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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 16, 2015 9:16 PM CST
This thread is meant to be a place to exchange information about figs - any and all information about buying/trading/propagating/disease/harvesting/cooking/preserving - in one place so it will be easy for figgy folks to find.

The idea came from a post made by @jamyers59:
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/543268/

@TennesseeDave posted in the Vegetables and Fruit Forum showing off his first batch of ripe figs:
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/464342/

@piksihk had a question about brown spots on fig leaves: http://garden.org/thread/view_post/277670/

@Escuba posted about ordering figs from Baker Creek:
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/764123/

@stormla posted in the Trees and Shrubs Forum with a question about pruning fig trees:
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/22982/

@psa posted in the Propagation Forum - Wow, a variegated fig!:
http://garden.org/thread/view_post/124317/

Blinking If I have missed any fig-related posts please feel free to add them here. Thumbs up

Who else can we give a shout out to?
@Horseshoe
@SongofJoy
@rocklady
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
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SongofJoy
Jun 17, 2015 4:15 AM CST
Good idea, Greene. I don't think I was aware there's a variegated fig. I think I may "need" that one! nodding
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jun 17, 2015 8:13 AM CST
Yep, back in January I was hunting all over for information. Thought it would be good to have it all in one place. Hope others agree.
And yes, I may also 'need' the variegated fig. Rolling on the floor laughing
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
Jun 18, 2015 5:14 AM CST
Good Idea. I would be very interested to hear from any northern gardeners who grow figs in pots and bring them inside in the winter. I am giving it a try, but no fruit after 4 years, isn't encouraging.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Jun 18, 2015 8:45 AM CST
mandolls said:Good Idea. I would be very interested to hear from any northern gardeners who grow figs in pots and bring them inside in the winter. I am giving it a try, but no fruit after 4 years, isn't encouraging.


My next door neighbor grows figs in very large pots and some in ground also. The pots are way too big to move so they wrap the figs with burlap each fall for the winter.
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
Jun 18, 2015 12:28 PM CST
Thanks Rita - but I am zone 4, so burlap just wouldn't be enough. I purchased a new one this spring, a Chicago Hardy Fig, which is supposed to be good to zone 5, (the other is a NOID). I still plan on bringing it indoors, but maybe I'll take cuttings and try leaving one out for the winter with insulation, and see what happens.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Jun 18, 2015 1:33 PM CST
Really I know nothing about growing figs. I just see that they wrap theirs. But I don't think they wrapped the ones in ground this fall and this spring those had died down to the ground. But are starting to grow again. Seems like one would not get fruit though.
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Jun 18, 2015 1:55 PM CST
What would one do with figs besides making jam?
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
Jun 18, 2015 3:37 PM CST
Fresh Figs are delicious!!! But I have to admit, my grandmother used to make fig preserves in S.C., and nothing I have purchased in the store compares. You can also dry them and then use them in various meat and salad dishes as you would other dried fruit.
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 18, 2015 8:28 PM CST
Geof zone 4b is pushing it even with protection. Pot culture is basically your only option if you want healthy plants. A 15 gallon pot can house a fig tree for a while just remember to root prune your rootbound plants every few years and you'll be fine. Also remember to move your pots several times a year so they don't send roots into the ground making it hard to move in winter. Store your potted trees in an unheated shed, building, or garage during winter. Figs can be grown in ground out of there rated zone and will die to the ground but often come back to produce a main crop however you'll lose your breba crop if last years wood keeps dieing. For the record all fig trees even hardy chicago is rated for zone 8 however some figs take cold better than others Marsellis VS black is very cold hardy along with Hardy chicago and a few others but none are rated for zone 5, thats a sales gimmick. Established healthy trees can survive lower temps than young trees but I think zone 5b is as low as I'd go with in ground plants with winter protection anything lower and they will need to be brought inside during winter. Even in my zone 7b I have dieback on some of my fig trees but I never use winter protection because I have hundreds of fig trees and it's too much work. My first 2 years of collecting fig trees I would store potted trees in the greenhouse but the heat caused them to break dormancy early and then I was stuck using supplemental heat during the night to keep the new growth from dieing. Now I line all my potted plants against the house in winter and let them be and the ones in ground overwinter unprotected.
🌿A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered🌿
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
Jun 19, 2015 4:57 AM CST
Thanks Dan. My two biggest and oldest plants are in 12-15 gallon pots. I left them out to long last year and they both died back to their roots, but have re sprouted. I have never actually gotten figs from either of them. Someone suggested I was over fertilizing, as I tend to give potted plants a little fertilizer every time I water them. I thought this year I would stop fertilizing them mid July, and see if that makes a difference. They actually haven't gotten much this spring as we have had so much rain that I have only watered them once or twice.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Jun 19, 2015 6:54 PM CST
Daniel, what varieties of figs do you have in the ground? I see we're in the same zone 7b.

We've tried several varieties of figs in the ground but they usually only make it two years and then don't come back after the cold winters. Yes, even here in this part of Texas, we have too many days below freezing! My dh LOVES figs and wants the trees in the ground (he says in pots they just won't produce enough fruit). Plus, we have too many plants to bring in over winter as it is. Currently have two Brown Turkey fig trees in the ground, second year they came back from the root. Very few fruits are just now starting to show.

Or maybe you have some favorites that you keep in pots? That's a good idea, how you keep them up against the house in winter.

Thanks for your imput.

I saw the Chicago Hardy and another variety in the Logee's catalog recently. Smiling

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 19, 2015 8:04 PM CST
if you do feed your fig trees make sure you are using something low in nitrogen. Something like (UltraGreen Tomato and Vegetable Food) in early april and again early June with a good source of trace minerals is perfect if not going organic. Using rock phosphate, Wood Ash, Greensand, Alfalfa Meal, and compost with a natural source of trace minerals together works great as an organic and vegan option, but there are many other things you can use as well just remember to keep the N rating low. Also research in the fig community has shown that silica seems to make wood more resistant to winter damage .
Your summers are too short to ripen main crop figs so if you keep losing last years wood you won't ever get figs. I honestly think containers are your best option with you protecting them in winter. The Desert king variety sets huge crops of beba figs early and ripens in cool summer areas. It's not as hardy as Hardy Chicago but if you are willing to take care of it through winter it will probably be your best producing fig tree. In zone 6 hardy chicago can freeze to the ground and still produce a few figs in late August till the first frost but unfortunately I can't see that happening in your area.
🌿A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered🌿
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 19, 2015 8:50 PM CST
Christine every year brings new twists in my zone for growing figs from cold winter weather to summer drought to soggy soil in spring and fall. I have about 60 fig trees in ground without any protection from northerly winds that are still under observation but most seem to dieback in winter. in our zone Brown Turkey, Celeste, and Hardy Chicago aka Chicago Hardy are hardy and fairly easy to find. There are others like Asurup, Gillette, Hungarian Brown Plate, Lyndhurst White, Macool, Marsellis VS black, Red italian frank's strain , Si Emma, St Rita, Tacoma Violet, Violette Dauphine, and maybe few others that seem hardy but finding them can be hard and costly. I hate to say the prices I've paid for some of my fig trees but some rare ones go for well over $300 for a 1 gallon plant. Most of my plants will eventually be in ground but at the moment I'm still testing small plantings to see what's works and what don't. I've already lost about 40 or 50 varieties completely over the years but most that have dieback do comeback. there are some favorites I have that I know are not hardy and will be kept in pots forever but pots are high maintenance so I only intend on keeping about 20 or so in large pots. right now I have around 700+ fig trees in pots at different stages of growth from rooted cuttings to 20 gallon pots. The bad thing is I preach the importance of diversity in the landscape yet I've managed to create a fig monoculture of sorts but as the years pass and the ones that prove to be a problem are gone that number will be much lower. I also sell and trade a lot of plants so these numbers are always changing.
🌿A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered🌿
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
Jun 20, 2015 4:20 AM CST
Dan - thanks for the tip on Desert King. I'll look for it. (tree mail me if you have it and sell cuttings) Frost free season here is usually mid May - Mid October (though sometimes end of May - mid September) I do have a low N fert I can use - thanks

I have been leaving them outside until it gets down to 10 degrees or so, and then bringing them in, and trying to keep them dormant as long as possible - then getting them back outside in the early spring. Last year they died back to the roots, but for 3 years in a row they didn't, they leafed out beautifully everywhere. This year I'll bring them inside when it gets below 25.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Jun 20, 2015 5:58 AM CST
Thank you so much for your input and advise, Daniel. I'm going to pass it on to my dh. We definitely have the same thing with the everchanging weather conditions. btw, what is that huge fig in your avatar?

Looking forward to fig conversations, everyone!
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 20, 2015 7:04 AM CST
You both are very welcome, the fig in my hand is called RGNN or "Rob's Genovese Nero Not" It was supposed to be a Genovese Nero but Adriano a fig collector in canada and the only one with the real Genovese Nero pointed out that it was a fake. Regardless of it's name it produces the largest figs I have ever seen so it's a keeper. Unfortunately I don't have desert king, I had it but gave my only plant to a friend in Washington. It's a common fig so finding it shouldn't be an issue if you shop online. I have a few friends with it but I never bothered getting another because there was always something better on the table when the trades came about.
🌿A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered🌿
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jun 20, 2015 8:32 AM CST
mandolls said:Dan - thanks for the tip on Desert King. I'll look for it. (tree mail me if you have it and sell cuttings)


@ediblelandscapingsc/Dan, perhaps you should list yourself in the Classified and Group Buys Forum if you want to sell your Fig cuttings.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 20, 2015 9:54 PM CST
Thanks for the offer Greene, but I rather just trade with my ATP friends and sell to people on ebay.
🌿A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered🌿
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 20, 2015 10:24 PM CST
Well there is a classified section to sell items if you do decide to go that route. I like to have the option of buying from another member because I don't always have something to trade or may not be able to trade at a certain time of year if zones are different. Trading is nice to offer, but newer members sometimes starting out don't have enough of anything yet to trade with.

I thought about growing figs but didn't think they would do well and I don't have anywhere to bring them in during the winter. I understand they bloom/set fruit on the previous years growth?

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