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Well I had a bright idea....

Posted by bamboo_rabbit 9A Inverness FL (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 16, 12 at 20:13

That turned out to not be very well thought out. Last year planted 7 rows of muscadine grapes and each row has a guy wire and turnbuckle that tensions the row ends. I had the bright idea to plant a different variety of fig at each wire. This spring put in the first fig I purchased while a friend started me the other 6 from his figs.

The plant I put in was a green Ischia and was 3 feet tall when planted in march but is now 8 feet tall and I can see my error as they are going to shade the grapes. The rows are 25 feet long so the grape itself is 12 feet from the fig so that is not an issue. I had the idea to tie the 8' tall limbs down or to prune the plant? I am afraid if I prune it that it will hurt the production? It would need to be held at 6 feet tall if possible. Thoughts or suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Well I had a bright idea....

Just a thought. Grow/prune your fig trees and train them as if they were grape vines. There is a Japanese method for growing figs in just this manner, i.e. low, and with branches growing parallel to the ground.

Search this forum for "Japanese Growing Method for Figs". I'm sure someone will provide a link to this information. Figs can also be espaliered. There are many methods of training figs. You will find a solution to your "problem"...I'm sure.

Good Luck,

Frank


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RE: Well I had a bright idea....

Frank,

Thank you for the idea.....that looks great. Has anyone here tried it and have any tips? That seems like a pretty sharp bend for the fig to make......wonder if I would have to prune them to the ground and let them rebranch and then train the new growth next spring? There is not a lot of instruction provided that I can find.


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RE: Well I had a bright idea....

Yes....you prune to a very low branch, or, bud, and then train the new, green wood along a heavy wire that runs parallel to the ground. Each year the new growth is pruned back hard to encourage budding. Then you select the buds you want, and where you want them. I believe ENCANTO FARMS has some photos of this method of training.

Once the initial training is done, it just a matter of some yearly pruning to control the fig tree. You can grow and pick plenty of figs in a small amount of space.

Hope this gives you some optional solutions. On the Figs4Fun web-site one member is training his fig tree that planted at the corner of his house, with branches at 90 degrees from each other, and trained along the two outer walls...semi espaliered style.

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. : )

Frank


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RE: Well I had a bright idea....

the french also grow many fruits this way and they call it espalier if you Google espalier you'll see many examples of different fruits grown this way. Fig limbs bend easy so they train well to almost any shape.


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RE: Well I had a bright idea....

I am completely intrigued by the Japanese way of growing the figs. We do occasionally get cold here in central Florida and have had my figs freeze back to the ground.

This has evolved now as I have been looking for something to go around our pool cage. If I go with the Japanese way I will lose the breba crop entirely I know so I need a main crop and one that is earlier is better. Any suggestions as to variety?


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RE: Well I had a bright idea....

Bamboo rabbit...

I know a grower in Florida that swears by "Alma" as a great variety to grow in your climate.

Good luck growing figs.

Frank


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RE: Well I had a bright idea....

Frank,

Thanks for the suggestion. I don't have Alma currently just Celeste and green Ischia as well as another who's name escapes me at the moment. I will look up the Alma. Also if there are any growers in central Florida that have cuttings or plants for sale I would be interested.


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