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Yes, You Can Grow Figs in Maine

Potted figs growing at Eric and Becky Sideman's East Wind Farm in Strafford, N.H. English photo

Potted figs growing at Eric and Becky Sideman's East Wind Farm in Strafford, N.H. English photo

June 1, 2018

Figs are a subtropical plant from the Mediterranean region and need some special care to flourish in Maine … but it can be done! Easiest is to grow figs in a container and bring it inside in fall after leaf drop. Maintain dormancy by keeping the plants between 20-50 F. Unheated cellars work great. Potting mix should be well drained. A common recipe is 3 parts pine bark fines, 1 part peat, 1 part perlite, 1 part compost, and 1 pint agricultural lime per 5 gallons of mix. Additional micronutrients (greensand, azomite, etc.) can be included at a rate of 1 pint per 5 gallons of mix. Figs are heavy feeders and should be fertilized once per month from bud-break in mid-May until mid-July. Five gallons is the minimum size container. Many fig growers have their plants in 25-gallon pots. Setting the container into the ground will allow roots to spread into surrounding soil and reduce watering frequency. If you have an ideal microclimate, such as a heated greenhouse, in-ground planting is possible. In-ground plants may also survive a zone 5 winter if layered to the ground and buried with 1 to 2 feet of insulating material such as wood chips. For more information, see ourfigs.com or email [email protected].

– Jesse Stevens

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