Outdoor water deprivation methods
I've been meaning to post this for a while just got some free time so I've been storming up a bunch of posts.
I think a bunch of us agree that water deprivation (not to the point of irrevocably damaging the plant of course) is great for fruit quality. In places where it rains a lot like near my home outside of DC and when you've planted outside... what are some simple tricks we can use to prevent water getting to the roots?
This is very important for figs the last week or two of ripening... but important for most fruit throughout the season.
First of all, I virtually never water anything around here unless plant is just planted recently, or crazy extended dry hot spell. I do however look at my plants pretty often so can see stress very early on.
My ideas mainly stem from physical barrier but perhaps French drain stuff would also work...
-Putting down rock hard/cement like dirt barrier as the very top layer for inch or less...possibly as I get more gutsy I'll put it down thicker. This is that dirt where you see bits of it dirt and pebbles cemented together in chunks. Perhaps leave some crevices like right around the trunk. Let most of rain splash right off and more of it getting evaporated before reaching soil. I actually did this to a fig recently when I had a bunch of really hard cement like dirt laying around.
-Maybe better than above, laying a couple cement squares around the base with just a bit crevices here and there spread out.
-Laying out tarp? I think some do this, but sounds more tedious than the above one and done.
-Some sort of special mulch?? Plastic mulch?