Fruits Of Your Garden: Growing Figs
Early Autumn is a time when we're either harvesting vegetables and fruits from our gardens or thinking about planting out new crops for Winter harvests or looking after what's already coming to the end of its season so we may enjoy fruits next year.
It's a time to feed and prune some plants, particularly fruit trees, prior to colder weather and while the soil is still warm.
Fig trees can also be grown to fruit-bearing size in a pot, so you don't even need a yard to have one - just enough space for it to grow. What's more, these are among the easiest of the fruit trees that can be grown, so they are a great way to engage youngsters in the wonderful world of growing their own food and tasting the yummy results.
The above fig tree was grown from a cutting of a particularly sweet tree growing in the garden of a friend in Victoria and has grown that much, and is now producing fruit, in just three years. A freshly cut fig branch can be placed in the ground, where it will root, grow, and eventually produce lots of the very same fruit borne by its mother tree - one way to ensure you have some of the best quality fruit available.
Growing a Fig Tree from a Cutting
Most gardeners would advise you take a cutting during Winter when the tree is dormant. Take pieces around 25cm long, cutting just below a node. Dip these cuttings into a honey and then push them into a deep pot filled with propagation mix, or just push into the ground in a shaded position. Leave only two or three buds above the soil. Keep the cuttings moist and in a shady position until the first leaves appear, then feed them with some compost tea or worm juice as well as seaweed extract.
About two months after the first leaves appear, when the small tree is growing strongly, carefully dig up or re-pot (disturbing the roots as little as possible) into a pot filled with a good potting mix combined with rich compost. Water them well with seaweed extract to minimise transplant shock and leave in a semi-shaded position. Plant your new fig tree into its final position the following Autumn or Winter. When you are planting, dig a wheelbarrow load of compost and well-rotted manure into the soil first. Add 1-2 handfuls of dolomite lime if your soil is acid and work that through too. Plant and water well.
Fruit and flowers
Most figs now grown in Australia are self-fertile, also known as persistent or common figs. You will never actually see fig flowers as they develop inside the fruit. The fruit (more correctly called synconia) of self-fertile types contains only female flowers and it develops without being pollinated. Other types of figs are known as Smyrna and San Pedro generally require a fig wasp to cross-pollinate with Capri figs before edible fruit will develop.
Many figs will have two crops, the first is known as the “breba” crop. This grows in Spring from the previous year’s wood. Small figs will often form on the ends of branches in Autumn, stay on the tree right though Winter and then develop ready to be harvested in December and January. These breba figs are often bigger than the later, larger crop, known as the “higos” or main crop. This later crop grows on the new season’s wood and is harvested from February to June.
Figs are best picked and eaten straight from the tree. Wait until their full colour (purple, brown, green or yellow depending on the fig type) appears and they begin to soften.
Pruning and restricting
Figs are always pruned in winter and these prunings can be used as cuttings. Traditionally they are pruned to a vase shape, open in the middle with four or five main structural branches. Every Winter remove any broken, overlapping or diseased branches and then lightly prune the whole tree, cutting back any particularly long branches by about half.
Every few years, prune more heavily (up to two-thirds) to encourage enough new wood for a good crop. If your tree produces a breba crop, then leave some of the old wood for this crop and prune these branches the following year.
If you want to plant your fig into the ground, but need to keep the tree small, then dig a pit 1m squared, line it with bricks or stones to restrict the roots and then fill and plant in the same way as for a pot.
How to Grow Figs
When it comes to fig tree care, you should know that growing fig trees requires well-drained and fertile soil. The best soil for growing fig trees would be loamy soil that has plenty of organic matter cut through it. Be sure the area gets plenty of moisture but don't drown your fig tree. The perfect pH for growing fig trees is a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5.
NETA RETRACTABLE HOSE REEL 25M: $179.00
Slow, smooth, safe rewind retraction mechanism. 12mmx25m reinforced garden hose & 2m connection hose. Multi-purpose 8 pattern spray gun. Wall bracket with 180 swivel. Made from UV stablized materials. Fully assembled. 3 year Neta no-break guarantee.
When to Plant Fig Trees
For good fig tree care, remember that a northern exposure keeps your fig trees dormant until the time comes that they should be blooming. You can set your dormant, bare-rooted trees out in late Autumn to early Spring. For easy fig tree maintenance, you should choose fig trees that are free of root-knot nematodes. Fig tree maintenance is not a lot of work. Fig trees like full sunlight and adequate room for growth. You can plant your growing fig trees about 15 to 20 feet apart(if you want more than one).
Make sure you choose a position that has shelter from the wind, no sewer pipes the roots of the tree may disturb, and has a well drained soil
Fig Tree Care
Be careful not to have too much nitrogen in the soil. Fig trees will require a good 'feed' every two years, although some gardeners advocate a good fruit fertilser feed once a year for ground grown fig trees and March, December and the first month of spring for pot grown fig trees.
Figs grown in Pots Care
Figs can produce more fruit when root-bound so grow well in pots. In fact some gardeners go as far as to construct figs in ‘fig pits' - square holes in the ground, as described above, to restrict root growth. Keep your potted figs well watered, and prune hard each year. At the annual prune scrape away a third of the soil from the top of the pot and replace with fresh potting mix.
Here are some things to keep in mind while selecting, planting and caring for your fig tree:
- Pick the right variety for your yard and climate.
- Choose a sunny, warm spot to plant. Plant your fig tree in a location where it receives at least eight hours of direct sunlight each day to ensure that the fruit ripens properly. A bright, south-facing location typically provides enough light for your fig tree to thrive.
- Give them space to grow.
- Don't over-water or over-fertilise. Although the watering needs of a fig tree depend largely on the soil and the weather, a general rule is that a fig tree needs 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water each week. Keep the soil around your fig tree moist but not soaked.
- Protect the tree from cold.
- Deter birds by using plastic snakes, owls or disco mirror balls as bird scarers.
- If high humidity causes fungus on the foliage spray with a fungicide.
- White Adriatic: a large tree suited to warmer climates. Fruit is brown/green with deep-pink flesh and a wonderful flavour.
- Black Genoa : a vigorous tree; large purple fruit has dark red, sweet flesh.
- Brown Turkey: a hardy fig with purple/brown skin and pink sweet flesh.
- White Genoa: yellow-green skin, amber flesh and a mild flavour. Grows well in cooler areas.
Some tools to help you get it done:
POWERFEED FERTILISER RTU HOSE ON 2.5L: $12.95
SEASOL FERTILISER RTU HOSE ON 2.5L: $12.95
EARTHCORE 2KG ORGANIC ALL-IN-ONE FERTILISER: $6.99
Organic pelletised fertiliser. Can be used on all plant types. Easy to use and apply. Slow release, increases earthworm activity.
FISKARS EURO MEDIUM BYPASS PRUNER: $25.99
20mm. Medium size. Non-corrosive blade. 25 Year warranty.
TUMBLING COMPOSTER 105L BLACK: $99.00
POLY TRAY 100L WHEELBARROW: $79.00
KIDS GREEN POLY TRAY WHEELBARROW: $34.00
Wooden handles. 150mm solid wheel.
Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Store
73 Bassett Street
Mona Vale - Online Store: Jbhmv.Com.Au
Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10.
Previous DIY Pages:
Decking Timbers Caring For Your Deck Decking Finishes Privacy Screens I Privacy Screens II Privacy Screening Hardwoods Autumn Paths and Lawns Insulation Batts Plasterboard Ventilation - Edmond's Ecofan Blackboards for Children and Home Spring Lawn Care Shade Sails & Watering Basic DIY Tools DIY Tools - Power Drills Recycle Your Trampoline into An Air Bed How to Build Your Own Backyard Cricket Pitch Christmas Lights Displays around House and Garden Summer Mildew - Refresh, Renew How to Fix Things That Drip and Bump in the Night Time To Plant Winter Vegetables in a Raised Garden Beds Layout Organsing Your Tool Shed Make Your Own Weathervane Installing A Garden Watering System Decking Oils How To Make Garden Compost How To Winter proof Your Lawn How to create Shabby Chic effect on Timber Furniture How to Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed Growing Your Own Winter Vegies Winter Heating Guide Prepare Your Yard For Winter Eradicating Noxious Weeds From Your Yard How to Fix Furniture Finishes Part I How to Repair Scratches, Dings, and Dents of Furniture Surfaces - Part II Winter Draughts Fix Classic Wooden Tool Carrier Spring Garden Checklist Part I Install Your Own Skylight Retaining Walls for Saving Soil and New Spring Garden Beds Summer Salad Garden Native Plant Garden for A Fairy Arbour Renewing Short Flight of Exterior Stairs Deck Maintenance DIY Summer Tasks You Can Do In Time to Get to the Beach Garden Ponds for Attracting Birdlife, Dragonflies and for the Soothing Sounds of Water Salt Air: Maintenance and Protection Creating an Outdoor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio - Part I Creating an Outdor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio Part II Autumn Garden Tasks Autumn DIY Jobs: Waterproof Your Home Checklist Dealing With Dampness Inside the Home Fixing Your Fence Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards DIY Toy Box and Snow Globes: School Holidays Fun - Winter 2015 DIY Wooden Toy Cars and Perfect Painted Flowerpots: School Holiday Fun - Winter 2015 Shoring Up an Under House Earth Bank – Installing a Basic Retaining Wall DIY One Shelf Sideboard Early Spring 2015 Garden Care Salad Garden For Children Keeping Your Garden and Home Cool in Hot Weather Classic Beach Garden and Camping Chairs 3 Portable Versions Anyone Can Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Mark I: Park Benches for Your Garden Make Your Own Scooter or Skateboard: Summer 2016 Fun How to Install a Solid Core Door and Door Furniture Summer Garden Jobs: Pruning A Hedge How to Make A Swing Chair - With A Frame for Garden Setting Garden Jobs for March to Make A Beautiful and Healthy Spring Keeping Outdoor Nooks Warm During Cooler Months Children’s Step Stool with Storage Stop Winter Rain Lawn Loss and Soil Erosion on Slopes DIY Garden Shed: Part 1 of 4 - Base DIY Garden Shed: Part 2 - Framing Walls DIY Garden Shed: Part 2b - Gable Roof Framing Garden Shed Part 3: Roof Installation DIY Garden Shed: Weather- boards - Door And Window Installation And Paint Finish DIY Coffee Table With Chessboard Inlay Spring Gardening: Feeding Your Soil And Plants - What Works For Each Plant DIY Sandstone Flagging Parking Area - Platform DIY Pre-Summer Checklist For A Safe Home Summer Spruce Up: Interior Paint Tips and Three easy steps to rejuvenate your timber deck The Perfect BBQ Garden Setting DIY Water Wise Garden DIY Side Gates DIY Storm Preparation And Home Protection One To Two Day DIY Weekend Spruce Ups Vegepods For Autumn Planting + Easy To Make Lego Table Or Student Desk That Can Be Dismantled + Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Online Store Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Great New Mona Vale Store: Still In Bassett Street - number 73 Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Mona Vale Store: The Greenlife Garden Centre Go Outside And Play: Creating Garden Spaces To Connect Children With Nature DIY Plasterboard Repair DIY Dolls House Or Garage Or Boatshed DIY Child's Waggon - or use as a large planter mover DIY Bathroom Refresh: Zing For Spring Tips for Growing a Native Garden FireCrunch, Australian Developed Fire-proof, Sustainable, Durable and Reliable Building Board Now Available at Johnson Bros. at Mona Vale and Narrabeen School Holidays DIY Ideas for Children: Little Vegetables Garden, Swing, Windchimes Bushfire Season Preparation 2017: Home and Outdoor Areas Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Trade Centre at Mona Vale + Issue No 1 of Mitre 10’s inSITE Magazine for Tradies and Handymen Preparing Al Fresco Areas for Christmas Get-Togethers and Summer Visitors Summer De-bug; Mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches and ants - how to keep the outdoors insects where they belong DIY Summer Projects: Install A Fountain Or Water Feature Late Summer and Early Autumn Projects: A Shed For All Storage Solutions + Garden Tasks + Keeping Our Waterways Clean Autumn Plantings for Winter Harvests 2018 Paintback Collection Event: Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale Saturday, April 7 Reducing Ticks in Your Garden: Garden care, Plants that Repel, What to Wear Outdoors Attracting Insectivore Birds to Your Garden: DIY Natural Tick Control Mother's Day 2018: DIY Rose Garden Winter Mould & Mildew Inside Your home: How to Keep Air and Surfaces Healthier DIY Traditional Rocking Horse Johnson Brothers Trade Day 2018 DIY Mushrooms and Vege Kits: School Holidays Fun Winter 2018 for Curious Kids Woodworking Projects for Beginners: School Holidays Fun Winter 2018 - Simple Storage Box + Wood Tool Box Spring Garden Prep: Soil Care Spring into Spring + JBH August 2018 Trifecta DIY Backyard Doggie Paradise Garden Care for Heavy Rain Days + Non-Toxic Snail and Slug Debug Ideas Garden Design and Plant Management to Minimise Tick Attacks and Infestations - insights from an essay by Bill Conroy BSc. (Agr) (Syd) + a Tribute to Wilfred Lawrence Conroy CBE by Keith Jackson, PNG and others Make Your Own BBQ Kitchen Garden: Gifts That Grow Past That Giving Day Christmas Lights 2018: Light Up the Night How to Keep Your House Cool During a Heatwave Without Using an Air-Conditioner Mid-Summer Garden Care 2018 Winners Of National Hardware Store Of The Year - Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale! + End Of Summer Garden To Do List
Australia's Prime Minister Visits Mackellar - Informal Afternoon Tea with Hon. Malcolm Turnbull October 2016
Front Page Issue 294: 2018 Winners Of National Hardware Store Of The Year - Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale !!!