I’ve tried to grow figs—three years, three different trees. I’ve had soil tests done, changed locations, etc. The locally purchased plants were supposed to overwinter. They produced a dozen or so fruit, but they did not overwinter. Any advice?
The Gardener’s Answer
Growing figs in Kentucky is possible, but to have them survive the winter, it is essential that we plant hardy varieties. Do you know which ones you have grown? Brown Turkey, Chicago hardy and Celeste are good choices for Kentucky gardeners. They are best planted in a nutrient-rich, well-drained soil given south/west exposure. Figs require full sun (a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight).
I have had a Chicago hardy for 5 years; it dies back to the ground every winter and is late to leaf out, but does eventually flourish and fruit. I do give it added protection even though there are structures nearby. A thick layer of mulch or straw will help protect the roots during the coldest part of the year.
For more detailed information on growing figs in Kentucky, click here. This is a link from our Cooperative Extension Service. I hope this is helpful and your fig survives this upcoming winter.