Register  |   | 
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #1 

Since meeting JD and hex1848 and joining  this forum, my love of  figs has been re-energized. So much so, that I am inspired to plant a  large and organized orchard . The goal is to have a large repository of fig trees in North Florida. If all goes well, it will be one more source for cuttings and potted plants to the fig community at large. 

Some background:

I've been growing figs for about 15 years. I have 8 or 9 varieties planted helter skelter around the property. I never really cared what they were called as long as they produced an abundance of good tasting figs. I would say that each cultivar is uniquely delicious. Of course, I have my favorites.Some of the trees are picture perfect, some not so great. It's a hodge-podge.

Last fall and the early part of this year,  I acquired multiple fig cuttings on our trips to Europe and North Africa. Of these, approximately 10 have turned into healthy young trees in the 5-6 foot range ready for planting. JD has promised me one or two of his babies and. I will also be buying other cultivars  from Jon and maybe do some trading with you folks

I have approximately 2 acres hidden in the back of my 6 acre property that would be perfect for the orchard. This is where I do my vegetable gardening and meditation. It has a water supply (hundreds of yards of polytubing from the house). I can definitely picture this area as a new home for dozens of  rare and exotic figs.

Questions::

When is the best time to plant?

How many trees do you think will eventually fit in a 2 acre area? 

How far apart should I plant them?

How would you arrange them?

Irrigation system?

Fertilization?

Other questions I haven't even thought of....



__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
daygrower

Registered:
Posts: 255
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi FMD
For watering in an orchard situation where you have long rows the simplest and cheapest way here in North Fl. would be drip tape.
run it down each side of the figs and it will moisten the whole area around each plant figs are kinda like blueberries lots of surface roots.
I would also plan on using a good thick mulch.

__________________
Jim
zone 8b
Live Oak Fl.
FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for the advice guys.
@alanmercieca:
I am thinking of an October vs February planting date. Tallahassee can get some pretty cold days in winter and I am afraid of losing the growth should any die down to the ground.

I am planning on having a 5 inch mulch of compost(free at the recycling center). That should provide enough slow fertilization, I assume. We have a red type clay soil in this area that is pretty good for growing stuff.

@daygrower:
Good to meet another N. Floridian fig grower. I used to work in Live Oak for a short time. Lots of open area for all types of fruit trees!
If you ever get to Tallahassee, you should look me up. We can compare notes and exchange cuttings. I am conveniently just off I-10.

Frank

__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
daygrower

Registered:
Posts: 255
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Frank
Sounds good I am going to JD's in a couple of weeks and can stop by then.
Jim

__________________
Jim
zone 8b
Live Oak Fl.
JD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,157
Reply with quote  #5 
Frank,

Excellent idea. How bout them figs! And how about the FMD Fig Farm or The Florida Fig Farm?

You can count me in to help when it is time to get to work!

Once I inventory, reconcile, and mark clearly those trees and scion that have been promised to other members, you will have more than one or two babies and cuttings!

Over the past 12 months, I have been in search of the answers to the questions you ask. I have questioned the farmers at Turkey Hill Farm (THF) who have a nice collection of mature fig trees in ground who sell their figs at the Market Square Farmers Market and the owners of Just Fruits & Exotics (JFE) who propagate a massive amount of trees, sell retail/on-line, and have a very nice collection of in-ground trees. Concerning the home growers around the city, most just grow with out any help. The trees are tough and have survived direct attack like yours did as well as some neglect.

I am sure you will get a plethora of approaches from our fig friends. For 8B, here in this part of Florida, read what JFE says [1].  I'll share what I have done with my five in-ground trees (Black Madeira, Hardy Chicago, Kilmartin Celeste, MVSB, Stallion) which is cobbled together advice from THF, JFE, and others on F4FF and GWFF

When is the best time to plant?
I vote Fall versus Spring. Last year I planted the Hardy Chicago, Kilmartin Celeste, and Stallion in ground in late September; all are doing great at this point. I planted the MVSB and Black Madeira in early spring; they are struggling. There are more contributing factors. Ultimately my preference is the Fall; October specifically. If you plant immature trees, as you know, you will have to protect them. Last season the first frost was November and the last frost was in March. I use plant maps (frost) and weather underground (temps & precipitation) to keep track.

How far apart should I plant them?
Given your space, plans, the number of fig trees that are said to heat, humidity, rain tolerant, closed/sealed eye, and tasty, I think you can do 20ft spacing comfortably. It will also fit well with your current modus operandi of minimal intervention and letting Mother Nature do what she has done forever. There was a good discussion on GWFF. Here is the link: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/fig/msg1118152717230.html.

How many trees do you think will eventually fit in a 2 acre area?
I think your two acre space (87,120 square feet) is rectangular shaped. Assuming a length is about four times the width, 20'x20' spacing (400 square feet) per tree gives you space for about 217 (7-8 by 28-32) trees. Wow. If you go tighter, say 15'x15' spacing (225 square feet), then you have space for about 387 (9-10 by 36-40) trees.

How would you arrange them?
Staggered rows...maybe. With special attention (more space) for those trees known to grow large and/or bush/shoot heavily.

F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F
  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F
F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F
  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F
F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F
  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F
F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F  F

Irrigation system?
Daygrower's suggestion is spot on. Drip tape may be ideal for your use.

Fertilization?
I have followed the JFE recommendations with success. I fertilized in early February and early May with an organic 4-2-4 blend. My plan is to fertilize once more in early August, i.e., right about now. I also added worm castings. And I compost/mulch with either mushroom compost that is available locally via delivery by the yard or some of my own from composted veggie, leaves, and grass if there is enough. I top the casting/compost with pine bark mulch (also sold local by the yard, not sure about delivery). When it is all done it is thick like daygrower suggests. I plan to maintain the use of the 4-2-4 while the trees are young and then just castings/compost/mulch annually as the trees mature.

Pre-planting amendments?
Have you thought about amending the soil? Say add organic material like peat, pine bark mulch, compost, manure, worm castings, leaves, grass clippings, soybean meal (available locally), etc. in advance of planting for a chosen few if not all. At the very least, it will provide a good foundation when you put your prized possessions in the ground.

North Florida Fig Meeting & Scion Swap?
I met daygrower and hex1868 at a grafting class at JFE in the Fall. In addition to swapping scion wood, rootstock, and plants, daygrower turned me on to the Florikan CRF that has been outstanding for my container plants. He also had the brilliant idea of North Florida Fig Friends Meet & Greet and Scion Exchange in the Fall. I reached out to THF and JFE about hosting. We'll discuss off line. More to follow. Just wanted to light the fuse for other fig folks who are in the area.

__________________

jd | tallahassee.fl | zone 8b

FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #6 

JD, what a great post!

Thanks for all the great suggestions, engineering expertise and offer of help. I like all the ideas. The link to the GardenWeb discussion was indispensable. We will talk in person on the details as Fall approaches.. 

One idea I've been kicking around that would help reduce the amount of watering, fertilization and weeding would be to surround the newly planted fig with a Terrace Board 5-Inch  Landscape Edging coil

http://www.amazon.com/Master-Mark-Plastics-95340-Landscape/dp/B000LNRVXK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312240790&sr=8-1 

filled with compost obtained for free from the Apalachee Recycling Center. The diameter of the coil would be 3 feet across so there would be plenty of compost to protect and slowly fertilize the growing tree. Of course it would still need watering in the late Spring and early summer when Tallahassee seems to go into it's annual drought. It would also need light fertilization while compost matures..

The name of the Orchard? How about Figs Alot?  Haha



__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
hex1848

Registered:
Posts: 40
Reply with quote  #7 
Frank,

You can count me in to help as well. I would love the experience! 

 


__________________
Tallahassee, FL
Zone 8b
daygrower

Registered:
Posts: 255
Reply with quote  #8 
Hey Frank
I guess the whole big bend group will be having a work day at your place this fall

__________________
Jim
zone 8b
Live Oak Fl.
FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #9 
I am verklenct at the generosity of your responses, and I'm not even Yiddish!

This will work out nicely.

__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
Grandinetti

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 45
Reply with quote  #10 
Hello Frank,

Very envious of your fig orchard ambitions - I wish you much success in this project!

I noticed in a different post that you had some fig trees with origins in Calabria.  I'm very interested in trees from this area, as my grandparents were from Calabria.  Do you happen to know the town(s) where the mother trees were in Calabria?

Thanks
Joe

__________________
Joe Grandinetti
Zone 5b - northeastern PA
FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #11 

And so the planting of the orchard begins ahead of schedule. 

Taking advantage of the "cool" weather we are having in North Florida during Labor Day weekend, I planted  4 trees (3 are pictured below). Five to ten  more trees will be planted during the fall. A similar number will be planted next Spring.

I overestimated the area I had planned for the orchard, so the trees will be spaced a mere 15 feet apart. There will no doubt be much pruning in the future.


This is an east to west view of the future orchard:


This is a west to east view:


The area is protected by 40 foot pine trees on the west. Other mature trees and shrubs surround the rest of the area. A ten acre pond abuts  the east and north part of the property, so there should be good protection from the winter cold.


These are some of the  newly planted trees:




Each tree gets a 3 foot diameter 5 inch high edging filled with compost. 




The idea is to give the established roots extra protection as well as a large area for new roots from the base of the trunk to grow into. 

I was thinking of planting a winter green manure  like clover or rye into the compost for even more protection and added nutrients. 

There it is, then, hopefully a good start to the north florida fig orchard inspired by figs4fun. 

Further suggestions, critiques are welcome.


Frank




__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
daygrower

Registered:
Posts: 255
Reply with quote  #12 
Looks like you are off to a good start Frank
How are the airlayers doing any roots yet?

__________________
Jim
zone 8b
Live Oak Fl.
rafed

Registered:
Posts: 5,300
Reply with quote  #13 
Frank,

One of the many important things are the name tags. The ones you have are just not going to cut it. The way you have them placed on the tree and stake all you need is a little wind and they will snap off. Or the ink can fade in no time.

If you plan on planting a few fig trees then the best thing to do is use something that you can engrave and place in the ground by the ring. You can buy the aluminum tags the you can engrave with a pen and attach it on a piece of wood and stake it in the ground.

Another idea is you can also make a map of the area and where the figs are placed and have the names there too. I THINK this is what Jon does.

You start losing tags then you have a disaster.
JD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,157
Reply with quote  #14 
Frank,
A good start indeed. What are you using for compost? It looks good.

__________________

jd | tallahassee.fl | zone 8b

snaglpus

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 4,196
Reply with quote  #15 
OK, FMD, here is my 2 cents....Lke you, I created a fig orchard consisting of 70 trees on about 1/4 acre, on a hill!  The best advice I can give is design, design design!  Layout where you want your trees.  I spaced mine 7 feet apart of each other.  And if you gonna install an irrigation system, install it first.  I installed mine using a cable line trencher.  Use white or red spray paint to mark where to place you trees and draw out your lines for the irrigation system.  I installed my orchard this spring and installed the irrigation in May.  I should have installed the irrigation first, but I learned the hard way.  Learn from my mistakes!  Depending on how many trees you plant, you wlll probably need 2 or more water timers.  For my orchard of 70 trees, I have 4 water timers coming on at different times of the day.  Why 4?  Because, my orchard is up a hill and I have over 150 huge containers at different locations that I want to water on one water line.  Another thing on irrigation, you need to decide if you want it above or in ground.  Mine is in ground with 1/2 in poly and 1/4 in tubes feeding every plant.   Also, think about how you plan to clean up around your trees!  I got all my in ground trees in rows, I did not stagger the trees, if I did it would be a mowing nightmare!

When is the best time to plant?  I think Spring, no weather protection to worry about.

How many trees do you think will eventually fit in a 2 acre area?  You might be able to get about 500 trees in that area.

How far apart should I plant them?  I spaced mine 7 feet apart.

How would you arrange them?  I recommend keeping them in rows and columns for easy maintenance.

Irrigation system?  I recommend them.  See comment above but also think about the type of sprinklers you want.  I found a company that sells very cheap micro sprinklers.  Search my name in forum and will see the company and the micro sprinklers.  I forget their name at the moment.  I use 4 micro sprinklers types on my system, 12" tall 8 head sprayers, short 8 head drippers, 1 gal drippers and 1/2 gal drippers.

Fertilization?  It's not really needed for in ground trees but I did fertilize mine with spikes.

Another tip, get some plant covers from Tuesday Morning.  They are on sale now and they got 3 sizes, smail, medium and large.  I bought a bunch and they use velcrow to seal up the bag.  They look cute colored in green and got black leaf designs on them.  I had to drive around to 3 stores to get mine but I think its worth it!  good luck and enjoy!
cheer!


__________________
Dennis
Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

lukeott

Registered:
Posts: 644
Reply with quote  #16 

I'm very interested in this and all are great idea's. Being new to figs and having all new plants I think I'll wait a couple years til they get bigger. Some of my thoughts are growing in rows that ripen at same time, this way your harvest would be easier. Also thinking while planting my rows I'll leave spaces open for either new types or too add more of the type that you prefer that is already there. This idea would only be good for home gardener because commercial growers need all there spaces full and produceing. I think since I have a couple years I'll do work in the area which they will be planted. Like planting and tilling in for green manures. I don't know any where in NJ that gives away compost. I don't know if these ideas are possible or not just something to think about. Good health, Luke

daygrower

Registered:
Posts: 255
Reply with quote  #17 
Frank I agree with Rafed get some kind of pemanent marking system going before you get too many plants it will help save a lot of confusion later.
Dennis has some really good points the trees you are planting now should have some winter protection they probably won't die over winter but without protection it will set them back I will bring you some frost blanket for them if you want.
For now the irrigation is not real important with only a couple of trees but when you start planting larger numbers we will have to set you up with a good drip system.


__________________
Jim
zone 8b
Live Oak Fl.
FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #18 

Thank you all for the input and great suggestions. 

Jim, I do believe the air layers are starting to root. 2 to 4 more weeks should do it.

Jimmie,  the compost comes from the Apalachee recycling center. BTW, the rain brought the birds back and they have started pecking at the petit negri. I saved you a couple in the fridge.

Rafed, I completely agree with the importance of having a proper tagging system. I especially like the idea of mapping out the orchard and keeping a copy as a pdf or word document file that can be updated with time.

I am currently using an embossing labeler

http://www.amazon.com/Dymo-Organizer-Xpress-Card-12966/dp/B0000AQOD3/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315240110&sr=8-1 

that precludes the name wearing off. I will probably stable the embossed label on a wooden stake and place it near the trunk and keep another label around the trunk of the tree. That plus a map should be adequate.

Dennis, it can't be easy planting an orchard on a hillside. I am fortunate to have a large flat area and chose JD's suggestion of staggering trees like so:

F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F
  F F F F F F F F F F F F F F
F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F
  F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F  

At 15 feet apart, there should be plenty of room for mowing. 

As for irrigation, it will be very important until they are well established. That is one of the reasons why I am doing a fall planting. As the weather cools, daily watering becomes less critical. The trees will have 3-4 months to get established. By springtime, unless there is a drought, these trees should be OK. Still, I do plan on some type of underground (just a few inches deep) 1/4 " irrigation tubing, especially for the spring planting.

Because I will be planting 10-15 trees twice a year, there should be time to adapt to unforeseen problems.

  Velcroed Plant covers from Tuesday Morning sounds like a great idea. I will have to look at our local Tuesday Morning. If not, I was thinking of using strips of chux pads taped around the trunks for protection. We will see. Fortunately, Tallahassee has only a few deep freezes each year..



__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
james

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,647
Reply with quote  #19 
Hi Frank,

I've got my trees going on 7 acres.  I planted my trees 15' apart in rows and rows 20' apart so I can get the tractor through them easily without damaging any of the trees.  I made my mulch rings 6' in diameter for a couple of reasons.  First, to give as much room for the roots to stretch out in without interference (too much anyway) from the prairie weeds in the field.  Secondly, the turning radius of the riding mower wasn't tight enough to get around a three foot ring without several passes.  I have mine staggered as well.  Basically there is a fence that runs on a bias and the first tree in the row starts off about 25' from the fence.

I'm still hand watering but am planning on putting a Spot-Spitter system in.  Since I know where future rows will be, I can set it up so that it adapts easily as I expand.  John Deere (bought out Robert's) has a calculator so that one can determine the efficiency of a system.  Also, since I know where plants will go in the future, I can prepare holes during the growing season.  When it is time to plant there is not so much work.

I am planning on using plastic buckets (5-55 gallon) staked in the ground as plant covers during winter.  We go from hot to cold to hot very quickly here (sounds like you guys may as well).  So wrapping the trees isn't a good option.  I was thinking of cutting both ends out so the top can be taken off during warmer winter days and put back on when the weather is cold. 

~james

Attached Images
jpeg trees_per_acre.jpg (125.75 KB, 58 views)


__________________
In containers - Littleton, CO (zone 5b)
In ground - N.E of Austin, TX (zone 8b) 

2016 Wish List:  Dārk Pōrtuguese, Grānthāms Royāl, Lātarolla, Negrettā, Nōire de Bārbentāne, Rockāway Green, Viōlet Sepōr, Viōlette Dāuphine.  Iranian figs are always welcome.

FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #20 

James, I like your slow methodical approach. Great minds think alike?

With 7 acres, you can certainly afford the 6 foot mulch rings. Fortunately my small riding mower can circle 3 feet just fine. Also I plan to spray Roudup around the edging 2-3 times a year to keep the area clear of weeds and grass.

.

Any chance of posting some pictures of your setup?

Do you have a readily available source for such large buckets? Cost and storage would probably dissuade that approach in my situation.

Jim just PM'ed me info on frost blankets.They are inexpensive ($10 for  6'x50') and can be left on during sunny/hot weather swings without damaging  the trees.


__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
JD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,157
Reply with quote  #21 
Frank,
That Apalachee compost looks darker, richer, and better than I remember. Was it wet? No matter because I will be picking up some soon.

I also recall James' thread "Figs From Space" in which he showed his set up from Google Maps.

__________________

jd | tallahassee.fl | zone 8b

rafed

Registered:
Posts: 5,300
Reply with quote  #22 
Frank,

Good idea with the labeler but,,,,,,,,,,,,,make sure the glue can handle the extreme conditions. Cover with clear tape if you have to.

Make multipals too.

My rare and hard to fine figs have two to three different tags on them.
I use the aluminum ones where you engrave with a pen, I use wrap around tree tags and sometime shims.

I learned to use the shims from Adriano. They are approx 12in. long and stick in the ground like stakes with the names written on the exposed part.


loslunasfarms

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 379
Reply with quote  #23 
I use pipe driven into the ground to attach my name tags, then back it up using a diagram in Excel. I plotted the whole orchard using MS Visio, 250+ fig trees in the ground. I also have around 6000 feet so far of drip irrigation installed. Plot out the figs, then rent a post hole digger.





















Here is a more recent pic, the trees are acutally around 4-5 feet tall each.



Dieseler

Registered:
Posts: 8,235
Reply with quote  #24 
Now thats going to be a mighty fine looking fig orchard in my opinion.
Your youth and kids to help will make it look even more fantastic very soon im sure as those trees grow.
Can't wait to see the pictures as it progresses.
Figluvah

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,100
Reply with quote  #25 
Very nice looking Orchard Jose!

Did you have the soil tested for RKN?

__________________
Cecil (Z 8b?) in the sticks of E.Tx

(Elkhart/Palestine TX)
JD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,157
Reply with quote  #26 
Jose,
Thanks for posting those photos. Very nice.
As always, I am interested in the details. I am sure that I can find the answers to these questions are in one of your previous threads but I think it is worth repeating here: Was is your tree and row spacing? What size holes did the post hole digger make? What did you fill those holes with? And how much water per tree?

__________________

jd | tallahassee.fl | zone 8b

loslunasfarms

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 379
Reply with quote  #27 
Q and A..

Very nice looking Orchard Jose!

Did you have the soil tested for RKN?
No, it was an alfalfa field before, i have not seen any RKN yet.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Jose,
Thanks for posting those photos. Very nice.
As always, I am interested in the details. I am sure that I can find the answers to these questions are in one of your previous threads but I think it is worth repeating here:
Was is your tree and row spacing? Tree spacing - 6 feet, row spacing 10 feet.

What size holes did the post hole digger make?
18" hole

What did you fill those holes with?
Native soil, topped with straw to conserve water.

And how much water per tree?

2gph PC emitter, 2 hours.

drivewayfarmer

Registered:
Posts: 774
Reply with quote  #28 
Great looking place , Jose. Soil looks good , if it was used for alfalfa it must be good ground.
What is the long term plan ? A u-pick fig orchard or a fig CSA ?
Nice to see the early and later pictures.

__________________
Kerry Zone 5 NH
Wish list :Galicia Negra , Col de Dame Blanca/Negra  .
Figluvah

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,100
Reply with quote  #29 
thanks Jose!

Like I said that is gonna be/already is a beautiful Fig Orchard.

__________________
Cecil (Z 8b?) in the sticks of E.Tx

(Elkhart/Palestine TX)
loslunasfarms

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 379
Reply with quote  #30 
DWF, we think we are going to build a fig orchard for fresh/dried figs. I have close to 150-200 fig trees with most being unique. I see some trees right now that show some promise with ability to die back and grow figs:

Zuchinni Fig,
Bayernfiege Violetta,
Los Lunas Fig,
Naples White,
Hardy Chicago,

Late figs:
Col de dame white, negra, grise
Vasilika Sika


udaman

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 241
Reply with quote  #31 
All the best of luck to you loslunas.  Your hard work will prove it a success.

__________________
Andrew Bacchi
z5A Vermont
http://sites.google.com/site/figosaurus/home
FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #32 

Jose,

Thanks for your good advice and for posting pictures of your nascent fig orchard. 

My situation is a little different in that I plan to add 20-30 trees a year simply due  to time issues as well as the need to obtain cuttings and allowing them to grow in pots for at least a year. The slower process will also allow a trial and error approach (all the eggs are not in the same basket, so to speak).


Just a few more questions, if possible:

How much land do you have to work with?

It looks like the distance between figs is 10-15 feet, correct?

It looks like you did most of the planting over a short period of time...how did you manage to get so many different varieties in such a short period of time? I am assuming a lot here.

Lastly, would you be willing to rent your kids out to help with setting up my orchard?   ;=)


__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
loslunasfarms

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 379
Reply with quote  #33 

Just a few more questions, if possible:

How much land do you have to work with?

It looks like the distance between figs is 10-15 feet, correct?

The spacing is around 6-8 feet.

It looks like you did most of the planting over a short period of time...how did you manage to get so many different varieties in such a short period of time? I am assuming a lot here.

My collection is over 7 years, I just got tired of spending 1-2 hours a day watering.


Lastly, would you be willing to rent your kids out to help with setting up my orchard?   ;=)

My 9 year old expects min-wage.. We are not right to work state ( ha ha)...

FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #34 

Over the last few weeks more trees have been added to the orchard and as f tonight it looks like this:


It's hard work, but satisfying. 






Alma:




Petit Negri keeps on giving:


__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
nypd5229

Registered:
Posts: 1,901
Reply with quote  #35 
Great Job!

1st pic- Background- Is that a Blue Weeping Atlas Cedar or Grape Vines?

__________________
Dominick
Zone 6a-MA
FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #36 
Scuppernong grape vines, Dom...and in the second last picture is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. LOL.
__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
lukeott

Registered:
Posts: 644
Reply with quote  #37 
nice...great job...you have been busy...one thing, whats growing in with the one fig? looks like a cross between beans and poison.
                                                                           luke
FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #38 

Luke, those are different types of beans..mung, black, chick, navy and black eyed.

It is my version of a  nitrogen fixing green manure. I am hoping the figs like it.


__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
nypd5229

Registered:
Posts: 1,901
Reply with quote  #39 
 Big dogs only for me.I don't do well with small dogs. I hurt myself tripping every time! LOL
__________________
Dominick
Zone 6a-MA
lukeott

Registered:
Posts: 644
Reply with quote  #40 
that sounds like a great idea, with the beans. i would have never thought of trying that. let us know how it works. i read in the past that beans have nodules(spelling?) that have nitrogen fixed on the root. nice.
                                                                                    luke
Dieseler

Registered:
Posts: 8,235
Reply with quote  #41 
Thanks for sharing those pictures.
Hope you have a lot of tasty dark types planted in that orchard !
Want to add my brother had a pair of them same dogs.

JD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,157
Reply with quote  #42 
Looks good Frank...real good! And your Petit Negri looks awesome.

So you started the N. FL Fig Farm without us...I know. I know...way too much fun and satisfying when you do it yourself. Good work.

One quick note: I recall that depending on what was composted, the Apalachee mulch could be heavy on cedar. Is yours? I ask only so that you consider that the soil might become slightly acidic which would be contrary to the sweet soil loving figs as well as the limestone-adding practice promoted by fig nuts way more experience than I am.

Again, thanks for posting these photos of the Back40 Fig  Farm.

__________________

jd | tallahassee.fl | zone 8b

FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #43 

Jimmie, the compost from the local recycling center, is as variable as the day is long. Sometimes it is a beautiful dark, rich, loamy substance that dreams are made of.. Other times, like today, it was a woody mix with little compost still hot to the touch. Therefore, I always lime heavily. 

I know how busy you and Jim are these days but we should get together sometime soon and exchange potted air-layered plants. I have a nice Petit Negri and Beal for yous guys as well as large rooted cuttings from the giant seed grown celeste to use as grafting rootstock. Yes, the air-layering went very well.

Martin, I am completely with you on the superiority of dark figs. I have my fingers crossed that the cuttings I brought back from Europe will be of the black persuasion. It's just like Forrest Gump said about life and chocolates.

Luke, if my figs start tooting then I'll know for sure they like being surrounded by the "musical fruit".


 



__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #44 

December update:

Since September, 32 figs have been planted in the "North Florida Fig Orchard". Thanks go out to Jimmie and Jim for their contributions.

Some have been put to bed wrapped in frost blankets but the smaller trees rest under a pile of pine straw. There was a sudden and unexpected freeze that may have killed off some of the smaller specimens. We shall see.



.


__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
hex1848

Registered:
Posts: 40
Reply with quote  #45 
Wow looks great Frank! I don't think it got cold enough to damage the little figs. I still have little guys with leaves on them in pots in the back yard. No burn or anything.. It might be a micro climate thing, but it stayed around 32 here in Killearn and only for an hour or two it seemed...



__________________
Tallahassee, FL
Zone 8b
FMD

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,325
Reply with quote  #46 
Definitely microclimate, Miguel. My little corner of Tallahassee was down to 25.
I think the roots were protected, though.

__________________
Frank
Tallahassee, FL Zone 8b  

 

North Florida Figs
Ben_in_SoFla

Registered:
Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #47 
Frank, that is just positively AWESOME....I know what I want to do when I grow up....

Ben

__________________
Ben, North Central Florida Zone 8B - 9
striveforfreedom

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 442
Reply with quote  #48 

Those all look incredible Frank and Jose. There's gonna be tons of figs over there next summer. Thank you both for sharing.


__________________
Vince Russo
Norwalk, CT Zone 7A

Wish list - Any cuttings of the Col de Dames would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Darkman

Registered:
Posts: 639
Reply with quote  #49 
Hi Frank,
 
Loved the discussion and watching your progress. Awesome work!
 
For what it's worth I would remove all grass, weeds and anything else growing out for three more feet and I would start mulching heavily. My thoughts are that the roots will outgrow the canopy and if you mulch now and continually replenish it you will be creating a very nutrient rich compost bed for you fig roots to grow into. I would first break/till the ground around the ring and then add the mulch. If you keep it deep enough earthworms will move in and start breaking everything down. You can even take kitchen scraps that are compost friendly, pull back the leaves, throw them down and then recover. After a few years you will start seeing the rich soil building up under the mulch.
 
Where I live the drip system will not work. Our "soils" are too sandy and it will precipitate straight down wetting a spot about the size of a dinner plate. The micro-sprinklers that someone else mentioned is what I am going to use. You can have a evenly distributed watering all under your trees and perimeter. The MS's are cheap, as cheap as less than $2 each for quality ones. You can probably find them much cheaper than that. I would suggest a cleanable filter system at the output of you water source. If you go to JF&E he will show you his system.
 
You better come up with a marketing strategy or you will be buried in figs! LOL
 
Really great work. You will be able to make recommendations to a lot of newbie figger's (like me) soon.
 
Thanks for your help!

__________________
Charles in Pensacola AKA Darkman
Zone 8b/9a
Winter of 09/10 low 19
Winter of 10/11 low 19
Winter of 11/12 low 29
Winter of 12/13 low 31
Winter of 13/14 low 19
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.