I’m doing them here in Nashua. First winter, so we’ll see how it overwinters. Honestly, though, I’m more of a 6a from being in town and on a hill.
@Hillbillyhort I may have missed it, but can you tell us how “long” each of your step over figs is, as in how long is each of the arms? Thanks.
About 5ft. Each way from the center
Ooh, that’s substantially longer than I did. My fig is about 3’ total! I may have to grow them out a bit longer next year.
My inground figs are trained step over aka low cordon cane/spur and they’re planted 8 feet apart. About 33% of them would overlap and that percentage will go up as I improve protection.
This NY Times article—a plug for Lee Reich’s new book Growing Figs in Cold Climates (which I need to pick up!)—has some neat pictures of some of Reich’s low cordon figs, including an ultra-low, one-armed specimen planted outside (as opposed to in a greenhouse):
EDIT: You only get so many views unless you’re a subscriber, so—for future reference—here’s Reich’s picture of the just-referenced fig:
Is it possible that we can have 4 or 6 cordons instead of two each plant? Then it is pretty much the same training method of grapevines. Double cordons do not use the land effectively.
This winter, I bend my young branches to the ground to cover them. I can allow them to grow up a little. But still keep the low profile. I think I’ll grow them either 4 or 6 cordons. This is like having 4 or 6 scaffolding branches. I can allow some spurs to grow some side branches. Pretty much the same way we train grapevines.
I really like the step over idea. My problem is ants. With one or two upright trunks I can use Tangefoot but with the step over technique I would need to find another was to deal with the ants.
LSU Tiger stepover. This is mostly for experimental sake. 1 arm is 5ft, other is 4ft. I’ll remove the V from the top.
Unless you have some weeds or brush touching the scaffolds, there’s only one main trunk that the ants could get up. So, step over figs are pretty secure on that front.