We really should all be so fortunate (or intelligent?) as to have a very simple greenhouse like the one particular Mr. Reich has on his 2.25-acre home in New Paltz, N.Y., a 20-by-20-foot, poly-included structure that he retains minimally heated so the temperature does not drop underneath 37 degrees.
Four of his figs are planted in the greenhouse’s filth flooring, trained as espaliers. It’s not just a figgery in there, having said that. The greenhouse is also property to a variety of edibles, including mache, lettuce, kale and even celery in wintertime, together with spring’s flower seedlings and summer cucumbers.
But the no-frills way to mature a fig — in spots where the winters are cold — is in a pot. That is furnished you have the proper location to stash it when the freezes get there, as Mr. Reich does in his scarcely heated basement, wherever he has 15 potted trees.
Mr. Reich has very long developed not just figs, but also the likes of medlar and pawpaw, amongst the plants highlighted in “Uncommon Fruits Deserving of Interest,” his forward-imagining 1991 guide that influenced gardeners to take into account a broader palette. Even with much more widespread possibilities like blueberries, Mr. Reich pushes the restrict, harvesting 190 quarts a 12 months, for instance, from highbush crops developed within “our chicken-evidence blueberry temple,” an outdoor composition clothed on the sides in one-inch mesh and lined with netting at ripening time up leading, way too.
Between tree fruits, figs are distinctive. Most usually developed temperate-zone possibilities, like apples and pears, generate their fruit on more mature wood, the previous year’s and before. Some fig varieties can do that as nicely, offering what is referred to as a breba crop early, on very last year’s stems. But individuals greatest suited to expanding in colder climates, together with common versions like Brown Turkey and Chicago Hardy, deliver their most important crop — in some cases their only crop — on new shoots.
Holding the fig tree scaled down to container-developed proportions by pruning does not reduce the chance of harvest. To the opposite, achievement with figs in colder zones, Mr. Reich pressured, needs some mix of two techniques: right pruning and adequate safety.