Fig trees

by Jane Moore

...the fig tree has happily spent the last few years in a terracotta pot in my sunny back garden, but now it needs a bit more room.

Developing fruit on a fig treeWe've swapped the 'big freeze' for 'wet and windy' this week. Suddenly the temperatures seem sub-tropical, even though it's only a few degrees above zero. I'm glad of some rain — it's been dry for a couple of months, which is unusual in these parts.

It seems wrong, somehow, to water pots and containers in damp, chilly weather, but they do need the occasional water when conditions are dry. I don't have any pots at the allotment — I'd never be able to keep them watered in the height of summer — but I do have a few containers at home. My container plants include an ancient clematis, which has had fantastically fluffy seed heads for the past few weeks, a lemon, safely tucked up in fleece for the winter, and a fig tree.

The fig tree has happily spent the last few years in a terracotta pot in my sunny back garden, but now it needs a bit more room. I don't think there's enough space for the fig to be permanently planted in the ground, as my garden is small — fig trees get huge if left to their own devices.

The allotment seems to be the ideal solution. There the fig can have its head and enjoy some space to expand. It will make a lovely, fast-growing, leafy plant for my plot and will add to the selection of fruits I already grow. Figs sucker terribly from their roots and the more they concentrate on producing suckers the less they bother about fruit, so I'll plant it within a cube of paving slabs to contain it. Will it take a year to settle in or will I be picking figs this September?

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Gardeners' World Web User 20/01/2009 at 15:31

We have a fig bought last year and planted in a pot diameter 30" it was doing well although we were upset when it dropped the 6 green figs it had when we bought it.. Then great excitemnt it produced more, 13 in total and we were expecting to be eating figs this september, but no. We had some raiders who stripped it one day, or could have been just one, any way I hope that little squirrel had the 'runs' because he ate the darn lot!! Needless to say we will have fleece on the next lot that grows and Mr Squirrel will have to eat some one elses fruit, perhaps the apples off an old tree in some waste ground behind our house. Yes they are delightful to watch and we do give him (and now a Mrs Squirrel peanuts)but they are not going to have my figs next year!!

Gardeners' World Web User 23/01/2009 at 05:52

Squirrel kebabs may be an idea. I wonder if the meat would have a hint of fig...

Gardeners' World Web User 23/01/2009 at 14:37

I want to email a tip to stand the chance of Garden Vouchers but cannot find a lead on your web site, can someone please advise.

Gardeners' World Web User 23/01/2009 at 17:18

Hello Brighouse, you can email your tip to the Gardeners' World Magazine team at: Good luck! Regards, Daniel,

Gardeners' World Web User 31/01/2009 at 17:46

I bought a fig tree last year it is in a pot and is in a small plastic greenhouse it has 3 figs on it at the moment, when would I safely be able to bring it outside.

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