Step-by-step instructions on how to cover figs for the winter correctly and prepare the tree for the cold
Fig is a subtropical fruit, it is thermophilic, afraid of gusty cold winds and strong frosts. The fig tree, when grown in the Russian climate, requires strict maintenance rules. It is especially important to protect the planting from frost. What measures to take, we will tell in the article.
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Is it necessary to cover figs for the winter
Classic fig varieties freeze at -12 ° C, winter-hardy ones can withstand temperatures as low as -20 ° C. In any case, it is better to insulate the plant. A frozen fig tree will reduce yields, will not recover due to complete freezing of roots and shoots, or die after flowering.
Important! In the conditions of Russian latitudes, it is difficult to shelter a tree from frost, therefore it is recommended to form a fig in the form of a bush. This is convenient for sheltering it for the winter, trimming excess branches and harvesting.
These two factors can kill the fig tree:
- excessive moisture;
- overdried rhizome.
How to properly cover figs for the winter
The choice of shelter depends on the method of plant formation and climatic conditions:
- The ground. In temperate climates, it will be enough to cover the bush with earth. The shoots are bent to the ground, fixed in a supine position and soil is poured on them, on top - a layer of fallen leaves or straw 5-15 cm thick, or a "layer cake" is made from soil, fallen leaves, straw and loose soil.
- Vegetation and roofing material... If in winter frosty days alternate with thaws, there is no snow, it is advisable to cover the fig branches with a vegetative layer, and on top with roofing felt.
- With humus and straw. Humus and straw 10 cm thick are poured onto the branches, a film is stretched onto the frame built over the bush and the entire superstructure is covered with burlap.
- Car tires. If you create a barrier of them around the plant on all sides, you get good thermal insulation.
- Forming sheaves. Fig shoots are collected in sheaves and tilted to the ground. From above, they are covered with loads (boards or plywood) and sprinkled with a soil layer. The construction above the fig tree plant is built when the temperature is set at + 2 ° C. During the day, when the temperature rises, the superstructure is ventilated.
In areas with a cold climate, it is advisable to plant figs in long holes, which will cover the plant during the frost period.
To protect against mice and rats, poison in bags is dropped between the branches. To protect against infection with fungal infections, the plant is provided with a constant supply of air.
If the figs are planted in temperate climates, it is best to cover them with a structure made of tires or some other material with good density. In such climates, it is preferable to plant figs in a pit.
In cold areas, it is recommended to sprinkle the bush with earth or wrap it with a mat.
Important! Plastic wrap will not work as a cover. The structure will have to be constantly opened so that the tree is ventilated.
A couple of weeks after harvesting, they begin to bend the branches to the ground. In order not to break them, this is done in 2-3 stages with intervals of 4-5 days. The procedure is carried out after watering the bush. Then the branches are fixed with twines, hairpins, pegs.
It is recommended to insulate figs by covering or wrapping groups of their branches with insulation. The material should be breathable and preferably white to reflect sunlight.
For insulation use:
- polypropylene sugar bags;
- old fabric from the tent.
Under no circumstances use any kind of polyethylene, as it does not breathe.
Terms for plant insulation:
- in the areas located in the south, after the leaves fall;
- in the middle lane - during leaf fall, after the first frost.
The wrapped sheaves of the branches are fixed. So that they do not rise, weights are put on top - a load, a wooden shield, or they are sprinkled with earth.
Other stages of preparation for wintering
Figs are prepared for the rest period:
- Stop watering. Excess moisture in the trees will lead to freezing, and the overdried rhizome will not survive the winter. The last time the fig tree is watered abundantly is right after harvest, in September. The fig bush is no longer watered, the root system is allowed to dry out so that excess moisture does not lead to its decay.
- Stop feeding. During the period of setting and maturation of figs, figs are fed only with potash fertilizers, which stimulate the formation of wood. There should be no nitrogen in the complex of minerals, as it provokes the growth of green mass. Fertilizers are applied after abundant watering of the plant. After the last feeding of the figs during the formation of the figs, the plant is no longer fertilized, since a dormant period comes for it.
- Correctly cut the branches of the crown... Shorter shoots are easier to cover for the winter.
- Process slices... An infection can get into open wounds of a tree or bush, causing it to wither or die altogether, so the sections are covered with garden varnish.
- Mulch. Winter-hardy varieties of figs are mulched with spruce branches, straw or peat. Heat-loving varieties are insulated using breathable materials.
In rainy weather in the fall, it is recommended to put plastic wrap on the trunk circle to prevent water from entering the soil. After the end of the rain, the film is removed.
Pruning figs is needed to:
- thin out the crown for better lighting of the branches with the sun;
- prevent thickening of the crown;
- strengthen the plant before winter;
- remove dry branches;
- prune unsuccessfully grown branches;
- lower the crown of a tree or bush.
Figs are grown in the form of a tree, trunk or bush. Depending on the form, they are used:
- fan pruning;
The first type of pruning is carried out in several stages:
- At one year of age, only one vertical and two horizontal processes are left on the plant.
- In the second year, branches located horizontally are shortened by three buds and tied to a stem. The conductor is also trimmed to stimulate active branching.
- In the third year, the shoots of the last year are cut into three buds, and the vertical shoot is insignificant. Forming the crown, at the end of the pruning, no more than five tiers are left.
- In the future, they monitor the state of the tiers, cutting off the branches of the second and third order.
By spreading the fruit-bearing branches along a horizontal trellis, you can achieve a generous harvest from the plant.
3-4 branches are left in the fig trunk, which come out of the trunk and have a height of about 60 cm.
With a bush, the same task is to leave the same number of skeletal branches. The height of the trunk should be 30-40 cm. Fruiting branches are shortened to the second bud. Pruning in the fall is carried out carefully, dividing it into several stages. The shortening of the shoots is stretched for 2-3 seasons to allow the plant to recover.
In the fall, the figs are pruned after the leaves fall off. This time falls on its second half.
Important! Prune the fig shoots in autumn without enthusiasm, otherwise the lateral shoots will be activated, which greatly thickens the crown.
To prevent infection from entering the slices of figs, they are treated with garden pitch. It is prepared on the basis of organic resins. A mixture of clay and mullein or a wax or paraffin-based putty, and paint with a fungicide are suitable.
Hands are thoroughly washed and disinfected before pruning, as open wounds in the fig tree can get infected and fungus.
The entire tool, before and after trimming, is treated with a 3% solution of copper sulfate, wiped with alcohol or a solution of potassium permanganate.
The cut branches are collected and taken away from the site.
It is interesting:
Features of preparing figs for winter, depending on the region
If winters are mild in the region where the figs grow, the best time to prune is autumn. In a cold region, autumn pruning will not allow the plant to grow stronger until frost, its bark will freeze, the wood will dry out.
In the spring, this is done before the buds open, and in the fall, after the leaves fall.
When pruning branches, you should not be too zealous, as excessive pruning leads to the growth of side shoots. As a result, the crown of the fig thickens a lot.
In the southern regions of Russia, for example, in the Krasnodar or Stavropol Territories, fig branches are thinned out twice - in spring and autumn.
In the middle latitudes of the Russian Federation, the fig tree is cut once - in the fall, but to the maximum - up to 20 cm. New summer shoots are carefully cut, then the branches are insulated for the winter.
Since figs are tied on shoots that grew in summer, and the plant itself is able to revive from the root, some gardeners from central Russia do not insulate figs, but mulch the trunk circle. There is evidence that figs only harden from the cold.
Another part of the gardeners insulates the fig tree with scrap materials. The most effective way is to hide the figs in a trench.
In areas of the Volga region, the plant is insulated with a thick winding or hidden in a hole under the flooring.
In the Urals and Siberia, figs are grown in the form of a small bush or tree, severely cutting off seasonal shoots.
When is it time to take cover
The shelter is removed in early April. They do this very carefully, trying not to damage the plant.
Until the threat of sudden spring frosts disappears, it is covered with a film or polycarbonate, but not kept in warm sunlight in a package, otherwise the plant will mate.
After wintering, the figs are fed with nitrogen-phosphorus fertilizer, dry leaves are removed from the branches, and the soil is leveled.
The health and productivity of a plant depends on compliance with the rules of caring for a plant. The main recommendations are to stop feeding and watering after harvesting, pruning young shoots, processing cuts, building a shelter, and warming with breathable materials.