Fig trees in containers.

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by Islander, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Islander

    Islander Member

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    I would like to try growing a couple of fig trees in containers, but cannot find any info on soil/planting medium. I was thinking of using a mix of screened top soil+compost+#4mix. Thoughts and ideas please. Figs do grow well and produce fruit in my part of Vancouver Island. As an addition, I was planning to use !/2 wine barrels which were previously used for Strawberry's.
     
  2. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    The Fruit Expert by Hessayson, suggests any well draining soil based potting mix, in a 15in. pot. You will have to water regularly, but it is better to go with a coarse, free draining medium rather than a heavier one that would save on watering but could lead to root rots, etc.

    As you may know, figs actually can fruit better in a container than the ground, as their roots are constricted and the plant throws it's energy into fruit rather than abundant vegetative growth.
     
  3. bcgift52

    bcgift52 Active Member

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    About fruiting better in containers, I wonder if it would only apply to certain cultivars because my neighbour had one for many years in a container and it didn't fruit until he put it into the ground.
     
  4. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Interesting, I am going by second hand info on this. The English folks seem to like the idea of restricting the fig's roots, either by making a partial box out of concrete and rubble in the ground, or a tub or pot, (Hessayson mentions the 15in. size).

    Watering would be crucial in a container, of course, probably twice a week or more in the hottest summer days, much like watering the hanging baskets and patio tubs that sometimes need it every day around here. Also, the potting mix would need redoing every couple years...I'm thinking pulling out the rootball and pruning away some roots, and replacing the mix with fresh stuff to avoid compaction. Quite a bit of extra work cp. just growing in the ground!
     
  5. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Who knows what your neighbour did re his soil mix, or water, or sun angles, etc?
     
  6. bcgift52

    bcgift52 Active Member

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    I haven't a clue what the neighbour did but he is an older gentleman gardening for more than 40 years so there's no reason to believe he doesn't do it right judging by what's growing at his place. Also we have a huge Italian and mid-eastern community here and if it is true with all figs in general, I would think we'd see a lot more figs growing in pots than we do.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    It has been said that a crack in rocks is a typical location for wild figs, so root confinement in a tub is a natural. However, gardening books and web sites are full of other hogwash so this could be as well.

    If the neighbor knew what he was doing how come the tree didn't work out for years, until he put in the ground? Probably the main thing here is to get a locally successful cultivar, many will not work out in our cool conditions.
     
  8. bcgift52

    bcgift52 Active Member

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    Maybe not ALL figs do well in pots ! Exactly my point.
     
  9. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Islander ... welcome aboard. I'm also in Lantzville. What types of Figs are you growing?
     
  10. Islander

    Islander Member

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    Probably the ones that came from you, my son bought 4 "Yugoslavian" from somebody in Lantzville.
     
  11. Islander

    Islander Member

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    Presumaby if you grow in say 30'' containers you dont have to water as much if you use a groing mix that includes a resonable amount of Peat Moss?
     
  12. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Peat moss is not a good idea to use in any fig growing mix as it holds water too long, and then won't 'wet' if allowed to dry out.
     
  13. oscar

    oscar Active Member

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    Peat mixed with a soil based compost is ok, my plants look fine, 6ft plants in 10ltr (2 gallon pots) even had fruit on them :)

    saying that, about the peat, mine go under cover for the winter so are kept really dry.
    for growing outside year round you may have to use less peat and add extra grit.
     
  14. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Islander ... Those Yugoslavian figs must be from someone else. I have the 'Desert King' variety here.
    Cheers, LPN.
     
  15. danb

    danb Member

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    In Cyprus, Crete, Greece, Turkey figs in gardens are in non rocky ground just as they are in more wildish places. In fact never saw them in the rock crevaces were I was "told" to look. In my gardens the >10 varieties I have always grew ok in ordinary garden soil. The warmer site they are in the better they fruit. Some varieties fruit better than others in such a cold area. In pots they suffer here due to the winter cold. Expect that is why the person who moved pots indoors or into protection got fruiting when in pots. Seems that is a really good idea. Just probably not in the warm area in the house. I think they need a rest in winter.
     
  16. Gary Tozzi

    Gary Tozzi Member

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    I purchased a Lattarulla (Honey Fig) cutting last Fall from a respectable garden center near my home in the Hudson Valley of New York. I decided to grow it in a large container so I planted it in a 15 inch wide X 20 inch deep container with good drainage. I used a store bought potting mix and added composted matter from my garden. I wrapped the three foot long branched and covered them in burlap, watering about once every two weeks and stored the fig in my garage to overwinter.

    It worked beautifully and the new buds started to fatten in April but I did not bring the fig out into the garden until May. On very cool (frosty) nights I covered the branches with burlap and removed it in the morning to take advantage of the warm days.

    It is now early August and the fig tree has about two feet of new growth and is loaded with figs which should be ripe in mid to late August (with my tomatoes) and a second crop due in late September early October. I fertilize the tree every other week with an organic fertilizer called ROOTS which can only be purchased on-line.

    Also purchased an Arbequina Olive tree (self polinating) in March from a nursery in Massachusettes and am growing it in a teracotta pot in my herb garden, It has over a foot of new growth and did flower but the fruits fell off very quickly. Have been told that the fruits will not set until the second year. I plan to overwinter this olive tree with the fig tree in my garage. Any suggestions as to how to treat this plant, hardy to 14 drgrees F so it makes it through the winter would be welcome.
     
  17. The Mole

    The Mole Member

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    Check out FigTrees.net

    I have a fig in half oak barrel which fruits but does not ripen; this info is from the above site - I will be trying it - makes a lot of sense:

    "I would like to share my 25 years of experience on how to grow fig trees in containers. Container grown fig trees yield as much fruit as those planted in the ground, but they require different care. They need more fertilizer, lime, and water. The best fertilizer to use is one that is lower in nitrogen, but heavy on the calcium and phosphorous. The first feeding is done in the Spring, as soon as you move your plants from their shelter to the outdoors in a sunny location. The fertilizer consists of, 1 part superphosphate 0-20-0, 1 part 5-10-5, 1 part bone meal, and 1 part garden lime. Mix these ingredients thoroughly. Apply the fertilizer by making 4 holes at the edge of the pots, 1" in diameter and 3" deep. Fill the holes with the mixture and water thoroughly. A fig tree, three quarter inch caliber and 4' tall in a 12" pot requires 1 cup of this mixture. One month later you will begin a liquid feeding with a well balanced fertilizer, 20-20-20. Mix 1 tablespoon with 1 gallon of water, repeat this feeding every 20 days until mid-August. The last feeding will be a top-dressing done in October. Mix 1 part superphosphate, 1 part bonemeal, and 1 part garden lime. Make sure that during the summer months you water your trees frequently. Keep them moist and do not let them dry out or stressed. This is why they may lose their fruit. By the end of August you will start cutting back on the water, this prevents the fruit from splitting. You should change the pot every year, going only 2 sizes up each year, until you reach a 24" to 30" diameter pot. At this point every 4 years you must root prune your fig tree. Take the tree out of the pot and cut one-quarter of the roots away, making a root ball. Replant the tree in the same pot with 3 parts potting mix and 1 part organic compost. This must be done while the plant is dormant, either in the early Spring or late Fall. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call. I will be happy to answer all your questions. Enjoy your fig trees!


    -Giuseppe "Joe" Morle' "
     
  18. Puckbrain

    Puckbrain Member

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    I have fig trees in containers and one is loaded with figs. My growing season is only about 1 month left. I am not sure if the figs will ripen in time. Should I thin them out? Also, when would I cut them back and attempt to make cuttings? Thank you for your time. Bob
     

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