Fig Tree Mulch Box

Kevin

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Staff member
Building a mulch box around fig trees. I have had a terrible time getting my fig trees to grow. It seems that no matter what I try I just can not get results. Awhile back it was suggested that I mulch around the fig trees. the problem was the trees are planted in a chicken yard, and the chickens would spread the mulch away from the trees. So I built a 4 foot square box using eleven inch long pressure treated 4x4's for the corners, then pressure treated 2x6 boards 4 feet long for the sides. Decking screws were used to old the frame together.

Before the first layer of mulch was put down, three of the trees had jobes fruit tree spikes drove into the ground around the drip line.

First layer of the fig mulch box was aged chicken manure, then bags of cow manure and compost. Some epsom salt and bone meal was mixed in.

Top layer was a thick layer of pine chips. I live in a rural area, and the timber company has been cutting trees not far from my home. Timber companies use a machine called a delimber to remove limbs from the pine trees. This machine also produces a large pile of pine bark. I drove my truck to where the timber company had bene cutting trees and got around 6 or 7 five gallon buckets of pine bark chips. I will probably get a few more loads over the next few weeks.


A couple of weeks ago, just before a large rain, I mixed together some 8-8-8, ash from my barbeque smoker, epsom salt, a pouch of water soluble miracle gro fertilizer, and bone meal. This was all mixed together in a 2 1/2 gallon bucket then spread on the fig tree mulch box the day before we got a lot of rain. So far a couple of the trees have put on around an inch and a half of growth.

Two of the fig trees are very small and are just now starting to bud. They were gifts from my cousin so I am going to give them every chance I can to grow.

My neighbor has cows. I have been thinking about asking him if I can go into a back field with a wheelbarrow or even a five gallon bucket, get a load of cow manure and spread that around the fig trees. This is fresh stuff straight out of the cow. Or maybe I could slip over there during a full moon and get a 5 gallon bucket of cow manure for my fig trees.

One of the things I am trying to do is use a variety of mulch, manure and fertilizer for the fig trees. Hopefully there is something that will help them grow.

I do not know if this helped or not, but one of the fig trees I used a set of posthole diggers, at the edge of the drip line dug three shallow holes, dropped a Jobes fruit tree spike it in, then filled the hole with earthworm castings. The plan was to give the roots direct access to the earthworm castings and a fruit tree spike. Over the holes were spread manure and compost. Also, the idea is for the compost, manure and mulch to break down to the root level. Rather than the manure and compost slowly mixing with the soil over time, the idea was to provide the roots direct access. This is one of the small trees that I simply can not get to grow. Sooner or later something has to work.

The local Lowes store has some fruit tree fertilizer that I want to use when May rolls around. The plan is to fertilize the trees every 6 weeks, and just before a good rain.
 

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