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oops - leaves budding to early

Posted by mandolls 4WI (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 18, 11 at 11:53

This is my first winter for trying to get my fig to go dormant over the winter. Last year was its first winter, and I kept in inside in a window where it tripled in size and was supper happy. This year, I left it outside until it got below 20 degrees, then brought it into the garage where it sat for about a month until we had below zero weather. I moved it into my studio which is about 50, though closer to 40 at floor level.

It is budding out now and I dont know what to do. I can bring it inside and put it in the window for the rest of the winter, or I can put it back in the garage to freeze off the new growth and then try to insulate it when the temp drops again.

Any suggestions?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: oops - leaves budding to early

Since it did well growing inside last winter you might try that again. If it gets enough light it will do well and you'll have a big head start on fruit next summer.

I have some inside trying to force new growth. I also have some with ripe fruit. But I have a sunroom and a pretty good light setup.

RE: oops - leaves budding to early

Growing inside is one option. If it's already gone dormant and been around freezing for 100 hours, then it should be able to fruit this year even if you keep it growing inside. I've heard that is the chill requirement, but perhaps even less or not at all for some varieities.

If you don't want to do that, then how cold does the garage get? Does it get below freezing? You could put it in garage, and put a cardboard box over it, maybe stuff a few leaves or packing peanuts in there for insulation. If it was going to go way below freezing, you could use a seedling heat mat underneath, or a 15W lightbulb to keep it above freezing. Or something similar. You only really need to make sure the roots don't freeze.

Good luck.

RE: oops - leaves budding to early

Hey Mandolls,

I see that you're a cheesehead. I'll be in Madison at Olbrich Gardens on Jan. 12th doing a presentation called "all about figs". They will have plants for sale and I'll have cuttings available too. More info on their website. Hope to see you there!

-Little John

Here is a link that might be useful: spring classes at Olbrich.pdf

RE: oops - leaves budding to early

Thanks for the advice. As it can get to -30, outside, I am sure my old drafty garage is only 10-15 degrees warmer. For next year I will look into some sort of space heater with a thermostat and build an enclosure in the garage. I think for this year I will just bring it inside. I am concerned that with the leaves already budding out, re-freezing would make for an unhappy tree.

Little John, I wish I could make it to your presentation, but I will be out of town mid-Jan. Not being a born and bred cheesehead - I run to Mexico in Jan when I can.

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