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Friday, September 25. 2020
My Brown Turkey Fig shrub has been highly productive this year, and has grown about 6', but I think none of the fruit will ripen before the first frost.
They usually ripen in August, and it's been a hot summer too. Too late now for these fruits to ripen.
In New England, these plants tend to die back to the roots in winter. However, they revive and grow like weeds.
Do any of our readers grow figs?
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Carefully place plastic sandwich bags over a few of the fruits and secure these with a clothes pin or zip tie "airtight." Wait a few days. If the bagged fruits have ripened, you may remove the bags because you successfully tricked the plant hormones for the whole plant. Most of your fruits will now ripen. Otherwise pray. Either you had poor pollination or fickle plants and it'll be too late fix.
But did you know that figs are not fruit, but inwardly-growing flowers?
I have two fig trees here in WNC. The rats usually get most of the fruit. Bastiches.
I’ve had successful fig trees in San Antonio, Texas (transplanted a small one grown in Del Rio by a friend) and again here in Coastal Japan (Sagami Bay), also from tiny plants. Your growing season is likely too short in the northeast (where I grew up). I would suggest cutting back and potting your trees so you can over winter them in a garage, patio or greenhouse, fruit and all. Fresh figs sell for an arm and a leg in our supermarkets in the fall!
We had a beautiful brown fig tree at our previous house in the suburbs. Ants tended to get more figs than us. My young nephew visited and we ate several ripe figs from our tree. His momma asked if he enjoyed his visit, he said "Oh yeah especially when we ate berries off a bush in the front yard!". Needless to say I got a phone call soon therefter.
Lived on these few acres over a decade and wish I had brought some cuttings when we moved here.
Figs don't do well in San Francisco, I have to buy from areas with more sunshine; buy them because figs and bourbon make an excellent combination.
The founding fathers of cities in California often planted fig trees along the creeks in their towns.
Both San Jose and San Luis Obispo have mature trees in their downtown parks. It is such a delight to take a stroll in the park in late summer to find a a huge tree with ripe figs for the picking awaiting you.
Southern Hemisphere fig growing here. The figs are ripe anywhere from mid-February as late as Easter. The tree needs hacking back every year and is a bit of a pain to deal with. They do give off a decent bounty but it is a high tree and the Rainbow Lorikeets are adept at hanging upside down and grabbing the fatties.
Here by Olympic National Park, WA state my brown turkey fig tree produces about 30-50 rife figs per year and about 150 that never ripen. Planted from a pot about 9 years ago. Never filed back. My hummingbirds love it and do for we. Look or unripe green fig recipes. I’m doing pickled green figs this year.
We've had a fig tree for about 7 years and it keeps getting bigger and produces more fruit each year. It's probably 8 or 9 feet tall and wide. It has a little die back each year here in OK. I fill it with autumn leaves for insulation and then tighten it up with twine. I think that helps. Ours ripens earlier than in NE, of course.
My 5 and 1 year olds like them so much they eat them before they're completely ripe. The dog eats all the low hanging figs. I have another in a pot that I haven't planted because I keep thinking we're going to move in a year or two. I'm tempted to turn it into a bonsai, but I know the leaves are way too big to make it work properly. It would take an eight inch trunk and years of leaf reduction to even resemble a small tree.
It's been a good year for figs here, too. It's waiting game, though. If you let them get too ripe, the birds start eyeing them, and then you'll find them vandalized: a few pecks taken but the rest of the fruit left behind. Or sometimes the varmints will take the whole thing. Fresh figs off the tree are another of life's simple pleasures.
Don't forget to prune them back, since they appear on new growth.
I have four fig trees in my backyard orchard/garden here in NE Kansas: Chicago, Celeste, Bordeaux and some other kind I've forgotten the name of. I've grown them before in SoCal and Austin and they were part of the landscape where I lived in Italy. I've covered them with woodchips and they grew back from the roots to about 3-5 foot tall with a lot of fruit that is quite small still. I may try the trick above of bagging some of the fruit and will lay them down before the first hard frost and cover with leaves and tarp. I hope to give them a head start next year. I'll keep them even if they don't produce, just like all the apricot trees I've planted. I'm not completely sentimental/romantic/stupid: I haven't yet planned lemons, olives or jacaranda here on the Great Plains
We had a fig tree at our house in Charleston, SC when I was growing up. I don't know how old it was.
I would eat the figs right from the tree.
I remember being surprised at how tasty they were, my only other experience being Fig Newtons.
Fresh figs and Fig Newtons are definitely not the same. :)
My dad grows figs on the Southern Oregon Coast, but they have to be in a green house. It was a good year for figs, but lots of our crops didn't produce or do well this year; mostly from a bad spring. (too cold and wet, it hurt the bees and pollination)
There's a whole sub-culture of fig growers out there, many of whom hang out on a site called ourfigs.com.
In non-ideal climates, the trick is to grow them in containers so they can be wheeled into cover during winter. There's several hundred (thousands?) of different varieties, and as figs grow easily from cuttings, there's a roaring trade in the purchase and exchange of cuttings between collectors aka figaholics.
Growing figs in containers means you can grow them close together, so space is not a limiting factor to the number you can keep.
Selecting figs to grow and ripen in your climatic zone is an ongoing quest, and those in more favoured climes, like Southern California where anything grows, worry about the presence of the fig wasp (necessary for the pollination of Smyrna type figs) in order to extend the range of varieties they can successfully ripen.
If you haven't tried growing figs from cuttings, give it a go - once you get the hang of it, it's easy. Be warned - growing and collecting these trees is addictive.
If you live in the USA, you have access to a large number of varieties. I live in South Africa, with a much more limited selection (agricultural import restrictions etc) but still have some 30 varieties I'm growing in my small backyard.
Right you are about on-line communities for container gardening and about figs from simple cuttings. My fig from Del Rio was actually a cutting, although my figs here in Japan were rooted. Many container growers are growing fruit outside their zones. Houz has many links for gardeners of citrus fruit trees. When I first planted my Myer lemon trees and lime tree, I found great help through Houz from a citrus container gardener in Canada!