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rhopkins

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Reply with quote  #1 
Well this is the 3rd year I have treated my in ground fig trees with lime and I have to say it has been quite a success.  I treated a Hardy Chicago and a Black Greek and a unknown and the growth has been fantastic with all producing crops this year.  All trees were started from cuttings (4-8-12) with the unknown now reaching a height of 7 feet.  Followed by the Hardy Chicago at 5 feet 9 inches.  The Black Greek is 39 inches in height.  

The total fruit production is 69 with the Hardy Chicago winning out with 28 figlets thus far.  I might add that the Black Greek did produce some figs last year but none reached maturity.  I have not used anything other than watering with (well water and rain.)  I did not protect the trees during the harsh winter we all experienced and they showed no sign of damage from the cold.

You can look at my previous threads as to the amounts of lime I applied over the past two years.  I have been reading several posts from members who have not gotten any production from there trees.

On a note I might add that I did a control group in my greenhouse.  It was from the same cuttings that I planted outdoors.  After rooting the cuttings, I planted the plants in 3 gallon containers and used miracle grow potting mix for the soil.  I also, treated two trees (Hardy Chicago) with lime and two without.  Only the trees treated with the lime are producing fruit on the new growth.  They did not produce as much fruit as those in the ground but nevertheless they are producing figs.  I continue to water the control group twice a week.  Regarding over winter temperatures in the greenhouse I allowed to it go down to 40 degrees.  I wanted to achieve dormancy but not take a chance on damage to the terminal buds if at all possible.  If you have additional questions I will do my best to answer them.

In closing I suggest some of you that are having issues with getting your trees to produce try a little lime...

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Richard Hopkins South Western Arkansas Zone 8A Wish List: Keeping The Trees I Have Happy!
erics11

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks for the tip. I thought i read somewhere that you should never lime on top of lime. I think in containers, eventually it will all flush out and it might be a good idea to add some more. My bark based mix was naturally acidic so i just mixed in a handful.
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Hayward, CA 9B Own: Brown Turkey, White Kadota, Mission Black, Celeste, RdB, VdB, Hunt, Dominick, Strawberry Verte, LSU Scott's black, Brown Greek, Spanish Black Wishlist: Chicago Hardy, Desert King, Col de Dame Gris, any other favorites
MGorski

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Reply with quote  #3 
Good expirement and observations Richard. The soil is acidic here in my area, and I have been watering occasionally with dolomitic lime mixed in water. This helps get it into the root zone, and the soil life probably helps disperse it further. Supposed to discourage nematodes too. My plants look better, but they had been in pots, so they are happier anyway.

Mike in Hanover, VA

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cyberfarmer

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Reply with quote  #4 
this would only be a benefit if you have acidic soil, right?
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Paul the Fig Tree Destroyer in Fallbrook, CA (Zone 10A )

susieqz

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Reply with quote  #5 
i have high desert alkaline soil, so i can't use  lime.

still not sure if a good substitute is available.

potted figs definitely like lime.

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rhopkins

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Reply with quote  #6 
Paul I would have to agree with that, but you know the miracle grow medium should have been close to a PH of 7.  At least that is what they say on there website regarding Ph.  My in ground soil has not been tested that is something I need to do.  The control group in the greenhouse tells me that the lime is just a favorable medium for growing fig trees.  I also, noted that it helps with the control of insects in the soil.  I have had no issues with keeping the critters out of the soil.  If you do have soild with a Ph above 7, I think you'd benefit adding lime to the water.

Do you treat your soil?  I am always interested in other peoples applications to there soil.   Richard

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Richard Hopkins South Western Arkansas Zone 8A Wish List: Keeping The Trees I Have Happy!
rhopkins

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Reply with quote  #7 
Suzie, I use to live in Prescott, AZ and I had the same issue with the soil.  I only had one fig tree on a drip system and it did terrible.  In fact I never got a fig off that tree, nor did I know that treatment with lime was what it was lacking.  Here in Arkansas it is quite different, I am looking forward to this years crop.  Hopefully someone can help me identify my unknown fig.  The tree I got the cuttings from produced fruit slightly larger than a golf ball.  I have been monitoring your challenges with all the critters.  Just keep your shotgun loaded let um have it...   Richard
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Richard Hopkins South Western Arkansas Zone 8A Wish List: Keeping The Trees I Have Happy!
drphil69

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Reply with quote  #8 
Lime is calcium carbonate, so the question really is, is it the pH or the calcium. 

I think a good comparison would be using lime in one, and calcium sulfate (gypsum) in another, proportioned to provide similar amounts of calcium, if anyone wants to do an experiment.

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Phil - Zone 8B - Houston, TX area; Zone 8A - coastal NC.

rhopkins

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Reply with quote  #9 
DSC_4202.jpg

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Richard Hopkins South Western Arkansas Zone 8A Wish List: Keeping The Trees I Have Happy!
rcantor

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Reply with quote  #10 
If I had figs in alkaline soils I'd try gypsum.
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Zone 6, MO

Wish list:
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
Chivas

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Reply with quote  #11 
Also if you add lime you should think about adding some gypsum as well to help keep the soil loose, too much magnesium will bind your soil tightly and gypsum will help loosen it.  Ag lime has less  magnesium in it but still has some, it's calcium carbonate with lower amounts of magneisum and it is not hydrated lime.

I don't know if it is true or not but my understanding is that dolomitic lime can only raise your pH to about 7.5-8 depending on how much you add, but generally it will stay around 7 to low 7's.  If someone can confirm to correct this it would be greatly appreciated.

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Canada Zone 6B
jdsfrance

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi rhopkins,
Did you put the lime on the surface of the dirt? How many ?
Do you have a pic of your lime alone and applied to a tree ? - Just to be sure that we speak of the same thing.
Thanks a lot,

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Climate from -25°C to + 35°C
Only cold hardy figtrees can make it here
rhopkins

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Reply with quote  #13 
I put 4 oz to a gallon of water and do this every other day for a week.  Can't complain about the results thus far.  Richard
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Richard Hopkins South Western Arkansas Zone 8A Wish List: Keeping The Trees I Have Happy!
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