Trying Something New With The Fig Trees

Around 2014 several fig trees were planted in the chicken yard.  Some of the fig trees died and had to be replanted.  The original ones, and the new ones have barely grown.

One of the original trees has barely put on any growth in four years.

In the past I had tried stuff like Miracle Grow plant spikes, and some  Miracle Grow plant food.  All that stuff is is a low grade fertilizer.  Nothing I tried with Miracle Grow spikes or plant food helped the fig trees.

Fig tree

For 2018 I decided to try something different.  I picked up some 6-7-7 fertilizer and put a cup around the base of each tree.  This was done right before a rain.  To benefit the plants the fertilizer has to be worked, or washed, into the soil.

Fig Tree Fertilizer

After two applications spread six weeks apart, the fig trees have around two of the fig trees have around 8 inches of new growth.  One of the trees is putting on plenty of new leaves, but little actual growth.

The plan is to finish out the small bag of 6-7-7 fertilizer, then look for something like 8-8-8, or some kind of balanced low grade fertilizer.

I may skip a round of the fertilizer, and spread some aged chicken manure from under the brooder house around the base of the fig trees.  The plan is to spread the chicken  manure, then wash it in with some water.

Watering Fig Trees

Something else I am doing different, I am watering the fig trees every other day.  In the previous years the tree were watered every week, or every two weeks.  Sometimes the trees would show signs of stress before I would water them.

In 2018, starting in the spring, I have been hauling water to the chicken yard with a bucket, and watering the trees every other day.

The goal is to keep the trees with enough water so they do not stress, but not too much water.  This is why I was going to water them say every other day.

The trees were planted with a slight dip in the soil.  This way, the water does not run away from the tree.

Late Blooming Fig Tree

Blooming implies a flower, which technically figs are flowers.  One of my fig trees did not bud out until six weeks after the rest.  I thought the tree had died as all the other trees had already started putting leaves on a month earlier.

Late blooming fig tree

May the tree took so long to bud out because of the harsh winter we had here in Southeast Texas.  A good winter here is getting around freezing a couple of times.  For 2017 – 2018 winter, we hit 18 degrees several times.

The winter was harsh enough it killed several of my fruit trees, and the top of a pear tree.

I do not know if the harsh winter had anything to do with the late blooming fig tree, but something caused it to bud out a month later than the rest of the trees.

Final Thoughts

I am tired of these fig trees not doing anything.  So 2018 is an all or nothing year.  Either the trees will die from too much fertilizer, or they are going to grow.

In early 2018 two Brown Turkey fig trees were planted near the chicken house.  The idea is for them to get their roots under the chicken house and use the droppings as fertilizer.

Brown Turkey fig

It will take the new fig trees several years before their roots reach the chicken house. However, one of the Brown Turkey fig trees is on the low side of the chicken house. When we get a heavy rain, some of the rain flows under the house, collects pieces of manure, and comes out the low side. Which is right where one of the new trees is planted.

So far the constant watering, and cup of 6-7-7 fertilizer is paying off as the older trees are putting on plenty of new growth. Hopefully, the new growth will continue through the summer. If the trees can get six – eight inches of new growth in six weeks, I am hoping for a couple of feet of new growth before winter gets here.

If the trees will continue this growth rate for two years, then we should be getting some nice figs.

Either way, even if they do not grow, something has to change.