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I want to start growing figs in my garden. I live in Sheerness. Has anyone got any pointers for me? Which varieties have people got? Any recommendations?

Many thanks in advance

Alan

Gardenmaiden

Brown turkey is one recommended for the UK as its quite hardy. This is the one I have and we've had heavy snow for the last five years and its come through and fruited in the summer and it justs gets better every year. There are a couple of others that are ok for the UK, but I don't remember the names.

artjak

Gardenmaiden, my fig has been in a big pot for 10 years, facing South for the last year, against a wall to protect it from North and East. I am lucky if I get 1 fig per year. It shares the pot with some low growing plants and a variegated ivy with a drooping habit. What am I doing wrong, should I feed it?

Gardenmaiden

artjak, I used to have my fig in a pot and it wasn't until I planted it in the ground that it really took off. I've got it planted in a two foot wide space between the deck and the fence and put some stones in as they like their roots constricted a bit. The fig is in front of brick too and gets the sun all day (when its out). I don't feed it and didn't when it was in a pot. How big is the pot? My fig is next to a big black bamboo and they don't seem to mind each other.

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Dovefromabove

Artjak - I really wouldn't grow anything else in the pot with a fig - they're really thirsty plants and anything else will cut down on the water it receives.  Last summer I watered my small fig (first year I had it) more than I watered my tomatoes. 

My very first fig was shared between 6 people.  Warm, succulent, delicious.  

Blackbirds are partial to ripening figs.....as soon as they are ready pick them without delay 

Thank you very much everybody. Looking forward to buying my first fig plant!

Thanks again

artjak

GMaiden, the pot is plastic and more than half a wheely bin in size, I don't have anywhere to plant it in the earth; I always understood that figs like to have their roots confined.

Dove, I did not realise that they are so thirsty; will remove the other plants. It will make it look a little bare as pot is about 60/70cm across at the top. Did you feed it at all?

Verdun, I love 'my' blackbird more than I love figs; perhaps I should put paper bags over the young figs?

Hello  Arrjak 

Yes, I do try different methods.    Foil strips, netting.  Paper bags would disintegrate in wet weather amd stop ripening I think.

Blackbirds are lovely birds ....got crows too but not so keen on them.  Not a bird expert by any means but lots of,little birds....tits, finches, sparrows etc ....have their home here.  

Figs do like it easy.  They will grow and grow    However, WE like figs to have it hard.....restricted roots.......to,produce their fruit earlier.  In pots they will need extra water though as Dove said 

Dovefromabove

I didn't feed much last summer as it was newly potted - a couple of doses of tomato fertiliser when I fed the toms.  I'll do that a bit more often next summer. 

artjak

Tom fertiliser sounds like a good idea. I have heard that I should remove any tiny figs that have formed now so the plant gets a fresh start in the spring. Does anyone agree?

Hello artjak

Any figs larger than a pea should be removed because its assumed they won't make it,through the winter.  However, I would fleece and have optimism.  I would actually double fleece.  

Figs start one year....those tiny figs.....and then,'if they survive winter, start to grow again in spring to produce a crop in mid to late summer.

artjak

verdun, I will fleece, and fleece again; especially as it is supposed to be a bad winter coming, though frankly I think the forecasters consult a chicken's entrails.

Dovefromabove

I'm bubblewrapping the pot and will be fleecing the plant in very cold spells, but removing the fleece in fine weather to allow plenty of air flow and guard against humid conditions encouraging rot.

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Gardenmaiden

I actually have squirrels that are partial to a fig, but I managed to pick the ripe ones b4 they were eaten. I wonder if your fig has outgrown your pot. You could try a 50 gallon water storage tank, they're not cheap, but I used them for bamboos.

artjak

Gmaiden, if the pot was ever correct for the plant, I might have blinked and missed it. The plant is still after all these years only about 4' tall. I think I will try moving all the low plants and feeding from next spring plus more frequent watering. If I still have no luck I will be whinging on this forum again

Dovefromabove

Plenty of water when producing fruit, but good drainage too - think of them as Middle Eastern plants, with roots reaching down through rocky ground into underground aquafers - because we replicate that rocky ground by constricting the roots we have to provide them with water - but in the wild they'd prefer an arid surface so we need to give them well-drained conditions. - if that makes sense.

And as with tomatoes, feed when the fruits are developing. 

artjak

Thank you Dove

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