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.