How to get our Brown Turkey Fig tree to bear fruit?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Lolo1, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Lolo1

    Lolo1 Member

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    I live in Victoria, BC and we planted a Brown Turkey fig in our garden in 2007 so it is now in the start of its third season. It is in a great location in the back yard and gets at least 6 hours of sun per day. The fig tree gets fed regularly with Miracle Grow along with the rest of our garden. The leaves on the tree are huge and it looks very healthy. It is now taller than our garage and we still have no sign of figs starting to grow.

    Any advice on how we can get our fig to bear fruit would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Light exposure may be inadequate. Possibly cutting out the fertilizer would have some effect also, although it is not necessarily the case that it is preventing fruiting at all. On one site in New York it was found that lack of good fruiting of apple trees was due in that instance to a deficiency of nitrogen.

    With fig trees root confinement is thought to enhance fruiting. One late friend grew them in tubs on the south side of his house instead of planting them in the ground. I've read that in nature they are characteristic of rock outcroppings where their roots would often be growing in cracks in the rocks - and they would of course tend to get a blazing sun exposure.
     
  3. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    I'd agree with Ron B - the sunlight might be inadequate and cut back on the fertilizer. A fig on the North Pacific Coast would prefer a shelter (ie. against a wall) southfacing exposure. Figs bear fruit on the 2nd years growth - while pruning for form, try to not remove all the new growth. The plant would likely continue it's leafy growth if too well fed. Also, figs prefer sandy, alkaline soil. Without the sunshine, they still make attractive trees.

    My fig trees in Vancouver are in regular garden soil but do not get fertilized. I just harvested several dozen figs for the 4th or 5th time this year.
     
  4. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    I think I would cut back on the fertilizer. Here in the south of Portugal, figs are a major crop and I doubt if more than 1% of the trees receive any fertilizer. They are tough trees and will grow in the driest stoniest sites. I have found that root restriction does help fruiting in young trees grown in good soils. Perhaps some root pruning would help (but I have no experience of trying this with figs). BTW this year the crops of figs here are exceptional - we really have too many - so we are busy drying as many as we can.

    Boa sorte (Good Luck)

    Brian
     
  5. Weedbender

    Weedbender Active Member 10 Years

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    Not all figs grow figs on second year growth. Brown turkey grows figs on new growth. My BT died back to the ground last winter and now is loaded with figs on this years growth. I also have 8 new varieties of figs started from cuttings just 9 months ago that are all producing figs. It may be too late this year for figs for you. Next year pinch the buds on the new shoots after six leaves and root prune with a sharp shovel in a circle 2 feet from the trunk.
     
  6. evladi7654

    evladi7654 Member

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    Hi ! What variety is it that gives you so many fruit? How big are they ?
    evladi7654@aol.com

    Hi ! Is it possible to get a cutting...?
    evladi7654@aol.com
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2010
  7. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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  8. evladi7654

    evladi7654 Member

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    Thnaks.
     
  9. Lolo1

    Lolo1 Member

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    Good news. I did not fertilize our Brown Turkey fig tree in 2009 at all and I went out into the garden yesterday and low and behold we have a number of figs starting to grow on our tree. What a great New Year's present and thanks to all for your advice. I'll let you know how we fare with the figs this year!
     
  10. Ottawa-Zone5

    Ottawa-Zone5 Active Member

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    Try one more technique this coming summer. This technique is a lot easier to do on fig plants in pots. The technique involves pinching the branch after the 5th node/leaf on the current year growth. It is a lot of work but it does help. This technique has been discussed in many article & nursery help sections but you may find the same in the link below if you scrol down to the end. It is intended to help in early ripening but helps in embryo stimulation too.

    http://rms1.agsearch.agropedia.affrc.go.jp/contents/JASI/pdf/PREF/64-0622.pdf
     
  11. evladi7654

    evladi7654 Member

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    I am not asking about how to -I am an avid garadener.. but this link is not on my question..sorry
     
  12. mcroteau1969

    mcroteau1969 Active Member 10 Years

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    Since you live in Victoria BC (as do I) may I suggest that you try to contact a member of the Master Gardener's Assn of Victoria? Their website http://www.vmga.ca may have information sheets about growing figs in Victoria - it used to but it's down as I type this. The master gardeners can be reached via the Glendale Gardens too - they should be able to put you in touch with them.

    In Victoria we have a Mediterranean type climate but you should only expect to get one crop per season, the Breba crop. In a true warmer season such as the Mediterranean two crops will occur.

    Some tips I remember form the Master Gardeners:

    - choose a variety that will suit our climate, there are better choices than a Brown Turkey
    - at least 6 hours of sunlight/day needed to ripen
    - good soil drainage, pH 6.0 - 7.8
    - regular fertilizer is only needed for potted plants, if new growth is more than 6" you don't really need to be fertilizing
    - figs in garden should be hardy to -10C but if colder branches may die back but grow again in spring
    - prune in March to avoid bleeding and control the height to make picking easier, you're only getting breba crop so keep the tree low and slowly rotate pruning to remove wood older than 2 years AFTER you have grown a good foundation framework.
    - the breba crop comes on the previous year's wood, after that prune it off and let the current years wood be next years breba crop. It's like cycling the wood - you cut the 2 year old wood off while the 1 year old wood gets ready for next years crop.

    An excellent person to buy a fig tree from, in Greater Victoria is http://fruittreesandmore.com/
     
  13. Gardenlover

    Gardenlover Active Member

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    LISTEN UP!

    Figs are native to the Mediterranean....meaning long HOT summers...mild winters. From what I understand you are in BC so you should have pretty mild conditions. There is a guy in Oakville, Ontario that grows figs in his backyard and sells cuttings(Google it...Adrianos figs)

    One thing Adriano says is that one must trick figs into more Heated temps with clear plastic draped over them creating a hotter surround. BC is not hot enough to get the Figs producing right...there is some stuff you can do to get some fig production.
     
  14. northerngrapes

    northerngrapes Active Member

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    FIGS GROW PRETTY WELL IN BC IF YOU DO THE RIGHT STUFF.

    " BC is not hot enough to get the Figs producing right...there is some stuff you can do to get some fig production."

    It can get to 40C in the interior and you can grow/produce /eat some pretty good figs.
    The Oliver Osoyoos region is the best growing area in Canada for temperature climate
    fruits. Maybe you should visit sometime.
     
  15. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    BC not hot enough for figs to produce right? I'll have to remind my fig trees, and those of my friends, that they shouldn't be producing bags of figs each year...for coastal BC and the Okanagon, at least, Adriano's advice is unecessary.
     
  16. Gardenlover

    Gardenlover Active Member

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    Maybe I should visit!

    Judging from the weather network and Wikipedia: Vancouver's climate is temperate by Canadian standards and is usually classified as Oceanic or Marine west coast. The daily maximum averages 22 °C (72 °F) in July and August, with highs rarely reaching 30 °C (86 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded was 34.4 °C (93.9 °F) on 30 July 2009. Winters in Greater Vancouver are the fourth mildest of Canadian cities after nearby Victoria, Nanaimo and Duncan, all on Vancouver Island

    So don't blame me for not having my facts down to a T.
     
  17. Leland

    Leland Member

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    Yeah, I've lived in both and am currently living in Victoria. I'd have to say local, real-world knowledge trumps book generalities just about everytime. Finding the right microclimate is definitely beneficial here, but not difficult to find. I, too, have seen many fruit-bearing figs here.
     
  18. LynnC

    LynnC Member

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    I live in Devon UK and my BT fig stands in a large tub in a sunny corner, cut back to a bush about 4ft square. Each spring I give her some blood fish and bone and a little sprinkling of lime. Figs produce 2 crops a year but our summer is only long enough for the first 'breba' crop, so as this fruit develops, I rub off all the babies that would turn into the second and 'main' crop.
    Each summer in the middle of August, she produces a good crop of large dark red/brown fruit, this year I have already harvested 3lbs and expect another 2 or so. This little Brown Turkey bush must be 10 years old at least.
     
  19. alanmercieca

    alanmercieca Member

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    they are so right ...the non fruit part of a fig tree loves nitrogen and fertilizer yet nitrogen and fertilizer forces the tree to focus growth more on the non fruit part of the tree and less on the fruit. Also you should make sure that the tree gets trimmed properly. To much leaf growth will shade parts of the tree that need sunlight
     
  20. jabwok

    jabwok Member

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    A very interesting thread. I live in Vancouver BC and bought a Brown Turkey in June. It is in a pot on my sunny deck and is about 3 ft tall. It has about 8 green figs. Since it is now Oct. I don't think these figs will ripen altho I do use a plastic covering in hope. I'm wondering, since this is its first year, that this may be the main crop instead of a breba crop. Any thoughts or hints?
     
  21. Tahoma Guy

    Tahoma Guy Member

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    No more nitrogen!! Every February, cut off every 3rd branch one third. Cover with plastic
    as cooler weather approaches in the fall. Plant King variety on the south side of your home
    about 4' away from the house.
     

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