Top of The Crops - Figs

It used to be that figs could only be grown outside in the south.
Now with climate change we have the luxury of having figs inside and out even in the north.

Planting & Root Restriction:

Figs are very very vigorous and so it is important to restrict roots in order for plant to produce fruit.
The usual way to do this is to construct an open based trough with the top edge 2.5cm above the surrounding soil level.
The trough should be 60cm x 60cm x 60cm.
The sides should be made of store slabs to ensure roots don’t escape.
The bottom should be left open for drainage but packed tightly to a depth of 30cm with broken brick to further reduce root growth.
Fill bed with good compost.
Plant March to April when danger of frost in past.

Pruning & Croping

Figs in this country bear two crops per year but usually only one reopens.
The crop starts in late summer with fruit near tips of young shoots.
If winter is mild these will develop and ripen in August & September.
Fruits produced in spring do not usually develop as winter is too cold, these should be removed in late autumn to concentrate on the next crop.
Delay pruning until end of April.
Cut out all damaged wood.
Thin out young shoots by cutting each alternate shoot back to one bud.
Aim for 30cm spacing between shoots.

Growing in a Pot

This is ideal for the tunnel.
Size of pot influences size of plant.
Easy pots to manage are 30-38cm pots.
Either clay or plastic, though clay pots are more stable.
Best month to plant is March.
Use John Innes No 3 compost.
Firm well in & leave good amount of space for water at top of pot.
Re-pot only every two years.

Figs are ready to pick when soft brown and hang downwards.
Skin sometimes will split as sometimes a drop of nectar exudes from the eye of the fruit – all indications of ripe fruit.

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