Spring is on the way! In the garden, it’s time for seeding the first cool season crops. In the orchard, it’s now safe to unwrap your figs, pomegranates, and other less hardy plants from their winter protection.
WINTER DIEBACK. For the second year in a row, we had a very harsh winter in terms of cold temperatures. As we saw last year, we should expect that most figs will have survived, but with some winter dieback on parts that weren’t well protected. This means that ends of branches that have succumbed to the cold and will need to be pruned out. BUT NOT YET! Figs will regrow from any tissue that hasn’t been fully winterkilled and they can even regrow completely from their roots (same is true of pomegranates). So please wait to prune until later in the spring to see where the fig resprouts. And don’t give up on a severely damaged fig until you’re sure it won’t send up any new growth from its roots! Some figs didn’t show signs of growth until June last year, so be a little patient.
As with last year, most figs with severe winter damage are unlikely to fruit this year. A few varieties, like Chicago Hardy and Celeste, may freeze to the ground and regrow to fruit in the same year. With our recent harsh winters, POP strongly recommends wrapping your figs every winter to ensure a good crop.
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