Fig trees are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow in your food forest. They aren’t too fussy about soil, you don’t need more than one tree, and they grow in a large number of zones. Here are some tips on fig tree care for you!
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Fig Tree Care is Super Easy
Fig trees are super easy to grow. While they prefer soil that has lots of organic matter, they will grow in other types. They prefer well draining soil as opposed to clay. If you have very sandy soil, consider occasionally fertilizing your tree.
Because most figs are self pollinating, you only have to buy one tree. This is nice if you have a small amount of space. There are actually many different kinds of figs. however, if you buy it from a nursery it will be self pollinating. There are other types, such as ornamental figs, or figs that must be pollinated by a particular species of wasp. Those won’t be commonly sold in nurseries.
Fig trees will grow modestly if you allow them. Plant trees 15-20 feet apart. If you are planning to prune them into bushes, you can space them just or 10 feet apart.
Fig Trees Can Grow In Containers
You can also grow fig trees in containers! If you live in Zone 7 or lower, grow them in a container so they can be protected during winter. If your tree is in a container, consider putting it on wheels so it’s easier to move during bad weather. Also plan on re-potting into a larger container every container report every 3-5 years.
Watering and Pruning Fig Trees
Fig roots are near the top of the soil, so if the top one inch of soil is dry you need to water your tree. If you see wilting or yellow leaves you probably ought to water some more. Mulch can help your tree not dry out so fast.
Figs also don’t need pruned! Just cut any suckers that grow from your tree. Figs do like sun and warmth. If it drops below 10 degrees outside, you can protect your tree by hanging Christmas lights in it.
Fig trees can get a couple kinds of fungus called leaf blight and pink blight. If you see any signs of yellow spots and holes in the leaves, or branches with a pink and white coating, cut off those spots. Throw those leaves and branches in the garbage. Do NOT compost them!
How To Harvest Figs
Different types of figs are different colors when ripe. They will also be soft. Leave the figs on tree until you are sure they are ready, because they won’t ripen once picked. If they are ripe, they will be drooping, not perpendicular to the branch they’re growing on.
Figs are very fragile once they are picked and will only last in the refrigerator for a couple days. If you can’t use them all at once you can dry or freeze them for later.
Figs are a great addition to your backyard homestead! They need very little care and attention. Plus they give you tasty fruit! What are your favorite ways to use figs in the kitchen? Share in the comments!
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