Anyone growing fruiting FIG in Canada?

Mari11(z5a Toronto)December 31, 2012

I read a few articles about growing FIG 'HARDY CHICAGO' in North regions, yet would like to hear from people who have own experience with it. The most important question: how to overwinter it in a regular house? Please, share your thoughts.

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I don't grow them personally but about 15 years ago I watched a gardening show (forget which one) and the gentleman grew 2 in his back yard. In the fall, he would dig a large 'grave', line it and bury the trees for the winter. He would trim the tops and then cover them with a quilt. To much work for me! There is another gentleman in Orillia that grows a potted one. He has it growing outside all summer (gets about 11 figs each year he told me) and in the fall he takes it indoors and overwinters it there. He said he doesn't have any problem overwintering it there. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 8:24AM
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My cousin has a fig tree in Duncan BC, it is huge and the figs taste wonderful.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:34AM
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I've heard of someone growing it in Brampton,On. I think it's quite possible.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 3:51PM
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When I lived in Toronto, I had friends that grew figs outdoors in their gardens in North York. If you google 'growing figs in North York', you'll see that someone held a workshop on just this point last year.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 6:56PM
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I overwinter my two fig trees in a shed that is kept just above freezing. They must be kept cool, but never frozen. If you have a cold basement that should work.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:57PM
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Check out Steve Biggs online. He's a "garden writer" that grows figs, I think he lives in Toronto or the Greater TO area.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 4:58PM
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I saw figs in Victoria, BC. They grow very well there and produce a crop. As for southern Ontario, figs need protection. A gardener in Sarnia lays his trees to the ground and covers the trunk and branches with fall leaves.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 8:06AM
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rubenmctabe(5A (Canada))

I'm in Montreal. I rented an apartment for a few years in a small house owned by an elderly Italian couple who kept the backyard to themselves to garden in. I think they installed a patch of old world climate back there somehow. They had a beautiful fig tree (~10" tall) planted staright in the ground, draped in a grape vine, surrounded by a bountiful tomato and pepper garden. They didn't do much of anything to protect the tree over winter, though the yard was very sheltered on all sides by low concrete structures, thereby blocking wind without blocking sun. I'd go back and ask them for advice, but they were mad as hatters.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 12:35AM
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I did some research about figs in Canada and the west coast is where you'll see fig trees loaded with crop. It's amazing what they can do on the west coast. There are bay leaf trees, 30-foot palm trees, huge laurels, huge rhododendrons, tall bamboo!, redwood, eucalyptus and of course figs... with a second crop!? I can't find much about Ontario figs but they need forms of protection. I'm reading about climate and the west coast winters are much milder than Ontario's but the coast has cooler summers than the BC interior and southern Ontario. But in pure irony bamboo and palm trees grow with ease on the BC coast. They have grapes and wineries on Vancouver Island. Rosemary is evergreen there.

I like video evidence. Videos of figs on a BC west coast island or palm trees swaying in the wind in Vancouver tells a bigger story than was ever told before the Internet existed. Retiring gardeners should explore the west coast online at the very least.

Here is a link that might be useful: Figs galore in BC

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 9:56AM
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dianasan(z5a Mtl)

The Hardy Chicago fig, is hardy only to Zone 6. Maybe you could create an appropriate micro-climate in a sheltered spot of your yard.

Reuben McTabe, I'm curious as to where in Montreal this couple lives.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 6:07PM
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If you are planting close to a structure, in a southern exposure to exploit a microclimate, I would be concerned with damage from invasive fig roots. Have read mixed ideas about this, so to play it safe, I have one in a pot and the other well away from the house. They do fine in wine barrels but will need more protection from Winter cold than in the ground.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:36AM
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