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Subject: When should the figs form? Replies: 13
Posted By: Chivas Views: 731
mine are thinking about it, I can see small bumps thinking about becoming figs so hopefully in the next two weeks or so for me here or I will need a very warm season to have any figs.

Subject: Minimum size/age of fig tree before commencing to pinch Replies: 12
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,583
Like Akram said, I like to let the plant get around 1-2 feet before pinching the terminal bud on a young tree in pots (assuming there is no other branching), this is so I can develop the scaffold branches then as ascpete said once I have scaffold branches established around the 3rd year for me, that is when I will do pinching, sometimes it can be done the second year but when I have been forcing fruit from first year plants sometimes I get poor quality fruit that easily sour or fall off.  Most of my trees this year I think I will only letting them grow and no so much pinching just to get branches what I want rather than fruit production, and some of this is because I will have to root prune next spring and I want to try and maximize next years crop after the root pruning and branch pruning.

I recently pinched a col de dama noir because I want to make it an open vase style tree in pot there are leaf buds starting to go open but I can tell they all want to go straight up so I will be tying some down for sure to get my scaffold branches set, once those scaffold branches develop I will let the next branches go out like the diagrams Ascpete has put up many times from the japanese.  I think if I can train the trees like this, minor pruning every year will keep me with moderately vigorous new growth that is even and productive and only do the pinching on the branches when I want to force vegetative growth to stop and figs to form.  This will all depend on how the figs are developing so we will see how it turns out, but I have high hopes for it to work well as it has worked well with other types of fruit trees.

Subject: People who lost in ground trees this winter--will you try again? Replies: 15
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,092
Just the one I have to pull out, I only had 2 die in ground on me, 1 wasn't protected MBVS (I didn't like the flavour much)  the other was colisanti dark, I took the pick axe around the main roots earlier on and found a ton of ants so the shovel, pick axe and the hachet should make short work of it, if it takes more than 15 mins I would be surprised.  It's close to my shed in the backyard so tractor is a no go but a back ho would be a lot more fun.  Way easier than juniper or mulberry stumps at least.

Subject: Breba or main crop? Replies: 12
Posted By: Chivas Views: 711
80-90 days generally from the time they form to harvest, for me black madeira is a later season fig and can take up to 110-120 days to mature.

Also if you have the figs on this years growth (green wood) then they are main crop, if it is on last years growth, it is a breba.

Subject: Breba drop on LSU Gold? Replies: 6
Posted By: Chivas Views: 479
I had 7 on my negronne and 7 on my colar, some started to swell nicely and then some stood still.  There was 5 left on my negronne and 3 on my colar, some just were malformed and some just didn't seem like they would grow, one on the black madeira go to a pea size and just turned black like it was burnt, they didn't have too much water or not enough, not too cold or too hot, I think the winter cold hurt them more than anything in my case.  Other years cool spring temperatures have knocked off everything when they were the size of a peach pit.

Subject: People who lost in ground trees this winter--will you try again? Replies: 15
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,092
I put in two more trees, will have to dig out a 5 inch stump with a 18 gallon root mass and plant another one, if one dies another will always go into it's place.

Subject: BAM ! FIGS SAVED! Replies: 33
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,092
Briased in tomatoe sauce, lots of garlic and thyme should be plenty tasty, plus a nice hide.

I used to have rabbits, one dug out my thyme to make a nest, I got all but two of the bunnies moved to a friends wood lot when their eyes opened, I used to see one of them return but since the dogs are more adept at chasing them, haven't seen one since.  Only problem is the dogs will sometimes chew and dig the figs, it has past for now so I am hoping it stays that way but to see young dog rip an inch diametre branch clean off a nectarine tree is not a happy sight.

Subject: For those with figs in HOT dry climates Replies: 15
Posted By: Chivas Views: 917
It kills cucumber beetles too, the way it works is the beetles keep trying to clean themselves off, but he surround (kaolin clay) keeps getting them dirty and they end up spending their energy cleaning themselves and end up dying because of it.  I am not sure if all beetles are affected by it but I would imagine most would be.

Subject: Cold Hardiness Replies: 8
Posted By: Chivas Views: 824
My Black Madeira suffered the least cold damage in my garage, col de dama noir dieback back to the ground and is sending up shoots, but I didn't protect it properly so I lost much of the wood to rot, I think it should be reasonably hardy if protected properly as far as col de dama gris, Herman has it planted in ground in New Jersery so I would imagine that it is reasonably hardy with proper protection as well. 

I had a strain of doree, not the same as Baud's it was decently hardy, suffered minimal dieback in a normal winter, but this particular doree is not the one most people talk about and had bad taste.  Noire de Caromb I am still waiting for sprouts, it's not dead but it's not growing currently either, it also has a large ant colony living in it's pot though.

Subject: Greenhouse growing Replies: 22
Posted By: Chivas Views: 956
My hoop house is 12 feet fall so I am getting about 3 feet or so on the walls so the temperature rises quiet rapidly, ridge vents are great if you have a control system with weather station so you can prevent wind damage, venlo by far are the best in my opinion but you also need a control system and money to build it.  I have grown commercial vegetables in both styles, even the old wood houses with high peaks, but only once did I have wind damage on the ridge vents, this was caused by a tornado and the structure was not sound so the wind picked up the corner of the vent and ripped it back even though it was closed.  It did not help that the exhaust fan below it got shorted out by the rain.  

I guess I keep forgetting that people don't always have control systems or the time to constantly monitor their greenhouses, that and the money for them is very high.

Subject: Greenhouse growing Replies: 22
Posted By: Chivas Views: 956
Dennis, the sides help a lot to get a cross breeze in, the problem though is all the hot air at the top has no where to go.  If you are worried about birds getting in, just use bird netting, half inch or so should work great without restricted airflow, helps keep out most moths too.

If possible I would suggest to have something that opens on the top so you can vent out the very hot air, gets up to 50 Celcius in the summer time for me.

Subject: noticed something about rain. Replies: 8
Posted By: Chivas Views: 455
Rain is a nice way to get the soil slightly saturated but I have the same issue as you, I will normally have to water deeply after a rain still when the summer hits but in the spring and fall it seems to be fine.  It gets worse as the canopy develops and less rain gets into the container.

Subject: This guy really wants this tree Replies: 25
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,333
He may be just on a separate account and inflating the bid to try to get someone to pay a bunch for it.

Subject: What's eating my tree? Replies: 5
Posted By: Chivas Views: 401
Those hornworms are terrible, they can a plant a day of tomatoe or peppers.  I am glad they aren't in big numbers here and are easily killed with bt.

Subject: What's eating my tree? Replies: 5
Posted By: Chivas Views: 401
check for slugs as well, this is the first time I have ever had problems, they are eating my cabbage like crazy.

Subject: Leaf Damage after spraying Replies: 8
Posted By: Chivas Views: 473
that is common reaction when spraying insecticidal soap in light, if you need to spray, best to move it to a location with no sun, wait until the sun is not very intense or spray very early in the morning so it can dry before the sun hits it.

Subject: Fig Tree Borers HELP Replies: 32
Posted By: Chivas Views: 3,798
imidacloprid as a soil drench will kill them on living trees, nasty stuff though not the worst.  You may be able to call an arborist to come in a treat, i read somewhere that malathion works on them but I don't know.

Subject: Pinching at fifth leaf,started today! Replies: 21
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,325
Thank you for that herman, I am assuming then you only let the trunks get a couple feet tall in the growing season then prune back to about 1 foot in the fall before protecting?

Subject: "The Big Kill"....Winter of 2013 - 2014 Replies: 131
Posted By: Chivas Views: 6,659
I am surprised Herman, bloodgood is a standard here for japanese maples and I have seen many specimens 15 feet tall.  Personally I have the lion's mane japanese maple that suffered little dieback (only 3 years old so she is tiny) and a floating cloud japanese maple that have minor die back.  Both are protect from the east and the south east as well as north east.  

I was suprised that my sweet bay magnolia which is not in a very friendly location and exposed had zero die back and retained a couple leaves (only 1 foot tall).  

Just waiting on two in ground fig trees to sprout, 1 may not and waiting for about a half dozen potted figs to sprout.

Subject: Pinching at fifth leaf,started today! Replies: 21
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,325
How many trunks did you leave on the col de dama gris?  I have a noir in ground, but I protected poorly and it is almost dead to the ground.  Right now it is leaving only 1 shoot to come up but I suspect more will follow and I am thinking after this winter to take more of your approach especially since you have a col de dama in ground at your location.

Posted By: Chivas Views: 2,358
The figs I have in ground in water locations died back to the ground but are sprouting back up, the ones that are in colder locations still have not sprouted but are green under the trunk, so a couple more weeks and I should have leaves I think.

Subject: PIX: Pastiliere main crop starting. Replies: 13
Posted By: Chivas Views: 609
I had nefiach from baud, it drop all three figs last year, it was 2 years old, I left it out in the winter and of course it is dead but I had no time for it.  I think, as discussed by many on this site before, the young trees of certain varieties are more susceptible to dropping fruit than others.  Perhaps some of these need to have a more mature root system or mature branching system or just a more balanced system of roots and shoots.  

Subject: OT: what's in your pocket? Replies: 51
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,622
Is it just me or do you have 3 bottle openers?  I do really like that knife though, what is the make?

Subject: Back From The Dead Replies: 19
Posted By: Chivas Views: 799
milk protein mixed for 9% protein content will encapsulate viruses and de activate them, never heard of soil drench, always for workers and tools to dip between plants to to prevent spread though.

Posted By: Chivas Views: 6,313
I usually just buy the ones from the hardware store that are resistant to kinking, they still will kink not too bad either, but generally I don't get blow outs either.  If you get some of the thicker ones they tend to be better.

Subject: Rossa Rotonda Replies: 5
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,110

Looks likes they might have some information on this variety, 

Gustissimo┬« Rossa Rotonda is the name they sell it by, I also see it in some czec sites.  Almost looks like ronde de bordeaux but I doubt if this is the case.

Subject: Hay, a warning Replies: 13
Posted By: Chivas Views: 718
I have seen pictures of growers in southern france putting wood chip mulch on top of the pots of their trees, i am assuming this is to try and keep the pot moist for a bit longer, I love straw don't get me wrong but in my zone it just needs to be applied later than other climates from my experience although some may disagree.  Field peppers here for example, are recommended to be planted in red plastic mulch as they found it warmed the soil better and reflected more heat/uv light to plants reducing insects and increasing yields.

Subject: hmm.. Black Madeira is just hair earlier than Figo Preto... Replies: 5
Posted By: Chivas Views: 451
my bm seems to want to grow more spreading, a lot more horizontal branches than other trees, but then it likes to put multiple branches at the tips of those when I pinch of course.

Subject: Hay, a warning Replies: 13
Posted By: Chivas Views: 718
I like your method JDS, I will have to try that, I always am buying the compost or topsoil anything, seems easy enough.

Subject: My Rond de Bordeaux Replies: 24
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,399
Looks like a good start, I am guessing the pine needles are keeping away all the weeds?

I really like your stone wall, if I could find enough stone here for the right price I would build one, also do you ever get olives from your tree?

Subject: Hay, a warning Replies: 13
Posted By: Chivas Views: 718
Hay works well as a mulch for garlic, but garlic is much ore tolerant of frost and cold weather, helps keep the soil looser too and absorbs the water better in a heavier rain, I am talking about 3 inches of hay.  I did it all over my whole garden one year and I realized June is too early and the soil was too cold for quiet some time, around July is a good time for me if I want to mulch, then I would just till the straw back into the garden or use it to protect figs in the fall.

Subject: Forget about Sphagnum Moss and RootRiot..... Replies: 6
Posted By: Chivas Views: 625
Looks good, last Year I did some pruning so for fun I put 3 branches in the ground around april with just barely the tip through the soil watered a couple times and I was 3 for 3 by half june.  I put around a dozen in the hoophouse soil this year to see if it will work, mainly because of laziness and not wanting to deal with fungus gnats.

Subject: Super protection Replies: 13
Posted By: Chivas Views: 559
There is a fellow near me who grows citronella and then makes a powerful extract.  He sells a little bit and it's usually to hunters, everyone who has used it claims it works like magic, in case anyone is willing to do some chemistry it might be an option.

Subject: Coll de Dama Roja Fruit Replies: 35
Posted By: Chivas Views: 2,355
Tyler, I have heard that the brun is similar to the gris but I have also  heard not the same.  As far as it compared with the brun, I have been told not the same so the mystery goes on and on until fruit pictures surface.

Subject: -3* F Friday night,here in Zone 6b. Replies: 42
Posted By: Chivas Views: 2,222
Similar results here Herman, with similar varities.  CddB was the first to open up, BM is next, Niagara black is just sitting there for a couple weeks.

Subject: Coll de Dama Roja Fruit Replies: 35
Posted By: Chivas Views: 2,355
Looks tasty, hope to see more of this one coming up.

Subject: PIX: Violette de Sollies Replies: 10
Posted By: Chivas Views: 730
This will be an interesting one, I got Noire de Barbatane just in case of excessive moisture as sometimes when ripening happens here it can be humid or thunder storms.  Barbatane is supposed to be very similar to sollies but more resistant to humidity.  Just in case you needed another reason for 1 more tree, it would be interesting to see how they compare.

Looks like it's off to a great start.

Subject: LSU FIG FIELD DAY!!!!!!! Replies: 53
Posted By: Chivas Views: 5,655
For tree rust you might consider spraying with dormant oil and sulfur while still dormant before buds open, it may help keep spores down.

Subject: Do you give with conditions? Replies: 48
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,492
Normally I just give away, plants or cuttings.  I think it's up to you what you like to do, personally if I lived in CA I would want to trade fig trees for chesnuts with harvey though, fresh chesnuts are delicious, moldy one from china not so much.

Subject: New Additions to the garden Replies: 45
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,221
Rabbits are so tasty, braised rabbit, rabbit paella, rabbit stew are some of my favorites.

Subject: Help! My Fig Trees aren't Leafing out. Replies: 22
Posted By: Chivas Views: 5,311
A lot of my potted trees are late in breaking buds, several have so far and others are sprouting from trunks.  My in ground have all died to the ground and are starting to push up growth from the roots.  Some of the trees I cut earlier have dried out at the top of the cut.  I would cut later on to see where the growth comes from and avoid the cracking.

Subject: Let's talk traps Replies: 36
Posted By: Chivas Views: 1,140
Cats seem to work the best.  We have a few strays around here and also some people's pet's roaming around.  I put up with the cat pooh in the flower beds for the mice not being near.

Subject: super phosphate Replies: 11
Posted By: Chivas Views: 511
Pon's book shows that they are using tripple super phosphate in the fig orchard where he lives and other parts of spain, one good thing about it is that it should contain a good ammount of calcium as well.

Subject: Propane Greenhouse Heater Replies: 11
Posted By: Chivas Views: 848
What I have seen is that you can inflate the double layer of poly with a drier duct and a wind powered fan, but the draw back is if there is no wind no inflation occurs.  You can also build a smaller hoop house within the hoop house to create a secondary protected climate and it will hold in a lot more heat, the problem being is this is usually done as a low tunnel inside so not too big for trees.  Rocket stoves supposedly do well in the greenhouses and if you add a thermal mass to it you can maximize your heat retention also saving on fuel.  I imagine if you have an exhaust on any heater you could run the stove pipe through it and save the thermal mass though.

Subject: Propane Greenhouse Heater Replies: 11
Posted By: Chivas Views: 848
I would suggest to leave them dormant in the coldest parts of the year and you can also save on heat this way.  If you would get down to O F then it might make more sense to keep the temp around 34-36 then just have them wake up earlier like half February or so when it could save you on heating costs and you get better light outside.

Subject: I found the culprit!! Replies: 13
Posted By: Chivas Views: 841
Grandevo is supposed to be a broad spectrum organic pesticide available in the (not sure about for home owners though).  You can also try applying nematodes in the soil in your yard at the right time to attack the larvae to keep their numbers down for their next cycle and coming years.  You might try installing some bat boxes around your yard to give bats a place to roost and they will eat a bunch of beetles/bugs while they are flying at night.

Subject: Compost Tea and Fig taste? Replies: 11
Posted By: Chivas Views: 716
Thank you Figaro, I found that my favorite mix is 50 very large chucnks of coconut husk mixed 50/50 with composted sheep manure gave me the best results, however I can no long find the same quality coconut (before it helped that it was free from a friend), so it looks like I should test out some with 30-40% aeration materials to have similar mix to you.  I do agree that I may need to add more for my climate, but even with my heavy mix it seems to work well with producing tons of roots, then again it is easy to add extra water than take it away.  

Subject: what's better than Black Madeira? Replies: 66
Posted By: Chivas Views: 3,722
Brent, I believe for roughly our area they are predicting a warmer and drier fall than normal so i am hoping this remains true and we can enjoy some nice figs into autumn.  I know you are farther east than me but still I would imagine the region as a whole should have similar weather.

Subject: Help with winter damage recovery Replies: 6
Posted By: Chivas Views: 429
Gene that seems to work as an idicator for me as well, then when I see other trees with swelling buds I slowly cut back at the shoots until i see sap running, then maybe cut back another inch or so.  The only problem with doing the cutting back if the buds have no broken is that the cut may dry up too much and crack which has happened to me this year on several trees.

Subject: Compost Tea and Fig taste? Replies: 11
Posted By: Chivas Views: 716
Figaro, just curious, roughly what percent of perlite and rock dust are you adding?  I make a mix of compost/peat (half my mix) with top soil 30%, composted sheep manure 10% and sand/clay pebbles 10%.  It works really well for summer time to hold moisture in but I am thinking it is still too heavy so I am thinking to keep the sand at 10% and then cut back the compost or topsoil 10-20% and add lava rock instead for drainage so I am curious what ammount of drainage is working well for others.  They seem to like the blood meal and bone meal though, the potassium sulfate, used sparingly really perks up the fruits late last season when I first tried it.


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