most cold hardy fig?

bhawkins(8A Dallas)April 29, 2007

my first fig, a celeste i planted bare root here in dallas in dec, never grew; i suspect our 12 deg f night in mar didnt help it. so i've ordered another celeste from edible landscapes. but for insurance perhaps i should try another variety as well?

edible has hardy chicago, which a gather is a variant of celeste

just fruits & exotics offers the hunt & ventura as their best cold weaqther figs, though its past their shipping season

ty-ty has the tenessee mountain fig, which i gather is another celeste variant.

adriano's says the hardy chicago & ventura do well in canada; but they only ship to canada.

i'm too lazy to cover my trees during freezes.

so whats the best fig for cold weather? & how do i buy it?

thanks,

bob

dallas

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gene_washdc(zone 5a)

"edible has hardy chicago, which a gather is a variant of celeste"

No, these are 2 completely different figs, if you ever see the fruit, you'll agree.

"ty-ty has the tenessee mountain fig, which i gather is another celeste variant."

I would stay as far away from Ty-Ty as you can -- very, very bad reputation.

I'm in a similar zone as you, and have tried several varieties. Yes, there is some variation in cold hardiness, but in general I always expect that a new fig will freeze down to the ground the first 2 - 3 years before becoming established enough to withstand the winter frosts. You can try to get around this by either some system of protection or by keeping it in a pot for a couple years and overwintering in a shed. Generally I just let it freeze and come up from the ground. Though I do try to give the base a bit of protection so to be sure that there are viable buds for it to spring back from. Also, figs in drier soil will be hardier than in damp soil.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 8:01AM
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ejp3(7NY)

Gene, how hardy is that "takoma violet" of yours? A friend of mine out here has one but brings it in the garage for the winter. I am considering leaving it in the ground. What do you think?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 7:59AM
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gene_washdc(zone 5a)

Well, I think I first got that tree in 2001 from a local German lady, and it's been in a large clay pot unprotected ever since. I've never taken it into a shed or anything. I set the pot next to the leaf mulch pile and have never moved it. It's long since sent roots through the bottom. If I ever try to move it, it won't be easy. I haven't kept records of local winter lows, but I'd guess it's been down to 5°F since I've had it. I think this past winter it got as low as 13°. It's never had any major dieback, perhaps lost a few tips at worst when it was younger. It's a very good fig for looks, flavor, early ripening and cold hardiness. The only downside is that the fruit is small. I'd certainly give it a go outside if I were you. You might want to airlayer a backup to keep in winter storage as insurance, can never be too careful.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 9:55AM
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gene_washdc(zone 5a)

Thought I should add two things which I believe have increased the cold hardiness of this fig: One is that it's in my back yard which is very protected from the wind; two is that since it's always been in a pot and growing through the bottom, it grows very slowly, like an old fig -- this is much better for cold hardiness compared to the rampant growth of normal young figs.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 10:04AM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

wow, you have a lot of figs! guess i'll try another celeste, brown turkey, maybe a h chicago, & see what happens

thanks,

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 8:14PM
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ejp3(7NY)

Thanks Gene. Hawk, of those 3 I like celeste best. I am not crazy about brown turkey and I havent had much luck with H.C. Over the years I have had 2 chicagos and they have been 2 of the least productive figs I ever grew. I rate them for hardiness about equal but for flavor I go with the celeste

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 8:29AM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

thanks for the info! there's so many varieties i'm lost as to what to try.

texas a&m says celeste has the best chance in n. texas. brown turkey does well in central texas, but its not as hardy as celeste & growing it in dallas is problematic. i'll put all my figs within 20 ft of the south wall of my 2-story brick house.

apparently figs that do well on the east coast dont always do well on the left coast, & vice versa. but celeste always seems to do ok. the others, i'll consider an experiment

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 10:07AM
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tedmcdaniel(7a)

ejp3, what's you're complaint with Brown Turkey?

I'm planning to put figs in my garden (7a piedmont, NC) sometime in the next year, but have not decided which varietues yet.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 1:15PM
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ejp3(7NY)

In my opinion Brown Turkey is just not as good tasting as most other figs. But it is still quite edible.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 8:23AM
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