Fig growing in central-north Florida

ben_in_soflaJune 30, 2011

working on figuring out the optimum florida location for fig growing. Have plants inground in Gainesville and the ones near building have done excellent a few unprotected trees away from buildings did freeze back almost to the ground. Gainesville got down to the mid teens during the past couple of winters and I think the area west of Ocala might be best in terms of enough chilling hours for all around growing and yet not cold enough to damage any fig. Lowest acceptable temps would be low twentys.

Marion and Levy county so far look like a good spot, any fig growers in that area that can confirm or deny such ideas?

Ben

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herman2_gw

I wouldn't worry to much about getting them killed by frost in Central Florida,but I would worry about low land with,possibility of too much water in the soil(marsh).
Choose a high elevation, ground spot for growing figs in Florida.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 7:45AM
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ben_in_sofla

Thanks Herman, I already had that on my list of must haves

must have
1 - farm land - need agricultural tax exempt status, no residential stuff (10-20 acres)
2 - elevation, no chance of flooding
3 - cleared land, or at least 50 pct cleared, don't want to be removing trees for the rest of life.
4 - Power pole and deep well
5 - small-medium mobile home, livable condition
6 - paved road access
7 - cost..

Not asking too much..am I?

The rest I can manage, plant a row of trees (likely, dunstan chestnuts) to block west and north side winds. Soil quality is pretty much a moot point, Florida has no soil, mostly just dirty sand and coral rock. I will have to enrich area where tees will be planted... Herman, you can be the first guest of honor...LOL

I am expending my fig tree collection in south florida and growing the trees at max rate while I search and plan, inventory time this weekend...

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 8:42AM
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herman2_gw

You have to plant evergreen to block winds,that will do the trick in the winter.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 5:19PM
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geoff_ri(6)

Hi Ben...I just posted a question about whether a brown Turkey would do well in the West Palm Beach area. What varieties are you planning to grow?

Good luck,
Geoff

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 9:53AM
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ben_in_sofla

Hi Geoff, I see this question kind of frequently. I had started to write a page long dissertion when my laptop froze and I lost the text. The short answer to your question is yes, however there are a lot side issues to fig care in South Florida and there are much better figs to grow here. As soon as I complete the South Florida fig growing tips, I will post them and save it for future reference

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 6:06PM
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daygrower

Hi Ben
I am in Live Oak North of Gainsville The problem I have had growing figs in ground is the fall can be warm so the plants keep growing then BAM!!!! we get a frost and they freeze to the ground because they are not hardened off yet.
I have 5 acres that is surrounded by hay fields so no protection but I have clients that live near the suwannee river that get no die back at all.
So I would say the land you get is more important than the county.
By the way there is plenty of cheap land up here in suwannee county so come on up

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 8:48PM
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beachwreck(7b)

Hi Ben, I just moved from Siesta Key in Sarasota. I had a nice Celeste for eight years that did very well.

I never had a frost during that time so chill hours was not an issue (nor cold damage).

The soil was very sandy and I had to water it daily in the summer or it would drop leaves and figs. It bore constantly from June thru Sept.

My biggest problem was critters. I lost 80% of my crop each year to them. The figs I harvested were delicious though small.

The tree was so vigorous, I would prune 6 feet off every winter. FL is great for figs!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 5:05PM
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gonebananas_gw

Old horticultural literature from Florida (first half of 20th Century) claimed that figs did best on soils that they termed "greasy" (or maybe it was "waxy") and derived from the weathering of shallow-lying limestone, more to the SW of Gainesville or W of Ocala.

That may have dealt in large part with nematodes, though perhaps general nutrition as well. You may be able to fumigate the soil pre-plant in any case.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 12:51PM
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Granny10

Does anyone know a good source for fig trees near Ocala? Since Porter's closed I am not sure where to look.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 2:57PM
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