Questions about growing figs in Upstate New York

angelonia_anne(z5NY)August 20, 2010

I have always wanted a fig tree and I live in zone 5b. Can anyone tell me what is the best variety? I would like to grow it outside and cover it for the winter.

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We are in a very cold zone 6. I still can't figure out why it's not classified as a zone 5. two winters back it got down to as low as minus 11 degrees Fahrenheit.

I have only been testing for cold hardy figs for about five years. So, I'm not the greatest expert. But, what we came up with for our very cold zone 6 is: Hardy Chicago. Cold hardy but sensitive to late spring frost. From talking to experts on figs 4 fun site, we planted last year, Marseille Black VS, Top rated for being cold hardy and reliable. Sal's (EL) strain, Sal's has been tesed in our area for about 10 to 15 years, by another fig tester.

We, also planted outside others that are suppose to be cold hardy. But the three I mention are know to be cold hardy and taste good. English Brown Turkey is suppose to be even more cold hardy then the first three. But, finding the right strain that also taste good is difficult. The most cold hardy of the English Brown Turkey figs that we could find, is a fig called LaRadek's Englsih Brown Turkey. It is suppose to have taken minus 18 degrees Fahrenheit in Europe. We are attempting to bring it into the country with the help of Edible Landscaping in Virgina.

There are other cold hardy figs that I think might work for you. Since you are going to cover it for winter protection.

But, I would suggest buying only from members of the Figs 4 Fun site. Most figs sold from a lot of nurseries are mis-labled. If you follow the posting on Figs 4 Fun, it will give you a lot of information and a better idea of who to buy from and who to avoid.

You will also see posters growing figs in Canada as well. So growing figs in a Zone 5 is possible


    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 2:53PM
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I've been wanting to buy a fig " bush" like the one my Great Grandparents brought from Italy in the early 1900's, the only cutting of the original plant is still thriving at what used to be myGreat Aunts house. The fruit was deep purple,while the inside was purple and very juicy. The bush started at the ground (no trunk). But it wrapped itself over,around and nearly 1/2 way to the house on a 5 ft chainlink fence. Do you know what kind of figs are that color? They lived in Columbus,OH

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 5:06PM
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I'm not that familiar with covering the fig trees.

Do you have to cover the whole plant or just the main trunk? If you have to cover it, is it better then to keep it as a bush rather than a large tree?
What do you use to cover it?


    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 2:39PM
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lee_in_iowa(4 to 5 (on the line))

A note to Brownthumb_Grower: If the fig is still growing at what used to be your great-aunt's house, ask the current owner for a few small cuttings. That's the only way to propagate a fig (seeds don't grow "true" to the parent plant), so to get that bush, well, you can actually get that specific bush. And if you do, please let me know. I'd love to start a cutting, too. My sister lives up in Dublin, just northwest of Columbus, and we'd love a fig bush there! Thanks, Lee (now stuck in Iowa, but once an Ohioan)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 1:58AM
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I cut back my fig tree and tie it up.
then I cover it with old blankets, 2 layers should do it. Then I cover it with a waterproof covering. Ideally I would use tarpaper or heavy canvas. That is the way I was taught by the person that gave me my start. Unfortunately I have trouble with that and use plastic instead. This does not allow breathing and I get some mold by Spring. No harm, though. This is the way they did it in NJ and I have done it here in OH for 18 years. My tree was from Italian stock. Hope this helps

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 8:25PM
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I am in s.e.nebraska zone 5 . very interested in hardy figs .

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:51PM
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Hi, baust55:

As I have read from other fig members, the Hardy Chicago
fig is a good bet for cold areas.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:20AM
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