Growing Figs in Cold Climates

In-Ground Fig Planting: In this new series from Stark Brothers. Follow along as we go from planting figs, harvest, and fig winter protection. 

Planting fig trees in cold climates requires careful consideration and strategic planning to ensure their survival and successful growth. While fig trees are typically associated with warmer climates, it is possible to cultivate them in regions with colder winters by selecting appropriate varieties and providing adequate protection.

1. Selecting Cold-Hardy Varieties:

Choose fig tree varieties that are specifically bred or known to tolerate colder temperatures. Some popular cold-hardy fig varieties include Chicago Hardy, Brown Turkey, and Celeste These varieties are more resilient to frost and cold snaps, making them suitable for colder climates.

2. Site Selection:

Identify a suitable location for planting your fig tree. Select a spot that receives maximum sunlight exposure, preferably a south-facing location, as fig trees require full sun for optimal growth and fruit production. Adequate sunlight helps the tree to develop strong branches and ripen fruit. Additionally, choose a location with good drainage to prevent waterlogging, as fig trees prefer well-drained soil.

3. Soil Preparation:

Prepare the soil before planting your fig tree. Fig trees thrive in well-draining soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.5. 

4. Planting:

Stark Brother's Fig trees come delivered to your front door.  Plant fig trees in the ground in late spring or early summer after the danger of frost has passed. Dig a hole that is slightly larger and deeper than the root ball of the tree. Gently remove the tree from its container and place it in the center of the hole. Backfill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the base of the tree. Water the newly planted tree thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets.

5. Mulching:

Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or wood chips, around the base of the fig tree. Mulch helps to retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weed growth. Leave a gap between the mulch and the trunk of the tree to prevent moisture-related issues and discourage pests.

6. Winter Protection:

In colder climates, fig trees may require additional protection during the winter months to prevent frost damage. One common method is to wrap the tree in burlap or frost blankets to shield it from freezing temperatures and harsh winds. 

7. Pruning and Maintenance:

Regular pruning is essential for shaping the fig tree, promoting air circulation, and removing dead or diseased branches. Prune fig trees in late winter or early spring while they are still dormant. Remove any frost-damaged or non-productive wood to encourage new growth and fruit production.

8. Watering:

Provide consistent watering, especially during dry periods, to keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.