Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Smith Fig Tree Graduation. Now into the real world of in-ground FigTrees.

Smith Fig.  View of roots.
Too many trees on the deck.  With 2 Smith Fig trees, about equal size, I decided to plant one at the Battleground place.  Original plan was overwinter and wait until Spring.  However, by planting one in-ground now, I have a chance to see if it will survive winters here.  If not, I can keep the other in container and overwinter in garage.  Or not - might be too much trouble.

If it has a chance to harden off, I think it will survive the winter.  No "TLC" plant food now.  Just water to keep it alive and let roots grow into surrounding soil.

Root close-up

It is not root-bound.  Some winding roots.  This is one of the few cases of my planting without slicing into the root ball, or teasing them apart.  Fig roots are aggressive, so will have no problem growing outward.  Some references recommend intentionally confining the roots, to restrict growth.  I don't want to reduce feeding roots during Summer planting.  I did the same procedure with Carini fig.  It wilted a little.  Not much.
Smith Fig.  Now in the ground.
Fig Grove #1
I mixed a little homemade compost into the fill soil.  Not much.  I poured 2 gallons of water into the hole to soak in.  Then placed tree into hole, filled in with mildly amended original soil, watered in, and mulched with straw.

Smith is an old heritage family variety in Louisiana.  Some wriers state Smith is the best of all figs.  Some of that could be variety, soil, climate....  Will it do well here? Survive winter here?  This is an experiment.  Buff or yellow skin, red inside.

The little fig grove.  From close to distant (front to back), Carini, Petite negri (possibly re-identified as Aubique petite - via Figs4fun website), Smith, Sal's.  Behind Sal's, not visible, is truncheon cutting, now growing, Lattarula.  I may add one final tree but the spot is not perfect due to shade via a growing cherry tree on neighboring property, south of the fig grove.

This is a nice spot.  Mild grade, down-slope to west and south.  South of house, so warmer in winter.

Edit 7/25/13:  Planted LSU Tiger fig tree in the location where I had the Lattarula truncheon starts.  My goal was to dig up the Lattarula starts and give them TLC for faster growth.  However, they do not appear to have roots.  I can do much better with fresh starts, can think about that next year.  Meanwhile, the row is completed, with 3 new fig tree starts, and the 2 existing small trees started previous years.  LSU Tiger is usually just called  "Tiger".  Since Panache is also sometimes called "Tiger" - incorrectly -  it's less confusing to add the "LSU".  Which also designates the origin for this variety.

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