The Q&A Archives: Caring for Brown Turkey Fig

Question: I have a four-year-old Brown Turkey fig tree, and would like to know how and when to prune and fertilize it.

Answer: In your area, figs are marginally hardy and will be killed to the ground in some winters. Therefore, training them into a tree form is generally not recommended, as the coming winter will likely give you the chance to start over again!

A better option is to train a fig as a multi-stemmed bush. Each year in late winter, remove some of the many shoots that emerge from the ground by cutting them out at ground level. Leave some of the larger ones, spacing them out 6 to 8 inches apart.

Fertilize figs sparingly--in March and again in May should do it. You don't want to encourage a lot of late season vigorous growth which is more likely to be damaged by cold.

Mulch the base deeply with leaves to help protect it over winter.

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