Last year I planted a row of Figs ( a mt. Etna type ) in my
un heated high tunnel 10 ft apart. Pruning to 2 upright shoots.when those shoots got like 3 ft tall, I bent them over , and tied them , in opposite directions,to a piece of pipe ,6 inches off the ground. Running
the length of the row,
So , the plant came up 6inches and then layed flat ( tied to the pipe)in opposite directions. Soon after this ,most of the buds along the flat part started to grow upright, all along that flat stem. A few Figs last year ( their first year in ground)
Late fall,- early winter before it got really cold ,I cut those uprights off at 2 buds. So like November , the whole row was just over 6inches high. Along the whole length of the pipe.
At that point I covered the row with large pieces of cardboard, and remay row cover frost blankets. May be 3 ft wide along the whole row. Fairly easy to do ,really. Putting a few moth balls and rodent bait underneath for good measure.
It got close to 0 deg. F in side high tunnel this winter.
In spring when I uncovered it , there was No winter damage to the plants.
The shoots came up along the whole length of the horizontal trunk and have grown 6- 8 ft.
Many Many Figs! !
A real success. And a lot easyer than wrapping individual plants.
I topped most at 5-6 ft. Mid summer to encourage ripening of the remaining Figs, made a big difference.On many of the ones I topped ,they ripened every fig on that shoot, no little green ones left. But still picking on others.
This was not “my” idea.
Scott and others, have discussed that in the winter, the heat comes from the ground, so wrapping up a plant above ground catches little of that heat.
But a plant laying flat, with a LARGE foot print of insulation over it can benefit from that ground heat.
Also the “step over” idea came from on line Japanese methods of fig training. A photo of which is below.
Theirs is nicer looking than mine, but same idea.
So this photo is from the web. Similar to what mine looked like this spring when I uncovered,before the growth went up 6-8ft.
Will try to get photos of mine after leaf fall , can’t really "
It now, too many leafs.
I would call this a very successful method of winter protection.