when can I uncover my fig tree (in the ground)? and plant jujube (it is in the pots) and uncover paw-paw?


It is lovely to think of getting our gardens  going in the spring, especially with all the ice and snow that we have been experiencing.

While fig trees are a semi-tropical plant that prefer balmy weather, some varieties can be grown in colder climes if they’re carefully protected over the winter. Figs produce the most and grow healthiest when they are in the ground.

Uncover your fig tree on a cloudy day just after the last average frost day, which in the Toronto area, is May 11 to 20 .  Figs require plenty of sunlight, so if surrounding trees are casting shade, consider trimming them back. Figs also appreciate moisture, which can be aided by mulch applied at the end of May. The following link will provide you with further information.

The jujube (Ziziphus jujuba, syn. Z. ziziphus), also known as the Chinese date, is native to Asia and, though it looks exotic and tropical, is hardy to minus 20 degrees, making it a candidate for planting in our climate. Although in warmer climes it may reach 25 to 30 feet, it rarely exceeds 15 feet here.

Plant  jujube trees in late spring. If you want fruit, you’ll need to plant at least a pair of jujubes for adequate pollination. Expect your first crop in the tree’s fourth or fifth year.

The fruit needs summer heat to ripen properly, so site trees near a south-facing wall if possible. Or use them as an espalier against a south wall. A location near a driveway, patio or walkway where the trees can absorb reflected heat also would work.

While these small trees look good in beds, they also do well surrounded by lawn. They can be grown in large containers of 30 gallons or more. There don’t seem to be many problems with pests or diseases.

The following site provides very good information on the tree.

The pawpaw is a tree of temperate humid zones, requiring warm to hot summers, mild to cold winters, and roughly 32 inches (80 cm) of annual rainfall, with the majority falling in spring and summer. It is hardy to zone 5 (-15°F/-25°C). For best growth it requires a minimum of 160 frost-free days and roughly 2600 total growing degree-days to ripen the fruit. In practice, the exact amount of winter chilling and summer heat needed will depend on the adaptability of the cultivar being grown, since pawpaws are found natively over a wide range of latitude from the Gulf Coastal plain to southern Ontario.

Although it does not appear that paw-paws need to be covered for the winter, I would suggest uncovering your paw-paw in May.

The following two links will provide you with lots of information on the paw-paw.

Enjoy planning your garden for this coming season.