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TOPIC: opening day...

opening day... 1 year 7 months ago #42782

There is a pic of my Chicago Hardy Fig and it has some fig fruit starting to develop already this year. Looks like we may get Figs quite a bit earlier than last year (now that I got it to survive the winter).

Note... Figs produce fruit on new growth... so in the fall when you go to protect it for the winter, you can cut off most of the years growth, and just leave a couple foot of trunks.
Those trunks will have several buds on them, and as long as you can get that to survive the winter, come spring those buds will shoot out and grow like crazy. You can see how much mine has grown already this year and I cut them back to 2 ft long stumps.

I have LoganBerries and Raspberries and BlackBerries, and BlueBerries too...

Most berries are not nearly as affected by late frost as fruit trees are (peaches, plums, apples, etc).

Last year we had a hard frost on April 15... wiped out all my peaches, apples, even got my grape vine wiped out all growth and small fruit that had set... it sent out more vine but did not fruit again.

All of that got wiped out... but all my berries still produced plenty.

I have 3 peach trees, 4 apple trees, 1 apricot, 2 European plum trees, 2 Jujube trees, 1 Che Tree, 1 Illinois Everbearing Mulberry tree... and I probably forgot some in there...

Berries are very dependable... So far my Fig has been too, crop every year including year 1.
I think my IE Mulberry is supposed to be very dependable too, they bloom and fruit over a long period so not so bothered by a late frost.


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opening day... 1 year 7 months ago #42783

TN, thanks for the fig info, I drove to Lowe's today and bought one. They only had one variety called "Violette de Bordeaux". Neither of the local garden centers had figs. The tag did not provide hardiness info but I figured for $12, I'd throw caution to the wind and buy one.

I googled the variety and according to the internet it should be hardy in my zone. Mine too is self-fertile though the tag states planting with a second variety may increase fruit yields. Leave it to a big box store to not provide a second variety.

I'm still battling the chipmunks eating my strawberries. They are digging under the raised beds and coming up through the weed fabric I placed under the soil. They are more frustrating right now then are the does squaring up with my dogs (while cabled). lol The does must know that I have three dogs and we are typically outside almost all day yet they hide their fawns at the edge of our yard.

My lone peach is still hanging on. lol

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opening day... 1 year 7 months ago #42784

i can definately relate to your disgust with politics. i grew up in Vermont when it was a good place to live (1970s and 1980s)
i wouldnt live there now if my life depended on it, moved south, first georgia, now south carolina

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opening day... 1 year 7 months ago #42785

fellers, its hotter than blue blazes here...

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opening day... 1 year 7 months ago #42786

my phone says 98 degrees...

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opening day... 1 year 7 months ago #42787

Chief... it has warmed up here too.. been in the 90's quite a bit lately.

Don't think we have had 98 though.... more mid to low 90s here.

I have Peaches about to get ripe (Early Elberta)... colored up nicely now, yellow with blush of red, but still firm. I squeezed one yesterday that gave a tiny bit. Won't be long now.

I started getting ripe Loganberrirs May 24, and Red raspberries May 26... Gold Raspberries (just a trickle started about that same time) and Blueberries (my early bushes) May 30...

Now June 19... my Red Raspberries are about done, only a few left, the Golds have picked up, getting more of those, the Loganberries are still producing but at a slower pace now. Blueberries still producing (have to bag them to keep birds from getting them all).

I have had strawberries, here and there since early May... I have some june bearing (Sure Crop) and everbearing, Eversweet and Seascape, but they have just been producing slowly, every now and then. I did let them run some early this year and establish more plants, and that hurt the fruit production. I have plenty of plants now, so keeping all runners off the rest of the year. Should produce more fruit now (the everbearing).. Last fall they did nicely.

And now that my raspberries are slowing down.. I ate my first ripe blackberries on 6/15 - Illini, and Ouachita. They are both starting to produce nicely now.

I know my ilinni blackberries will product until end of July, early August (if we get some good rains in there)...

So between strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries... I have fresh berries (all we can eat daily + freezing plenty) from early May thru early August.
I have frozen 24 pints of berries so far.

Forgot about Goumi Berries.. I have two bushes, Red Gem, Sweet Scarlet, and one ripened just before the other and they produced ripe fruit from May 10 to May 30.

As mentioned... Early Elberta peaches usually ripen June 20-25...for a couple weeks, then my other peach tree starts ripening.. so I get peaches for about a month.

Of my 3 new apple trees, only one bloomed this year (2 yr olds)... Gold Rush bloomed, the others should next spring.
I hand pollinated it with some blooms from my older Mac apple tree, and letting it bear 4 apples this year. they are looking great so far, and my older Mac apple is loaded, 100's of apples.

Figs will start ripening in mid to late July, slow trickle at first, ending in a rush of fruit as first frost approaches.

I have 2 JuJube trees, that are in bloom now. 2 year trees... if they set fruit, they are supposed to ripen mid Sept thru Oct.

The Gold Rush apple ripens late Oct, early Nov, and is a long storage apple... they say you can put in the fridge, and eat them all winter, even into March, April, with good quality, flavor. We'll see if that works out.

Oh yes, and everbearing raspberries produce a crop in the fall, my reds and golds, and last year they started ripening fruit first week in Sept, and we got our last berries on Dec 3 (that was our first hard frost last year).

I have Jostaberry and Currants growing too... but so far they don't seem to like my southern heat and sun. Just sort of making it here, not thriving, and producing very little fruit. I may try Crandell Cove Currants next - I hear they are very heat/humidity tolerant and very productive, good flavor.

I have Leaf Lettuce and snap peas in the garden, so many good salads (with berries)... also got some nice Big Beef and Rutgers tomatoes, Okra and Sweet Corn looking good.

Big Beef tomatoes are LOADED as usual, and noticed one (bottom left) starting to show color yesterday evening.

Hope you all are having a very bountiful summer too...


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opening day... 1 year 7 months ago #42788

Hey Woodsrunner... that fig variety that you mentioned, I have heard good things about it.

Not sure how cold hardy it is, but even with my Chicago Hardy fig, a Tennessee winter will kill it to the ground, but it will come back from the roots.

If you protect it well in the late fall... when you have a frost or two and it drops leaves, Whack it back some (perhaps a foot or 2 foot tall) and protect those stumps well (for the winter). Then in the spring those stumps will bud out quickly and make a lot of new growth.

Below is what mine looked like a couple weeks ago..

You can see the short stumps I protected over winter, and all that new growth.
Each one of those new shoots now has 7-10 figs on it.

Mine is 3 years old this year, and they say that a mature fig, can produce 200 300 400 figs.

Last year mine grew to near 10 ft tall by end of season. I bet we get at least 200 figs this year.

Notice how I have staked and pulled each of those new shoots out from the center some, to allow more sunlight to each shoot.
That will increase fig production, more sun light on the fruiting buds (where each leaf comes off), sets more fruit.

When you protect your fig this late fall... after you whack it off to the somewhat short stumps, wrap those stumps in some hardware cloth to keep rodents from possibly damaging them over winter. They say that is pretty common... I did not do that last winter, and mine did not get any rodent damage, but that is a common problem so you might do that.

To protect my stumps this year, I think I am going to just purchase a new large trash can, cut the bottom out of it, and put it upside down, on top of my stumps.
Then fill that with pine bark mulch for insulation. I may put some baking soda in there to help eliminate fungal issues... The bottom which will be on top will be open for ventilation, but will be covered with the trash can lid to keep direct rain out. I will just elevate it a bit, up off the bottom, perhaps just a inch or to, to allow it to breathe, but not allow any direct rain in.

The Zone you are in can make a big difference in how you have to protect a fig... some folks up in Zone 3-4 can grow figs, but they have to take extreme measures to winter protect them (if planted in ground). Some dig a trench, then dig their tree up half way, and lay it down in that trench, cover with tarps and basically burry it with dirt for the winter.

Down her in TN zone 7a, I don't have to get that extreme.... so what I am planning to do may work great for me, but not for you, if you are in a much colder location.

Good Luck on the Fig !


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Last Edit: by TNhunter.

opening day... 1 year 7 months ago #42789

its been a strange year,this is the first time in my 64 years of being on this planet that the raspberries got ripe before the blackberries..crazy

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opening day... 1 year 7 months ago #42790

Hey Chief... I have only had raspberries a little while...

I have everbearing varieties and one black rasperry that just bears in June...

My LoganBerry starts ripening May 24... and goes until early July usually.
My Heritage Red Raspberries produce May 26 thru NOW, they are about done now... but will bear again in the Fall, last year First week Sept, until Dec 3.
My Gold Raspberries, started producing, just a trickle May 28... and into June, and are now producing many, but dont expect them to last much longer on the spring/summer crop... but they will also produce Sept - First hard frost for a fall crop.

My black raspberry started producing around May 27, and we ate the last ones yesterday. It it not everbearing, so one spring, early summer crop for it.

I have two tame varieties of blackberries, Illinni and Ouachita, and the first ripe berries on both was June 15... starting to get several now. The Illini will produce into August if we get some good rains.

Our wild blackberries start ripening first week in July...and usually fruit for 3-4 weeks.

So ... down here in TN, it is normal for Raspberries (at least the ones I have) to fruit first, then blackberries come later.

There are some varieties of raspberries that produce later summer crops, I think Caroline and Purple Royalty are a couple.

A couple of good sources for berries are "indiana berry" and Nourse... You can find those online.
I think on indiana berry, they have them listed like this... early, early mid, mid, mid late, and late.

For me it is working out nicely between raspberries and blackberries... right when my raspberries are slowing down, my blackberries are getting ripe.


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opening day... 1 year 7 months ago #42791

We got a nice rain yesterday evening and some last night, then today was nice and sunny, low humidity, very nice.

Got a few Pics of stuff growing around here and you guys know that I grow a lot of stuff.

Heading towards retirement in a couple years, I have really started towards a goal of being more self sufficient, growing more of my own food.
I have 54 different types/varieties of Fruit Trees, Berry Bushes, Canes, Vines, Nut Trees/plants growing here now... as well as quite a bit of ginseng.

Here are a few pics from today..

Abrosia sweet corn, coming along nicely.

Seedless Concord Grapes

Macintosh apples

Big Beef tomatoes... several near ready now.

Hardi Illini blackberries.. oh so good. Taste like wild, but larger and sweeter.

Early Elberta peaches... and yes they are early.

A close up, ate the first one today. Yes those are teeth marks.

Hope you all are doing well, and getting some good food from your growing efforts.


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