Whether you grow a fig bush or a fig tree depends upon the planting depth and the way you prune the plant as it grows. Fig bushes require a minimum of 8 hours of direct sunlight each day in order to produce a bountiful fig harvest. After planting the fig bush, allow it to grow unrestricted for 1 year. The following year, begin to prune and shape your fig bush into an attractive shrub.
Select a sunny planting area that will afford the fig bush some protection from winter winds. A planting location on the south side of a structure is ideal with its sun exposure and wind protection.
Dig a hole for the fig bush in early spring. Spread the tarp near the spot you will dig and place the soil directly onto the tarp as you remove it. Make the hole as deep as the roots of the fig bush and approximately two times as wide.
Add one part compost to the soil on the tarp so the soil mixture is half compost and half soil. Mix the two parts together well with your hands to incorporate them completely.
Place the container holding the fig bush on its side and roll it back and forth while pressing on the sides to loosen the soil from the sides of the container. When the soil is loose inside the container, carefully grasp the central trunk of the bush and pull it out of the container.
Center the fig bush into the prepared hole so the crown of the bush is approximately 2 inches higher than soil level. Hold the fig bush with one hand and begin to refill the hole with the amended soil, making sure the fig bush stays at the same level as you fill the hole with soil. Tamp the soil down firmly with your hands to finish planting the fig bush.
Provide a thorough watering of the fig bush immediately after you finish planting it. Do not water the soil to the point of puddles, but rather water until the soil is evenly saturated. Keep the soil around the fig bush evenly moist during the first month after planting to ensure the bush acclimates to its new planting location.