Figs in SW Kentucky?
I'm new in my area in SW Kentucky. I'm thinking about growing a couple of fig trees here, but before trying, I'd like a better idea of my odds of success.
If I plant them at all, it will be in the ground - I'm very busy and will surely fail to water them sufficiently in pots. I can winterize them under leaves in a make-shift cage for a year or two, but I'm hoping they'll eventually be hardy enough to make it through winter (if they die back every winter but still produce fruit the next summer/fall, I would be happy). I'm thinking about one Hardy Chicago and one LSU Gold on the south side of my house, which gets good sun. Here are my questions:
Are my expectations realistic, or am I deluding myself?
How close to my house (in feet) can I plant the figs without fearing for the integrity of my foundation/basement -- I've read that figs do well planted near a (warm) house, but I don't know what that means for the house?
I'm pretty sure Chicago is as good a choice as I'll find (yes? no?). I've read one report that LSU Gold is relatively hardy. Right or wrong? Better ideas for varieties? Is early bearing more important than hardiness here? If so, suggestions for other early bearing varieties? I know that Brown Turkey and Celeste are commonly recommended around here, but that their flavor is ho-hum compared to some others -- agree/disagree?
Suggestions for making it work? Or given that I'm hoping for something pretty low maintenance here (pruning and winterizing is okay), should I give up and be looking at berry bushes or some other alternative?