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Not sure whether this should be on the cookery board but my fig tree is covered in fruits about the size of grapes. I know they're not going to ripen now but does anybody know what they could be used for ? Seems such a same to let them go to waste.


I've not grown figs but I thought they took 2 seasons to be ripe


The little ones on now may as well be knocked off. New ones will grow in the axils for next year, only the early lot will ripen in this country. Even in my greenhouse, the little ones at this time will not overwinter.

Thanks both. Nutcutlet, do you mean that if I leave them alone they might ripen next summer ? We inherited the tree 4 years ago when we moved into our house, East London, and this is the first year it's had any fruit. I was so excited when they appeared but as the year's gone on they don't seem to have grown any.



No they will not ripen.  Figs in warm countries or greenhouses have two crops a year. The second crop which is what you have on your tree now will not ripen except in an exceptional year.  Take any fruit that is reconisable as a fig off or they will drain the tree when they start to grow next year, before they fall off naturally.

Next years figs are tiny at the moment.  High up on the ends of the branches.  About the size of a large match-head.  They will survive the winter to develop next summer.  Look closely and you can see them.

My mum has a fig tree outside it is in a very sheltered spot with the sun on it, last year she has some small pea size figs that didn't ripen, but this year she has had a fair few goof juicy figs.  I don't think she did any special it was just its location with so much sun on it


Yes, the budding figs have no future and most will drop off over the next few months. Any left in the Spring, I pull off before the real crop begins to show.

Green Magpie

Once the leaves have fallen, it's best to pick off the remaining figs and compost them - I don't think they're good for anything else. Leave any smaller than your thumbnail and get rid of the rest.

Thanks for the tips everybody. I was rather hoping there might have been some culinary use for these babies but I will now compost them tomorrow and look forward to next summer.


I do grow figs...brown turkey.  They need a long growing warm season and a mild winter or at least protection over winter.  Only the smallest, embryonic figs will survive to regrow in the following spring to,produce edible fruit in late summer.  Any figs larger than this need to be removed and composted. . Grown in a pot they will do very well if taken into the GH in winter.  

Couple of,problems......birds know exactly when the figs are ready and take them on the very day you decide to.  And they do grow very quickly and large so,pruning in the very short dormant season is necessary.  Cut a ripe fig open and be amazed by the colours of the fruit.  Taste of a warm, fresh fig is yummy 

Interesting Verdun, thank you. You say to prune, presumably any time now, but won't I just be cutting off next year's fruits ?

Right, I expect many will disagree with me.  I used to prune figs in the summer but they bled so much so now I do this in late December early January during our very short dormant season.  It works for me.  I try to create a bushy plant with lots of leaf axils where the fruit forms.  For me, you can prune as hard as you like. A bushy fig is easier to protect too....fleece in the spring over the embryonic figs.  Im also growing one in a pot...a cutting from 2 years ago.....and this will go in the GH over winter.  I will also prune this next month to create a compact plant with lots of spurs.  

Havimg said all that a near neighbour grows a huge fig and prunes only to hack off branches that get in his way.  Figs galore for him but he cannot reach them.

A friemd of mine also grows a fig and it simply grew and did not fruit.  I pruned last winter.  Tiny "embryonic"  fruits can be seen amd I hope for figs next year.  

I experimemt with my pruning somewhat usIng some logic based on how I see plamts flower amd fruit.  Always prepared to hear how others do these things.  We are always learning.


The idea of winter pruning is interesting Verdun - I've always been concerned at the bleeding after pruning - in this new garden we have a Brown Turkey in a pot on the terrace - it'll be fleeced for the winter soon, but I may lift the fleece around January time and prune then and see what happens 

Offen advice is conflicting isn't it?  Sometimes we have to decide for,ourselves what works.  



It's only little, but as  it lives on the terrace I'm growing it up against the fence, so all it needs is a little pruning to curb it's tendency towards three-dimensionality 

Hope you restricted its roots Dove.  It won't stay small for long. 


It's in a square terracotta pot Verdun - and as it's small I packed the bottom and sides of the pot with big slabs of polystyrene so it's a snug fit in there  - think it'll be a two gardener job repotting it when it's needed 

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