Figs Revisited

Remember when The Great Mystery of Figgy Pudding was solved last Christmas?


Well, since then, I have acquired a bit of knowledge regarding Fig Trees and the fruit they produce. Figs104_06251 104_1633 The information comes partially from  research…but mostly from egregious errors such as harvesting them prematurely and not pruning adequately. 104_1583 For your edification and mine, here is what I learned about these mistakes specifically:

  • Harvesting them Prematurely

While I did do the research on when to harvest my figs, I was impulsive the first time the trees yielded fruit and picked them too early.  Having never had fresh figs before, I was not certain exactly how soft the fruit should be before its ready for harvest.  Depending on the particular cultivar, figs turn brown, gold or green when they are ripe.  The type of figs I am raising stay green.

These were the right color and had begun to soften, but they could have used a couple more weeks of ripening on the tree.   


Unfortunately, once figs are harvested, they will not continue to ripen like a banana or a peach.


Ripe Figs


↑These were delicious by the way!

↓Unripe Figs :-(



I was so mad at myself for wasting these.  They were inedible, but I did use them by adding them to my Green Compost Materials. The other major mistake I have learned from is:

  • Not Pruning Adequately

For the most part, I planted my baby Fig Trees with composted cow manure and mulched around them.  After that, I added additional compost material and water, but pretty much left them alone.

Pruning fruit trees is necessary to develop a strong structured tree, to maintain tree vigor and control size, and to produce abundant high quality fruit. -Source

Superfluous branches actually rob the tree of energy which could be devoted to bearing fruit.  The branches near the base of the tree are called “suckers”, and by not pruning them, I have actually discouraged fruit production. 104_1469

 I have two options for dealing with “suckers”: Prune or Redirect.

104_1883 I chose to prune most of them on the trees, but I am now experimenting with my largest Fig Tree in Redirecting for Propagation.  104_1884

 Here I bent a low hanging branch backwards and buried it into the ground.

104_1885 According to the Rodale’s laws of Fig Tree Propagation, redirecting this branch or sucker will be encourage it to develop roots of its own. It will eventually be strong enough to sustain life independently of the host tree and can be broken away with a shovel.  I learned that you can also propagate figs by taking cuttings and replanting.  However, from what I have read, the easiest way to grow more trees is this Redirection Method.  We’ll see how it works!


Hopefully, learning from my mistakes will help me become a better Fig Farmer:-)   What mistakes have helped you learn recently? Do you like figs? In what form?

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