4 Steps to Winterizing My Fig Trees

It was a fine weekend weather-wise on the farm.  A good opportunity to bed down the fig trees for the winter.


I’m still learning how to grow plants (and keep them alive). It’s not easy for me.  Really. I’m kind of lazy and have no farming background what-so-ever.  But I have a farm now, and of course I want to grow things.  Everything.

Worse, when someone tells me it isn’t possible to do something or that I can’t do something, well, of course I have to try it out and see for myself.  Luckily, no one has told me yet that I can’t outrun a bull.  Please don’t tell me that I can’t outrun a bull…

However I have been told numerous times, by many people, that I most likely can’t grow fig trees in zone 5a (cold).  So of course I planted three of them this summer.  Two are the Chicago Hardy Fig variety, the other was a gift from a farmer friend who has no clue what kind it is.  He got his from a cutting from another farmer, and both live in a more forgiving zone than me, and have successfully been growing the trees for some time now.

So, I read about several ways to prepare the trees for wintering over – everything from wrapping them in fiberglass insulation, stuffing them into 15 gallon buckets and bringing them in side for the winter, to covering them in boards, dirt and mulch.

I confidently decided on giving  hay, leaves and mulch a try.  If I fail there’s always next year, right? And I’ll cry over the $8.00 I spent (total) on the other two trees, but whatever… I’ll get over it. Maybe.

Step # 1 – Mulch.  Mulch is important. Over the last three weeks, my hard-working chickens happily cleared out the rotted melons and turned up all the mulch in the garden, which I happily raked all up high around the base of the little fig trees.


Step # 2 – Leaves.  Then, I bent down and laid flat the tallest fig tree, and covered it and the other trees with few layers of leaves.


Step # 3 – Hay. On top of the leaves I covered them yet again, with hay this time.



Step # 4 – Secure it all down.  Finally, to keep all my work from being disturbed by the chickens or high winter winds, I covered the trees in a mesh plastic fencing, held down by  a few heavy rocks.



I hope this works.  I absolutely need fig trees in my life.  Or at least I believe I do… Figs around here cost $1 each at the farmer’s markets and are usually over ripe (rotting). They don’t last long.  And I can’t afford the luxury at that price.

But if it does work, hopefully I’ll get my first fig or two late summer of 2017.  I’ll be a happy girl! Therefore, I will pray for my little fig trees and beg for a forgiving winter, but mostly for a forgiving winter… Because I really hate snow.

Next weekend – Garlic planting.  I’m behind schedule.  See how lazy I am… ~A


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