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jkuo

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Reply with quote  #1 
The outdoors garden is pretty sparse looking at the moment, but that's no reason to completely lay off gardening for the winter.  There's still the indoor fig plants to keep me occupied until the weather warms up.  From the dozens of green wood unknown cuttings I took last summer, I managed to get 11 to root by just plopping them in potting soil and got 8 of those under the grow lights around Thanksgiving.  The unknown cuttings are currently putting out new leaf growth, and look relatively happy for now.

SAM_3633.JPG 

The smallest of the cuttings was just an inch or two high, and had just a small leaf and a bud for nearly a month before busting out with new growth in the past week.
SAM_3634.JPG 

I probably should have started off with more modest plans for cuttings considering it is my first real attempt at propagating cuttings and that I don't actually have enough storage space for more than a dozen or so fig trees.  I just decided to dive right in and hope for the best.  I have 22 cuttings in 32 oz deli containers filled with coir, sitting on top of a cookie rack, and in clear plastic bins.  I moistened the coir with a weak hydroponic solution, figuring that if the cuttings rooted, having some nutrients in the medium would be helpful for growth.  Heat mats are under and between the bins and hooked up to a thermostat set to 78F.  Since my basement is a cool 64F, I usually cover the bins with a blanket.  Without the blanket insulation, the thermostat reading only makes it to about 72F.  Five more cuttings are in coir in sterilite shoebox containers on top of the boiler.

SAM_3603.JPG
 

I started the cuttings on Dec. 18th.  At the 2-week check (actually 16-day due to the holidays), one Lyndhurst White and one Stella cutting are starting to grow leaves.  From what I can tell, it also looks like there are 2 Lyndhurst White and 1 Sicilian Black cuttings with small roots visible on the side/bottom of the container.


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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
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FiggyFrank

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Reply with quote  #2 
Looking good, Johnny.  You got the right touch!  Good luck this year.
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Frank
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jkuo

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Reply with quote  #3 
And just because I can't resist making bad references to pop culture:

breakingbud.jpg


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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
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waynea

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Reply with quote  #4 
Picture worth a thousand words, or close. We get so excited when cuttings break bud and even more excited when there are plenty of roots to support the buds. Looking real good Johnny!
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Reply with quote  #5 
May they all be healthy and productive.
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Zone 6, MO

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Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig
Briian1972

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Reply with quote  #6 
Looks like you are starting off good!
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figs growing LSU PURPLE, BROWN TURKEY, MAGNOLIA, BLACK MISSION, PETERS HONEY WISH LIST any variety that grow well in  zone 8b
jkuo

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Reply with quote  #7 
Three weeks update:

There are signs of life in the cuttings:

SAM_3656.JPG 

12 cuttings have roots visible on the sides/bottom of the containers.  The Lyndhurst White cuttings look ready to take off.  The buds are starting to swell on the cuttings in the shoeboxes, but I haven't noticed any roots.


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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
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twovkay

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Reply with quote  #8 
Johnny, nice work! Give roots some time. For me they tend to develop after I get leaves, the heating mat will improve your chances of getting strong roots.
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RichinNJ

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Reply with quote  #9 
Looking good !
Otmani007

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Reply with quote  #10 
Good work and excellent results so far!
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Dallas, TX - Zone 8a

Wish List: Col de Dame Blanche, Brogiotto Bianco, Sicilian White, Panache

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jkuo

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Reply with quote  #11 
Week 5 update:

Missed the week 4 update.  Life just got too hectic.

I've rearranged my setup a bit since I got a larger heat mat and added an extra bin.  The unknown cuttings are now scrunched to the side, and also looking like they may be getting nitrogen deficient (yellowing and dropping leaves).  I'll be picking up some fish emulsion at some point to see if I can perk them up.

SAM_3661.JPG 

Of the cuttings I started in December, 15/22 rooted in the bins and 4/5 rooted in the shoeboxes.  The shoebox cuttings are now in 32 oz containers in the humidity bins.

I transferred the more vigorous looking cuttings into the new bin.  I'm planning on this bin being my "transition" bin before setting them out in the open air.  I left the lid cracked overnight, and a few cuttings were wilty in the morning.

SAM_3662.JPG 

To free up some bin space, I exiled a few of the extra non-rooters to the utility room.  I put a plastic bag over them, put a saucer underneath them, and set them on top of the boiler.

In the works: I'll be starting my next batch of cuttings soon.  I put six new cuttings in the bins last night.  I had space for 3 more, but I ran out of containers (guess I don't visit the deli often enough, haha).  I also got some storage shelves to expand my growing space.  I'll be starting my asparagus seeds soon, which was actually the original plan for my grow light setup.  As you can see, my veggie starting space got completely co-opted by figs.


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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
Plants I'm growing: Google Doc
jkuo

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Reply with quote  #12 
~2 months in:

I think I've got my propagation setup and routine down.  Cuttings go into the humidity bins to start the roots and initial leaves (3+ weeks), then it's off to a transition bin to acclimate to drier and cooler air (~1-2 weeks), and finally out in the open air under whichever growlights have space.  The first 16 cuttings are now out of the humidity bins.

first16.jpg 

I had a few hiccups, like moving leafed out cuttings into the cruel dry cold basement air a little too soon. Sadly, I knew I was supposed to transition them more gently, but I was anxious to free up some space to start more cuttings.  I quickly learned the consequences of that as the cuttings not ready for it dropped most of their leaves from the shock.  Fortunately, that wasn't too dire a mistake.  A week back in the humidity bin and a more gentle transition to dry cool air has helped correct most of that mistake.

noleaves.jpg 

Amongst the cuttings I started, Salem White is still holding a massive lead in the growth department, especially in root growth, though it looks like other cuttings are starting to grow a bit faster now too.

roots.jpg 

I also have asparagus seedlings started (for my original non-fig related grow light purposes).  I'm not sure what those people on Gardenweb are talking about asparagus having low germination rates.  I had near 100% germination last summer, and after 12 days, I'm already seeing pretty high germination.

asparagussprouts.jpg


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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
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donpaid

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Reply with quote  #13 
@ jkuo hahaha breaking bud! Love it!
PepperMan

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Reply with quote  #14 
Your plants are coming along nicely. Keep the pics coming.
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Chad
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Zone 6B
Wish List: Col de Dame Gris, Col de Dame Noir.
I have small trees for trade starting in May! PM me if interested.
jkuo

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Reply with quote  #15 
~2.5 months in:

I've got a few more cuttings out of the humidity bins, and my current batch of leafed out cuttings seem to be putting on some size.

SAM_3753.JPG 

The Salem Whites still hold a sizable lead, but some other cuttings seemed to have hit critical root mass and turned the corner in the growth department.  One of my formerly sad-looking Lyndhurt Whites has put on some nice leaves and proven that it's strong enough to survive my dumb growing mistakes.

SAM_3755.JPG 

Other varieties that seem to have accelerated their growth in the last few weeks: Stella, Valle Negra, Sicilian Black, RdB, Hardy Chicago, and Italian Honey (last two not pictured).

SAM_3756.JPG 

The MBVS doesn't look super happy for some reason (though it is still growing).  I'm hoping it's just juvenile leaves filling in with chlorophyll and not some massive FMV infection.

SAM_3754.JPG 

The asparagus looks like a mini fern garden. Germination seems to be around 95% after 3 weeks.  I'm even getting double shoots on some of the seedlings; too bad the plants need to be 15X larger to harvest usable spears.

SAM_3751.JPG SAM_3752.JPG 


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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
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jkuo

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Reply with quote  #16 
At 3 months:

Cuttings continue to grow and are starting to look like small trees now.  I think I'm out of the woods until the next challenge of not killing anything while up-potting.

I've thinned the herd a bit.  I remembered that one of my friends with a farm had wanted to start a fig growing project, so I got back in touch and offered up my extras.  I gave him rooted cuttings of Ronde de Bordeaux, Lyndhurst White, Valle Negra, Salem White, Stella, Hardy Chicago, Scott's Black, and a few pots of a local unknown Italian dark fig.  Also gave him cuttings of Conadria, Improved Celeste, Fred's Celeste, Stella, and Sicilian Black.  I can now actually fit all of my remaining rooted cuttings under a single 4 foot grow light (barely).

SAM_3767.JPG 

Now that I've done my good deed and freed up some space, I should now reward myself by starting a few more cuttings...


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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
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rafaelissimmo

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Reply with quote  #17 
You can start with the package I sent you today :-)
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jkuo

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Reply with quote  #18 
Sweet!  I'm looking forward to starting those!
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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
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jkuo

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Reply with quote  #19 
Decided to up-pot 4 trees today.  It probably should have been motivated by the fact that the roots of those trees had filled the 32 oz containers.  In reality, it was because I got some new cuttings I wanted to start and I was a few containers short.

SAM_3772.JPG 

The root ball came out as a plug, which I take as a good sign that I won't kill my tree during the up-potting.  I squeezed the container all around and wriggled the roots out as gently as I could.  I was a little surprised at how much resistance there was to getting those roots out of the container.  It felt like the roots were adhering to the container.


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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
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jkuo

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Reply with quote  #20 
Spring feels like it's finally here.  I can almost start taking my trees out of the garage. I've also been doing some shuffling of new trees on the recent warm days to get them acclimated to being outdoors.  I unwrapped my two unknown in-ground figs, and they appear to have survived.  There was some rodent damage on one stem. Lesson learned: now I know that feral cats frequenting my yard is not enough to prevent rodents from chewing on my trees.

More new trees are getting up-potted to 1 gal containers; 10 trees up-potted so far, and another 6 look like they'll be following soon.  The ones I up-potted two weeks ago look like they should have been moved to a bigger container (2 gal?).  In 2-ish weeks, roots are already growing out of the top of the new pots.

SAM_3821.JPG 
I've also had a few cuttings start setting fruit.  It's cool to see figlets, but at the same time painful to have to snip them off.  Hopefully in a couple of months, my trees will be big enough that I'll be able to let some fruits stay.

SAM_3823.JPG 



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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
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johnnyq627

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Reply with quote  #21 
They look great Johnny! What kind of mix did you use?
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Zone 6B/7A - Douglassville, PA
Wish list - Galicia Negra, Paritjal Rimada, Black Ischia UCD
jkuo

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Reply with quote  #22 
I'm currently using Frey Brothers Pro Potting Mix that I picked up at the nursery down the street from me.  It's the only stuff around that I could find that wasn't Miracle Gro.  I plan to eventually pot up to a 5-gal sip.  I'll probably need to mix up my own using a recipe out of the potting mix thread.
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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
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baust55

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Reply with quote  #23 
My 5 potted  fig trees woke up early this year.

For winter I store them in a cool dark basement room just a little water every 4 or 5 weeks while there dormant .

I have them in large sub water pots from Wal-Mart suggested buy Snaglepuss  .

A few weeks ago the fig trees started to sprout ,so I brought them up to the sun room and they go out any time its above 50f  back in when it cools off .

All of them have leafed out well   . All almost ready to start pinching . I let each branch have 5 leafs then I pinch .

Austin


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AUSTIN


Read more mad non- scientist stuff ....check out my post on KITTY LITTER !

http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post/kitty-litter-really-kitty-litter-7398708?pid=1287129765#post1287129765
 
"I grow fruit of the wine!"

Zone 5

Fig trees I have : Hardy Chicago , Weeping Black , Ginoso , Excel , VEBT , and Genovese Nero .

My Wish list: Panache,  Florea,Desert King , RdB, Marseilles black vs, Vdb , Abruzzi,   JH Adriatic , Nero 600 , MvsB, Malta Black,
jkuo

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Reply with quote  #24 
Austin,
With 5 pots, the shuffle should be pretty manageable.  Sounds like you'll be getting a good jump start on your season!  What varieties are you growing?

I just moved my awakening potted figs from the garage to the patio today.  I'll be starting the shuffle with the winter rooted trees tomorrow.

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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
Plants I'm growing: Google Doc
jkuo

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Reply with quote  #25 
At the advice of fellow f4f members, I put some of my summer-started unknown cuttings under grow lights for the winter.  Two of the cuttings went dormant before I had a chance, so I stuck them in the garage to overwinter and they are just budding out now.  The grow lights appears to have been a good idea.  The cuttings that were under lights for a few months have a sizable head start.

SAM_3828.JPG 


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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
Plants I'm growing: Google Doc
jkuo

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Reply with quote  #26 
It's past the last frost date around here, and the forecast is looking pretty good.  I'm calling it an end to the pre-season and a start to the fig growing in-season.  My two in-ground trees are budding out.  The potted plants have been outside for a couple of weeks already and are leafing out nicely.  As of now, many of my cuttings are now graduates and will have to earn their keep in the real world outside.

The cuttings which have yet to be potted and are still being acclimated to outdoor sun:
SAM_3849.JPG 

The potted new trees which have been acclimated to outdoor sun via the shuffle to/from shady locations and progressive exposure to longer periods of direct sun:
SAM_3852.JPG 

Of course, now that I see all my new and old trees arranged outdoors (and accounting for the cuttings still inside), I can fully comprehend the degree to which I went overboard with my winter rooting.  Some of the trees are destined to be gifted, but that still leaves me with more trees than I had planned for.  Figs are too addicting a hobby.


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Johnny - Lancaster, PA, Zone 6b
Plants I'm growing: Google Doc
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