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We have recently bought a brown turkey fig tree. The garden is south facing and we have a 6 foot fence down each side. I was wondering where it is best to plant, on the east or west facing fence? My idea was to train it to grow along the fence in a fan shape. Thank you in advance for your help.
West facing as this will give it the longest and warmest hours of sunshine for ripening the fruits.
Thats great, thank you. I am just going to get some paving slabs to restrict the roots!
Thanks Christopher, I have just bought the five slabs. I am going to site it next to a japanese quince so hope it will be OK. Look forward to seeing some fruit in a couple of years!
Protection with fleece unnecessesary, figs are tough as old boots. Unless the site is very cold, and a west-facing position should not be.
My fig was in wet West Wales, a Brown Turkey, on an exposed west wall, in the ground, at over 600ft and never protected with fleece. We will agree to differ!
We live at the bottom of a valley so it can get pretty cold here but we are in one of the driest parts of the country. I am looking to fan train along the fence and it will be sheltered from the northerly winds. I was lucky enough to find a plant that was roughly a fan shape to begin with! Thank you both for your replies.
Figs produce two sets of fruit in a year even if the embryo fruits produced now get frosted over the winter they produce a second set in spring which will be stronger and bigger. Unless you can protect the autumn embryos completely ie. undercover, it is best to rub them off and let the plant concentrate its energy on the later flush of fruit. In this area (North Bucks) we have a few figs growing in council planting schemes on the side of roads and foot paths and they are always dripping with fruit in midsummer - they get no care apart from the odd brutal prune with a hedge trimmer!
We have a Brown Turkey on a south-west facing fence, in Devon. It's 6 or 7 years old and is now HUGE, At first I used to wrap the shoots in fleece in winter to protect them from the frosts, but as the plant grew this became impossible. The only frost damage (in several recent hard winters) has been to the topmost shoots that protrude above the fence, and I just trimmed them down in the Spring. We've had good numbers of figs for several years - except this year, and that, I'm sure, is to do with the cool summer rather than the cold winter.
Just allow it plenty of space and be prepared to reinforce your fence in a few years, otherwise the weight of the fig tree may bring it down!
Plumstone, I think you inadvertantly gave incorrect advice in your post. The figs that will develop and ripen spend the winter as embryo figs no bigger than a tiny pea in the leaf axils at the top of the branches. If you rub them out as you advise you will not get any figs the next year.
The figs that should be removed from the tree in autumn are those that develop in the spring/early summer, which have not had time to grow to maturity in this country, outdoors, where they are really on the edge of their range. They will have the typical fig shape but they are small.