This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, December 01, 2012


aerial dec 1 2012 043

We had a powder sugar coating of snow on the garden on this first day of December. It accumulated to about 1.5 inches. It stayed around a day or two, and then melted back to bare ground.

I'm reminded of my fig tree as I look at this picture. It's still sitting in the garden in a pot, unprotected. I have read that its hardy down to about 10*F. We're not close to that yet, but we'll likely get down there in a few weeks. I'm thinking that once the temps fall a bit more, I'll bring it in to my heated porch where my Meyers lemon spends the winter.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so jealous! Here in southern Ohio it's been about 70 degrees two days in a row :( Gimme some of that winter magic.

December 04, 2012 9:45 AM

Blogger icebear said...

Oh, i wish i could have a fig tree. No place to bring it in during the winter though. I did try a small one as a houseplant, but there wasn't enough light for it inside and it didn't make it.

I have searched and searched for a variety than can handle my Zone5b winter, but no such thing exists yet.

December 04, 2012 10:24 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I know of couple of gardeners around here who have fig trees and leave them out all winter (zone 6b). One gardener does this by burying the tree. After it drops it's leaves, he digs a trench, then digs up the fig tree, lays it in the trench and buries it. In the spring, he digs it up and plants it again. The tree is at our community garden though I am not sure where. I hope to see it this spring. I hear it produces fruit.

The other tree is a home garden. Again, the gardener digs up the tree. He wraps it in paper and stores it in an outdoor metal storage bin alongside the house all winter with added leaves for insulation.

I know I can't put my fig in my cold frame because the
temperature inside cycles from a low of about 25F mid winter nights and up to 50F or 60, even mid winter on sunny days. These cycles would cause the tree to break dormancy and then freeze. Not good.

I don't know how cold my garage gets, but I could put a heater out there for times when we go below 20F just to keep it at 25. No windows there that would cause greenhouse heating. I could have the tree in a giant tub and drag it in pretty easily. I am planning to put a remote thermometer in there this winter so I can se how low the temp gets.

If I do bring the tree onto my porch, it will break dormancy as the porch runs between 40 and 60, my guess. I think this is fine with a small fig tree in a pot. I think it'll just sprout leaves and get a head start on the season. Usually mid January we dip below 20 and I can bring it in then.

My guess is that in a couple years it will outgrow my porch and will then need to stay in out, maybe in the garage. I do also have a nice spot right against the house, where I could bury it.

December 04, 2012 11:22 PM

Anonymous JD Bell said...

We just had our first Winter frost here in North Texas, and my suburban organic edibles garden (we call it the Bell Back 400 - as in feet, not acres) loved it. Finally killed off the nagging caterpillars that had been feasting on my greens all Fall. And there's nothing like a good touch of frost to invigorate the brassicas. My kale, chard, and broccoli have taken on a much sweeter taste.

I blog about our adventures in suburban farming as well.

December 11, 2012 7:58 PM


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