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TorontoJoe

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Hey Guys,

I'd been growing figs in the ground but this will be my first year bringing out potted figs. Both those out of dormancy from the garage and cuttings rooted over winter. It's still cold here and all the garage figs are still fast asleep. I'm just wondering what kind of temps you're looking for before you start the shuffle?

I have dollies and can roll the pots in and out of the garage pretty easily. I'm just not sure when the process should begin...

Like when daytime high temps are forecast higher than 10 or 12C?

What do you guys do? Or rather when?

For the in-ground I basically just wait until I believe there wont be another frost...usually mid to late April.

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livetaswim06

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Reply with quote  #2 
I grew a Meyer lemon in Buffalo for 2 winters. It stayed inside until there were at least 3 days in a row with lows above 38. That's when I would start the shuffle. How cold is your garage? I kept my tree at room temperature for this process.
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TorontoJoe

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My garage is attached. The last few days ive been seeing temps around 5C (40F) during the days. Outdoors however is a different story. The rest of the weeks highs are are anywhere between 0 and 8C. I know i have some time to wait.... im just teying to understand what everyone looks for....
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Reply with quote  #4 
Last year, I got some potted fig trees at spring last year and put them outside, It was warm at day time at 10C+, but cold at night for 2 night at 3-4C, young leaves was damaged, I moved them back to my house, Damaged leaves didn't recover and new leaves appeared after 1 month.
This year, I try to avoid fig shuffle, I put my potted fig trees in junk car including some tooth pick cuttings with leaves this year, we have less than 6 hours sunlight per week, temperature was down to 0C many times for a week,   no cold damaged so far.

If you have space in your house, it is better to let them stay indoor to avoid cold damaged,  If they have bigger size leaves, when you take them outdoor at April/May, They might get Sunburn, you may need to put them at half sun area first for few days before putting them at full sun outdoor.









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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #5 
I don't mind doing the shuffle. Keeps the neighbours amused as well. I have very large dollies so the shuffle takes less than a minute for all the trees. I roll straight out of the garage onto the driveway that faces south. Then back in after work.

Should I assume then then that it's safe to start bringing them out for the day when temps are forcast at above 10C?

As for the covered in-ground trees....I've only done this for the last two springs and guess I got lucky. I'm thinking to do it two or three weeks before last frost date and just be ready with cover or the drum fans if frost is predicted....

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Reply with quote  #6 
I think root activity starts above 45-50 F so bringing the plants out whenever it is above 50 for the day makes perfect sense. As far as using chipper mulch, that includes sapwood which is a big no-no.
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gofiger

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Reply with quote  #7 
I'm in Oshawa and have done the following the last 2 years with my potted tree kept in my cold cellar. Right around now I bring my tree up and stick it in my kitchen in front of my double sliding glass door so it gets morning light from sunrise until around 11AM. In about 2 weeks the leaves break out and then my tree gets taken outside and buried in the pot in ground in a clear plastic greenhouse that I Mcgyver up every spring.

2 years ago this worked great and I got brebas...but not many.... and main crop figs from my HC tree.

Last year...not so much. First my tree leaved out more before it got outside so the bright sunshine was a little too hard on it. Then around the first week of May we got some real brutal cold weather and my tree even though inside my plastic greenhouse got hit pretty good by frost. Also... from the frost damage I'm guessing...I never got any breba figs at all. BTW the plastic greenhouse came off both years just before the long weekend in May.

So this year my plan is to take the tree straight from my cold cellar to my greenhouse in the middle of April. I'm not worried about the longer dormancy because even with my frost damage and the cold weather we had in May this tree still ripened all its fruit before we got frost in the fall. I am hoping the longer dormancy and taking it straight outside will slow the waking up process and it will get through a cold spring better.  I have never protected it too extend the season in the fall but I can do that in a hurry if it still has fruit to ripen then.

Just making this up as I go. If this doesn't work I'll tinker with something else next year...lol. Either way I'm really enjoying the whole process of learning this new fig game.

Good luck with whatever route you take.

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks Steve. This is good info.
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pino

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Everyone has their own approach. 
Yesterday was 60F and at night dropped to 12F so this time of year can be trying.  Unfortunately we have had hard frosts as late as June 1. If advanced figs get caught in a hard frost then you are set back a month & ripe fig season would be over before it started.

This time of year I try & keep my figs dormant as long as possible as they break dormancy I give them some light or put them near doors, windows... 
On hot days I move out the ones that I can easily move back if weather changes.  
As temps warm up I take a bigger chance but inevitably in April & May freezing temps return & have to scramble to move all back in.

For these months is when an appropriate sized heated & cooled greenhouse is very nice.

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #10 
Thanks Pino. I'm curious. When do you remove the protection from your in ground treess? There shuffling isnt an option...
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Vincent_15

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi joe for me in quebec i don't do the shuffle i get them out in mid april my range is night temperature of 10 degres in celsius. Hope it helps
pino

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoJoe
Thanks Pino. I'm curious. When do you remove the protection from your in ground treess? There shuffling isnt an option...
That's another game I play by ear.
Temptation is to remove covering as soon as it starts warming up but we know last frost date is late May.

So you can go ahead and remove coverings but need to be ready to protect figs from frost anytime until June 1.

For me once I see long term forecast warming up then I start removing layers but remain ready to put back on as needed.  Sounds easy but every year it is so easy to get caught with frost and they get set back.

What I have done now for 2 in ground figs is erect a hoophouse 16x24 over them.  
Next week will remove the heavy winter coverings & put up the poly on the hoops.  Its not great since it still gets cold at night but it does protect the figs from frost so they get some head start.  June I remove the poly. 
End result those 2 fig trees start ripening a little early & ripen more figs.




 

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #13 
I think my strategy is going to be similar. I don't have a hoop house. I'm going to leave some Tall stakes around the perimeter of the trees so I can easily drape tarps overnight if temperatures are predicted to drop. I think i'll remove the heavy winter covering in two or three weeks
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torontofig

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Reply with quote  #14 
when the garden center begin to sell plants outdoors, it is time to move out the pots and start the new year's growth.
it is safe to start late. :)


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FigPig

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Reply with quote  #15 

Hi Joe,

I prefer starting to move them later rather than earlier. For me the big move often starts mid to late April when some of my potted figs start to grow; I don’t want them leafing out in the dark garage and having lanky growth.

Most years I do the fig dance, moving plants out of the garage when I think it’s safe…but then back into the garage when there’s a frost warning. Then I promise myself I won’t do it the following year. (It’s disappointing if a few breba get knocked off during the shuffling around.) The neighbours must laugh.

What I’d really like to build is a temporary greenhouse or covered area like Pino has, somewhere to keep the plants outside until there is no more risk of frost. Then I wouldn’t need to do the fig dance and I could give the plants a head start.


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Steven Biggs
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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #16 
Thanks Steven,

Of course what you're suggesting is the right thing to do...  It's just, that feeling you get though - you know the one - About this time of year, after many cold months and you're just itching to see things growing...

I showed my wife a picture of what a hoop house looks like... Apparently I'm not getting one... 

I think I can hold off for a couple of more weeks.... Maybe...



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FigPig

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Reply with quote  #17 
Joe, I know what you mean! I don't think I'd get spousal approval for a hoop house either. But i'll keep hoping...
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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #18 
I do envy Pino's Playground. That reminds me. I have to get out there to pick up of his Bolzano's. 
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pino

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Reply with quote  #19 
Oh no fig enthusiast not allowed to fulfill their fig growing dreams fully in the big city.

You could buy a country property & plant a fig orchard or why not rent a plot of land & grow figs to your heart's content?

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #20 
Ah, Pino. I guess your ears were burning...   You are very correct. My space is the biggest limitation here... I'm learning to grow figs where you think you can't  ;-)

Thanks guys!

We need to make John's idea for a GTA fig-fest happen somehow....


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masterful

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoJoe
I think my strategy is going to be similar. I don't have a hoop house. I'm going to leave some Tall stakes around the perimeter of the trees so I can easily drape tarps overnight if temperatures are predicted to drop. I think i'll remove the heavy winter covering in two or three weeks


Hi TorontoJoe,

you can go to home depot and buy 3/4" irrigation poly tubes...cut them 5 feet long and then you can create a hoop house that's low to the ground and cover it with a plastic tarp.  i am assuming that you just want ti uncover the tree but still leave it horizontal if you have it buried in the ground.

once the weather gets steady then you can raise your tree

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #22 
That stuff is cheap too.... i like that
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