Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Figs. Progress Report. 9.13 15

Brunswick figs starting to ripen.  9.13.15

Hardy Chicago fig wood lignification.  9.13.15

Carini fig wood  lignification.  9.13.15

Sal's Fig.  9.13.15

Celeste Fig Start at 2 1/2 months.  9.13.15

LSU Tiger ripening.  Container grown.  9.13.15

Lattarula showing lignification.  9.13.15

Row of Figs trees bordering easement.  9.15.15
Here is my fig progress report for 9.13.15.  I am nearing the end of starting new fig trees, at least for myself. 

Starting fig trees.
Establishing a small fig orchard.
Testing fig varieties.
Testing for or promoting hardiness.
Ripening figs now.

Starting fig trees:
The newest, and last intended attempts, are for the Celeste cuttings and cuttings of Petite negri / Aubique petite.  I started the Celeste in June.  There are 2 growing plants, well past the tenuous stage when there are leaves but no roots supporting them.  These just need to store some carbohydrates and go dormant.  I can early-start them in sunroom in Jan for a head start next year.

I want to try Aubique Petite again at Battleground.  I don't know if my original tree can be moved - may be too big.  I started a cutting last month.  Cut a semi-hardwood cutting, cut leaves in half, scored the sides through cambium, dipped into Dip-and-Grow, and placed in water on North side of house.  I have been changing the water when I think of it, about weekly.

The roots are at the callous - small root stage.  I moved this on into potting soil today.  Will keep it watered until fall, store in garage, and probably also bring out of dormancy in January.  This will need extra TLC to grow fast, since it is slow growing.  I want it to fruit as soon as it can.

Establishing a Small Fig Orchard.  I don't know which ones will do well, and there is room, so I am trying many varieties.  This row is shaded on East by a large fir tree.  On the west is an easement, which I can't use for much.  These are out of the easement.  If a road is ever built, the fig trees will provide some privacy.  I planted Champagne into ground.  There are already Brunswick, moved 2 years ago.  There are starts from Dominick and Atreano.  I might add Smith and one or two more.

There is also the row of fig trees south of the Battleground house. 

Testing fig varieties and hardiness.   It's too much trouble to maintain more than a few trees in containers.  Even if it's a variety that I like and may not be able to survive in ground, I am moving most into ground.  It's young fig trees that are most susceptible to freezing damage.  Some thoughts - I am only planting trees that have been container grown, outside, for 2 or 3 years.  They should be more hardy than new ones.  I am avoiding stimulating more that about a foot of new growth on these trees.  That means the new growth should have a chance to lignify.  Ditto for in-ground trees.  For some, there was only a few inches of growth.  Not great for fast enlargement and production, but I think they should be more hardy.   I will leave a few in containers, but the long term plan is all in-ground.

The fig tree row south of the house, Hardy Chicago, Sal's and Dominic seem the most lignified.  LSU Tiger, Carini, and Lattarula are not there yet.  Lattarula is ahead of Carini and Tiger.

Figs Ripening Now.  This is the best part and why grow figs.  Getting a bowl full of Hardy Chicago about every other day.  Sal's is still young but getting a taste every few days.  Tiger in container is ripening more.  Not confident Tiger in ground will make it this year.  Carini might get there.  Brunswick has multiple figs that have reached the tipping point to ripening.  The most ever. 


  1. My fig report is not great. Half of them die because of lack of water. I never get any rain to let them take off. Usually it will start rooting and then the rain will make it send out a lot of growth and become an establish plant. This yr. after I planted the rooted cutting into the ground, the seedling fried under the sun. I tried deep mulching and water almost everyday but in the hottest days I really need to water them 2X a day. The ones that didn't died is slowly declining and shedding leaves, so I have to dig them back up and re-pot them. I've seldom have to rescue them after they are in the ground. I've saved my excel fig the leaves grew back once it is back in a pot. Looks like I have to re pot several of them. I have to do the same with rose cuttings, otherwise I would loose all the hard work I put in for rotting them. I know growing figs in containers is a lot of work. I rather have them in the grounds too but here we are in the drought and you have the cold to bother them.

  2. It's really frustrating your figs didn't take off. I think most years, your climate would be better for them than mine is. I hope your next year is much better.