also probably do well. We’re doing what we can to fix that, as Congo and Uganda alone could feed all of Africa. The fresh fruit and vegetable markets there would break your heart.
Do I need to open the top and install a bucket over it? Right now the top is closed and am worried about rot. Is it necessary to use a tarp that breathes, not that I’ve ever seen such a tarp… Thanks.
Nice! Wow, your grass still green.
@hambone this is what I’ve done with mine. Top is open and I have a bucket on top. This is the first year I’m trying to overwinter figs so I can’t tell if this will work or not. I do take the bucket off on dry days.
Thanks for that photo. Hmmm. Guess I’ll try the bucket = maybe sit it on a pole that leaves space for water vapor to come out even with bucket in place.
Steve do you have leaves or something (bubble wrap I don’t know) inside the tarp?
What you want is dry organic material such as leaves or mulch and then completely surround it just as you have with a tarp so it’s shut.
You’ll always want mulch (a foot or so) ground up and then when you wrap the tarp around you’ll get airflow going up from the bottom. You don’t want to pin the tarp flat to the ground so air can’t get in. It looks like you did it right.
Thanks Dax. Yes- right now the top of tarp is closed, bottom of tarp is not pegged down. I have mulch up to 24 inches high inside the tarp, then just burlap around the tied up top branches.
To get airflow don’t I need to open the top of the tarp and hang bucket over it?
No you don’t need to open the top. In fact, you want it closed. You’ll get all the air exchange necessary from the bottom, Steve.
I would recommend that next time you fill the burlap with dry leaves or other. And the plant(s) should always be dry when you prepare them for winter.
Thanks Dax. I’ll do it better next year. The fig was not completely dry when I tarped it, making note for next year.
Maybe if we have a dry stretch above freezing I’ll open the top to dry it off some and then close up the top just before freeze is predicted.
@Barkslip Does it matter if my poly tarp does not “breathe?” Canvas would breathe but is not waterproof I don’t think.
Nope, your tarp doesn’t need to breathe.
You know a lot of people bend their figs over to the ground and then dump a bunch of leaves or organic matter over them and hold that all down with clearance bags of potting soils and composts either on a tarp or reflective insulation… both of which don’t breathe.
My buddy has a plastic square tub he puts over his fig after he piles leaves over it and then puts big rocks or potting bags or whatever on top it it.
All the same principles.
Here is a 48 inch x 50 ft roll of aluminum foil backed bubblewrap on Amazon. The 48 inch width potentially means less stapling pieces together for winter fig tent depending on height of your figs. Scott says this protected his 7a figs down to minus 2 degrees F without dieback. He says to flatten out six inches of the base flat on the ground and secure with lots of ground staples plus bricks, rocks to discourage chewers.
I love aluminum insulation. I have rolls of it on hand all the time. It’s much preferred to tarps, Steve.
In you 7a you probably do not need organic fill inside but it surely wouldn’t hurt.
It’s real easy to take care of business by putting a cage around the plant after you’ve tied all the branches together (if necessary) and simply wrap the cage with insulation and overlap the insulation and use Gorilla tape to hold it together.
For the top staples will be great I’m sure. It’s a lot easier to work with a round cage. I still suggest you mulch a few feet up.
Thanks Dax!. Still figuring all this out so that next year will be easier. I’m 7B just discovered and winter so far has been mild. Unfortunately all my mulch is wet, soaked because I didn’t figure out all this winterizing stuff in time early December. So would be worried about rot from wet mulch. I’ve got a cage that would work, thanks for that tip plus Gorilla tape- I like that and can get it tomorrow at my old time hardware store.
Yup. Absolutely ideal combinations for you I do believe.