Huge, New Fig

By Charlie Nardozzi

The fig crop is ripening in many areas of the county. If you love figs, you'll love this new variety from the Louisiana State University breeding program. 'LSU Gold' features 2-inch-wide, tender, very sweet fruits with bright yellow skin and strawberry-colored pulp. This reliable producer yields fruits up to 50 percent heavier than regular fig varieties.

'LSU Gold' trees resist splitting and are hardy in USDA zones 8 to 10 without protection and in zone 7 with winter protection. The variety is available in garden centers in the southeast.

Figs grow best in full sun on well-drained soil, producing the best crops when they are 3 to 4 years old. Remove the few fruits that form on 1- to 2-year-old trees after planting. Keep trees well watered in summer and pruned in winter. Louisiana-bred fig varieties are self-fertile and don't need insects for pollination to produce fruit, so there is no need to plant more than one tree.

For more on growing figs, go to the: Louisiana State University Web site.

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