Plants grow better next to a rock

cath41(6a)July 14, 2009

Fignut said this in an earlier post. I, too, have noticed that plants, especially small ones, grow better next to a rock or with roots under a rock. I began noticing when layering shrub stems with soil and setting a rock on top to hold it all down so it wouldn't move and kill tiny new roots. But there was more to it than that because layers with a rock rooted better than layers without a rock even without movement. I attributed this to the rock providing a more stable temperature (perhaps warmer?) and to a more moist environment. More moist because water that moves up through the soil by capillary action is blocked by the rock from moving any higher and evaporating thus keeping the area under a rock constantly moist.

Anybody else have thoughts on this?

BTW I only have about 4 more pages to go to have read all the posts. Except I just found a post giving access to the archived posts. Uh-oh. My husband feels like a fig widower as it is.


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very good observation

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 11:26PM
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mrhappy(z8 - Austin, TX)

I think Cath41 may be onto something - wonder if the rock acts in the same way mulch does?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 11:30PM
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Rocks may be doing a little more than mulch by keeping soil moist beneath and absorbing and releasing heat later during the cooler period of the day.
I have kept a number of 2-liter pop bottles full of water under the fig plants but unfortunately the bottles do not get enough sunshine under my plants.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 12:21AM
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Have you read all of the posts on this Fig Forum?...........>

and looked at all of the fig pictures at this huge figs4fun website?.....>


    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 8:01AM
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I'm not sure what you mean. Are you advocating using rocks as a mulch? I mean, on a potted plant, putting them on top of the soil?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 9:24PM
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No, not using rocks as mulch but using a largish rock (say 7-10" in largest dimension) on top of a layer or next to a small and/or delicate plant. The roots grow where they like it the best. Probably under the rock.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 12:11AM
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I've read all but about 1 page of posts now and have referred to figs4fun repeatedly. Still have questions. For example: If you could have only one of the green figs with the red centers and would probably grow it in a pot (but would love to grow it in the ground), would you choose Vert (Green Ischia), Paradiso, Verdal, Strawberry or other? Most important is flavor. If it doesn't taste good, why bother? But productivity and perhaps early ripening (because of my cold zone) are as important because if you don't have any you can't taste them. Size of the plant is also important if it will be pot grown. Large fruit size and a pretty color are nice but relatively unimportant (Just how beautiful is a fruit with a hangman's neck and cracked skin anyway? Well, beautiful because of it's flavor but you know what I mean.)
I know that many sites discuss these factors but it is rare to see them all discussed for every cultivar, especially hardiness zone as well as plant size both of which are so important for northern growers. Even so, Jon has done heroic work on figs4fun and I hope he gets it published in book form so that he gets financial rewards. (And so I can buy the book).

Which reminds me, Do you think there is a correlation between small plant size and hardiness? I looked up "fig" in Gerard's Herbal (1623) and he only had two listed. (He was an Englishman and they weren't very familiar with figs at that time). One was a dwarf bush and the other was a tree. The figs we know today could be crosses between the two types.

Any thoughts?

Had to change the subject line or they wouldn't let me submit this. Sorry. I really do not GET computers.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 12:52AM
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The nursery man I worked with said some plants like the cool under a flat rock & that it protected the root ball in winter.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 12:57AM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Well, we're outta luck here in South Louisiana--We have no rocks, just mud. We want rocks, we have to buy them. :)


    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 4:27AM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

Hi Noss.

I, on the other hand, have no mud. Just rocks. We want mud...we have to buy it.

Rocks and sand. My figs grow well but...that's about it.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 10:59PM
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I know about that rock theory and kept it secret for myself. The Rock is a wholly rock (to those who don't believe in GOD) don't use it. My rock came from Eden.
In Maca there is a Black Rock and all Muslim pilgrimages touch and kiss the Rock. They believe it came from Heaven.
The True story about that Rock (I know it) it is just a black rock and has no value.
Since we are on the subject, in other cultures Eden has a different name they call him Radwan.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 3:50AM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Well wabikeguy,

That's a different slant on it, eh? I wonder who has both mud and rocks in a balance? ;)


    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 4:37AM
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Moretta, Rock Fig (aka., Negretta) fig?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 2:41PM
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