I am sort of new to figs and have been thinking about how best to keep them in-ground in colder climates.
The procedure of wrapping them in several layers of cardboard and carpet doesn't seem ideal to me with my small yard, and neither does burying them in a large grave-trench. I'd prefer something less involved, and I suspect my neighbors would as well.
I'd rather not grow in pots forever, although it seems as though at least a few years to toughen them is a must. From what I gather, potted plants yield less, and there's still the issue of dragging them to the basement or garage, plus potted plants dry out fast and we are gone a lot in summer.
There are a few figs like hardy chicago that can grow back fron a complete top die-off and still yield, which is encouraging, but even those apparently do better if you can over-winter a few feet of wood on top, I believe from reading.
So, i was thinking of these issues, and also some of the things that are supposed to improve hardiness and range figs can be grown at. And I have an idea so simple, I'm guessing there must be an overlooked issue: Grow them in the window-well.
Grown in the window-well, a fig would have very limited water, facilitating hardening off. Depending upon size of well, they could be cut off at between 12 inches and 3 feet. And since windows and foundations leak some heat, I suspect you could protect the plant from sub-zero temps with little more than a large square of insulation to cover the top of the well and some boards stacked over that. In fact, the same arrangement would also protect the fig from overheating on warm spells.
So, what am I missing? Why couldn't/wouldn't this work? I believe eating figs are not supposed to have invasive roots, it would shelter them with far less eyesore and potentially even greater security for less work. The sub-well growth would see relatively little sunlight, but it would maintain protected buds to send up shoots much faster and thicker than coming from the ground itself and the ground would warm quicker in the spring. AND, it should be protected a bit more from cold snaps, or easy to re-cover.