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Hi I am a newbie but want to try and grow more edible garden plants and trees but have limited space. I would like to grow patio plants and Lilylouise has tempted me on Blueberries in a pot after watching her video of her garden. My question is, is it possible to grow a fig tree in this country in a pot on the patio. Would like some advice before I buy a fig tree as they look expensive. I live in the Lancashire area so can get rather cold in the winter but my garden isn't open. Have you experts got any good advice for me.
I have a fig tree in a large pot and it's doing OK. I live in central Belgium so winters are much harder than Lancashire. It gets taken into an unheated shelter for the winter and can be frozen back to its rootstock in the hardest winters but last year, despite -25C nights it produced about a dozen fruit. It's parent, planted in the ground in a more sheltered garden than mine a few miles away produces dozens every year.
Just make sure you buy a hardy one like Brown Turkey, although I believe there is a newer, hardier variety available in the UK now. You'll need to give it a topfeed every spring and keep it watered throughout the gowing season. Keep it sheltered over winter. Think about lining the sides of the pot with bubble wrap before filling with compost as this gives the roots extra protection from frost. Use a good John Innes 3 type compost and make sure it doesn sit in a wet puddle in winter.
I have a fig in a pot on the terrace in central Italy. Like obelixx, we get pretty brutal winters, though not as cold as -25. We have a covered pergola on the terrace and it goes under the pergola, against a protected wall, the container wrapped in two or three layers of bubble wrap. I wrap the tree itself in a couple of layers of heavy-duty fleece. It spends about two and a half months like this and I monitor the moisture level in the container. It averages one or two waterings with tepid/warm water during this period, and, with the container's excellent drainage, it never gets wet feet. Its now five or six years old and produces an extraordinary amount of fruit for its size.
Its sister plant - both grown from cuttings from the same tree - lives in the ground in the garden in a completely exposed position. I don't protect it in any way. It takes everything winter can throw at it and always bounces back in spring.
Thanks for the positive response I can't wait to get one now.
Italophile, a friend has moved to Italy and lives down south and was pleased with his fig tree so I want to surprise them when they visit with an English fig, yes a bit of competition
Obelxx, I did see Turkey Brown on one of the seed website so will aim for that tree and thanks for the planting info.
It is great to have some many experts who can answer these questions and give such good advice. Thank to you both and have a good weekend. regards Chris
Happy to Help Chris. Good Luck.
I'm planning to plant mine out in a south facing sheltered spot this autumn and will protect the top with fleece henceforth. Mine got frosted at just the wrong moment this spring so I will only get 3 fruit this year and it's taken till late June for the leaves to appear. It's looking good now though so I hope it will be happier outside as the fruits are delicious.
Chris9 wrote (see)
Thanks for the positive response I can't wait to get one now. Italophile, a friend has moved to Italy and lives down south and was pleased with his fig tree so I want to surprise them when they visit with an English fig, yes a bit of competition Obelxx, I did see Turkey Brown on one of the seed website so will aim for that tree and thanks for the planting info. It is great to have some many experts who can answer these questions and give such good advice. Thank to you both and have a good weekend. regards Chris
You see figs everywhere here, Chris. Down the road from us there's even one huge green fig tree growing out of a wall! It's always the first fig in the town to fruit and produces a ton of fruit.
The only secrets to growing in containers is to (a) give them a good feed with a balanced fertiliser - I usually use a 10:10:10 combination - in spring; (b) keep them well watered in summer but with very good drainage, obviously; and (c) don't start out with the container too big. Figs thrive in terms of production if their roots are contained, cramped even. Mine started life in about a 25cm pot and I potted it up a couple of years ago into a 40cm container. It's over 6' and as wide as it is tall.
It will stay in this container for a very long time. The root system can get too compacted, though. Every couple of years, early in spring, I lift it out and use a handsaw (yes, literally) to cut three or four wedges out of the mass of roots. Like taking wedged slices out of a pie, except it's like cutting into solid timber. This both reduces the root mass and rejuvenates it. I fill in the newly created space in the container with potting mix. You'd think the tree would turn up its toes in protest. No way. It gallops on.
I've had a fig in a pot for 3 or 4 years. Repotted it this year. so far haven't seen any sign of it producing any fruit. any suggestions.
Do you know the variety? There are non-fruiting varieties. It can sometimes take two or three years for a tree to mature to a fruiting stage but your three or four years should have been adequate. Assuming plenty of sun and warmth in summer, has it been fertilised? Nitrogen-heavy fertiliser can work against fruit production.
I'm also planning to plant a fig tree this year, in a container against the south-facing fence on our terrace. I've already bought it's final home - a large square frost-proof terracotta pot - I thought I'd better get it while I still had the vouchers from a big birthday - but I know it'll have to start off in a smaller one.
A friend who lived in this area had good crops from a Brown Turkey in a similar situation, but this nursery http://www.readsnursery.co.uk/categories/Fig-Trees/ isn't far from here and they have all sorts of varieties so I thought I'd seek their advice too.
Does anyone on here have experience of growing a fig other than Brown Turkey in the UK?
I'm planning to buy a fig this year to plant in a pot in a sheltered corner of our south facing terrace. I've already bought it's final home - a large frost-proof square terracotta pot (I thought I'd better buy it while I had some vouchers for my big birthday), but I know it'll have to start off in a smaller pot.
A friend who lived in this area had good crops from a Brown Turkey in a similar situation, but I've not finally decided yet. This nursery http://www.readsnursery.co.uk/categories/Fig-Trees/ is nearby, so I thought I'd ask their advice.
Does anyone on here have experience of growing figs other than Brown Turkey outside in the UK?
Hi Italophile has been growing figs Obelixx has been growing Brown Turkey, they have given adviced how to grow this type fig at the top of this thread, let me know what you buy and how you get on.
How odd I wrote and posted the first one and it didn't appear, so I cursed milldly and posted again - now it appears I've done it twice - at least I'd win a prize for consistency - they're almost word for word the same
It's a Brown Turkey and I did use a fruit fertiliser this Spring (sulphate of Potash) I was wondering whether it might be because I leave it out all winter.
Figs in containers need some sort of protection in cold winters. The danger is that the roots can freeze in the container. Did it have any protection?
How is it looking otherwise?
Any chance of a photo? Here's our tree. It's roughly the same age as yours, I grew it from a cutting taken in spring 2008:
That's a 40cm container and it's been in it for two years. How big is the container you potted up into this year? Figs do their absolute best in terms of fruit with cramped roots.
Last year I did a major root prune (as I described a bit earlier in the thread). Root pruning seriously stimulates the tree. It could be what your one needs next spring.
Hi I have received my fig tree today from The Telegraph Gardening section and so pleased with it and with the price £11.99. It came well packed and looks really healthy, I have put it next to my garden brush to show the size. Just one question would you leave it in this pot or should I plant it into the next pot up. Would be grateful for any advice.
Hi Chris, Have you thought about planting it against the wall? I have a Brown Turkey fig trained against a south facing wall on my patio in West Lancashire. It's planted in the ground and this is it's 5th year. Its probably about 8ft high and 12 ft across and comes out about a foot. I prune it to kep it in shape each spring. It fruits really well every year, last year I got over 100 ripe fruit. This year similar number all swelled and waiting for the sun to ripen them. Looking at your photo mine was smaller than yours when I planted it in the ground. Struggling to add photos. Any advice on how to do it?
Hi Chris, Have you thought about planting it against the wall? I have a Brown Turkey fig trained against a south facing wall on my patio in West Lancashire. It's planted in the ground and this is it's 5th year. Its probably about 8ft high and 12 ft across and comes out about a foot. I prune it to kep it in shape each spring. It fruits really well every year, last year I got over 100 ripe fruit. This year similar number all swelled and waiting for the sun to ripen them. Looking at your photo mine was smaller than yours when I planted it in the ground.
Looks line a nice plant, Chris. If you plan to keep it in a container, I'd pot it up into something like a 30cm container for a year or two. It's already looking rangy too. Figs in containers are better off wide rather than tall so you need to encourage side growth. In winter, when it's dormant, I'd take off at least the top third and probably more.
What are your plans for it?