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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Fig growing method in Japan - step over espalier

Fig growing method in Japan - step over espalier

Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 584
In Japan figs are trained via a method called "step over espalier" in which they train the plant to two horizontal trunks growing just over the ground. The plant then sends out shoots along these trunks that set fruit that year...the so called main crop figs. I will be trying this method as it should make it very easy to cover the plants for the winter. Thought I'd share this post from Figs4Fun in case anyone else was interested.

"Here is a PDF, which you may have seen, that has a lot of dimensions for planting an espalier fig orchard. Its in Japanese, but the graphics are self explanatory

On page 10 it refers to spacing between rows, 2.2 meters and also 3 meters and 6 meters which is spacing between plants (planting at 3 meters on center for the first 2 years then thinning to 6 meters on center later). If you review the pictures on page 6 & 15 one horizontal trunk length is approximately 9 feet (2.8 meters, 40 cm x 7).
This would put the space between plants at about 20 feet or 6 meters. Two (2) 2.8 meter horizontal trunks either side of the main vertical trunk, and 0.4 meters between plants for a total of 6 meters

On page 11 & 19 there are nodes on the roots, its Root Knot Nematode, so they are planting in 12 inch raised beds.

On page 13 & 14 Spacing of vertical limbs : 8 inches (20cm) between on alternate side of main trunk and 16 inches (40cm) on same side of main trunk. (I round out the conversions 4 inch = 10cm)
If the Verticals are in-line it would be approximately 12 inches between verticals."
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 585
I'm also wondering if there are other crops that aren't quite hardy enough that might work with this method. Any thoughts? Ideal candidates would fruit on new wood, though first year shoots could probably be bent down to protect for plants that bear on last years wood.
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