British Columbia: how to grow figs and good verieties for BC

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by bctahitianfruit, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. bctahitianfruit

    bctahitianfruit Active Member

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    Location:
    powell river,bc
    HELP!!!!!! i am having a very hard time finding any info on growing figs and how to get them to ripen etc. i have two brown turkeys, one i bought,and one from a cutting. they have both had fruit on them but they never seem to ripen. they just shrivel and fall off. what am i doing wrong!!! please help i love figs and it would be fab to grow my own cause they are so expensive in the store!!!
    any suggestions or links would be greatly appreciatied...thank you in advance..noni
     
  2. bostock

    bostock Member

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    Location:
    Vancouver
    Overall best variety for yield and taste is "Desert King". There are are
    many growing around Vancouver and they are easy to propagate from
    cuttings. It produces only one crop (the breba or spring crop, green
    skin, red flesh) between late july and early-mid August. Other good ones
    are Lattarula (green/yellow skin, white flesh, also common) and
    Osborn Prolific (bronze skin, amber flesh, less common) and they will
    produce a second crop in September given a warm summer and
    good sunny location. There are many strains of brown turkey fig,
    most produce a small breba crop and some will also produce 2nd
    crop figs in September, again pending good summer and warm
    location.

    Oh yes, good resource is the Garden Web Fig Forum (easily found with
    Google)
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Are they ripening and not being noticed? Some figs do not develop much color, if you got a yellowish cultivar by mistake (mislabeled nursery stock is not rare) they would not turn brown or purple before deteriorating and dropping. In case you don't know ripe figs droop and ooze out the end.

    Hot, sheltered position with good drainage for best results.
     
  4. bctahitianfruit

    bctahitianfruit Active Member

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    thank yo fo rthe info! i will check outthe web pag and .. no i din't know figs droop and ooze when they are ripe.. hence why i was asking.. thanks for the tip..
    has anyone had sucess with genoa white?? there are a few growing around here. it was recomended to me by someone on the garden tour this year..
     
  5. bctahitianfruit

    bctahitianfruit Active Member

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    ok further on these figs i have.. the tree is loaded! finally.. but it is fall..and unless it stays nice and warm for the next month or so (unlikely) they wo't ripen
    i never get anything in the spring. i had heard that if you cull the fall crop it should force the fig to fruit in the spring giving a more likely hood that the fruit will ripen.
    any suggestions
     
  6. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    We had a brown turkey growing on our south facing wall in Vancouver all the years I was growing up. I believe I ate ripe figs once or twice from that tree...it is very poorly adapted to our area.

    I just got my father in law a Desert King a couple years ago and he's already enjoying figs on that little tree...the hype around this variety seems justified...it definitley succeeds in our climate.
     
  7. bctahitianfruit

    bctahitianfruit Active Member

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    Location:
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    yes i think imay have to buy a different tree. though there are soo many on the tree and it looks great , growing fabulously(i put it in realy crapy soil that will root bind it.. somethign ihad read you shoud do to encourage fruiting) i top dressed with compost and mulched with grass clippings.. can you

    can you ripen the fruit off the tree.. and umm was thinkning what does nipping the figs do and how do you do it??(you know like Amos in the bible who was a nipper of figs??)
     
  8. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    gulf island, bc, canada
    Fig nipping seems to be used for the fruit of ficus sycomorus L., not the same species as yours. The nipping/nicking is apparently done to simulate the effect of the sycamore wasp without resulting in a fruit full of bugs; apparently, the nicking increases the production of ethylene, hastening ripening. More about this here:

    http://home.planters.net/~thegivans/sycomorus.pdf

    I've got 4 brown turkeys that produce well here in coastal b.c., so it's likely a site by site thing rather than a poor showing regionally. Desert King are reliable producers of good fruit, though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
  9. Ottawa-Zone5

    Ottawa-Zone5 Active Member

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    The input by Bostock is right on for your area.
    Also, the King (aka Desert King) produces Breba crop on last year wood in ealy spring the same time as the leaves come on. So it has plenty of time to ripen. This also mean to be careful with pruning to leave enough wood with buds.
    Its second crop is not worth waiting for beacuase it is said to need pollination by a specific wasp. So get a Desert King and enjoy its early ripening Breba crop.
     
  10. Ottawa-Zone5

    Ottawa-Zone5 Active Member

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  11. northerngrapes

    northerngrapes Active Member

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    This is a great website for info on figs.


    http://www.nafex.org/figs.htm

    Cheers Kim
     
  12. tallclover

    tallclover Member

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    Location:
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    Two figs I've found to be reliable (and they're young trees) are Negronne and Violetta, ripening dates in zone 8 Puget Sound region August 21 and September 26, respectively. Here's a shot of the Negronne, a delicious violet fig: http://tallcloverfarm.com/?p=109.

    I also have a White Genoa, Vashon Violet and Lattarula, but the trees are young and fruitless so far.
     
  13. Sly33

    Sly33 Member

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    Location:
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    I am trying the following types:

    Capelas
    Bordeaux
    Ghosh
    Excell
    King
    Celeste
    Texas Everbearing

    So far, Capelas is shining, but its still early for the others.

    Sly
     
  14. tallclover

    tallclover Member

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    Location:
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    I just harvested a newer fig variety that I really like. Pretty late in the Seattle area but delicious nonetheless. It's called Bayernfeige Violetta.
    Here's a photo from by blog and details about the fig, which I grow on Vashon Island, Washington, USA. It's a winner in our wet climate, ripening in late September this year.

    Bayernfeige Violetta Fig at Tall Clover Farm
     
  15. Ottawa-Zone5

    Ottawa-Zone5 Active Member

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    tallclover
    The description says it is an early ripening fig in cold clmate (so it should ripe earlier in warm climate). So why did it ripen as late as September in your area?
    I am asking because I am looking for an early ripening fig for Ottawa Zone5.
     
  16. Ottawa-Zone5

    Ottawa-Zone5 Active Member

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    Sly33
    What do you mean Capelas is shining (.... and the others not). Did you rooted cuttings or bought plants this spring.
    If you did from cuttings then most pobably from Adriano's. Am I close enough?
     
  17. tallclover

    tallclover Member

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    Hi Ottawa, in the Pacific NW it's cool and cloudy in the summer with highs in the 70s for the most part. I would think Violetta would have no trouble ripening in Ottawa where you likely have more sun than Seattle or Vancouver. What's odd is I could swear it was ripe last year in late July, so our very cool summer seemed to delay it this year. I really need to move it this winter to a sunnier location as it's shaded too. It's supposed to be quite hardy though. Good luck. TC
     
  18. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Sorry to hear you had a "very cool summer ". Around much my region of Vancouver Island it was warm and sunny with periodic hot spells. That seems to be the case most (not all) summers.
    Brebra crop on Desert King was ripe in early July.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  19. Sly33

    Sly33 Member

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    Location:
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    Ottawa.

    I mean the capales is shining because its the oldest, sorry should have been more specific.

    All other types I have, fruited at one point during the year. The texas and the celeste, still have a chance for the fruit to ripen, but the capales is ripening a fruit every few days, even though its been around 10 C average these past couple weeks.

    The only "cutting" I have is from the bordeaux, the rest are fruiting age.

    They will live in a greenhouse after this weekend, so probably more fruits to come!
    I am finishing building and I am stoked!
     
  20. Ottawa-Zone5

    Ottawa-Zone5 Active Member

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    Thanks for clarification Sly33.
    Enjoy the one degree zone difference with Ottawa which is 5A vs 6A for Toronto. This year I am geeting one ripe fig from my Brunswick which I bought from Grimo in the spring of 2008. I hope to get more next year. I got five figs on Bifara (not fully ripe yet) which I had bought from Grimo last year. The rest fruited but dropped the fruit because we had cooler summer this year and a bit wet. I read that the plants get better for fruiting as they mature. The thought of this will make the winter a bit easy (if we we don't get too much snow).
     
  21. Sly33

    Sly33 Member

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    Location:
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    Ottawa,

    What is your chosen method for overwintering? It would be interesting to hear as you must get some wicked winters. I am fortunate to have my climate further tempered by the Great Lakes.
     
  22. Ottawa-Zone5

    Ottawa-Zone5 Active Member

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    Location:
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    Sly33
    All my fig plants are in 5g pots. I bury the pots up to one or two inches below the top of the pot. I have made a dozen extra holes in the lower half of the pot on the sides and closed the hole(s) on the bottom with thick plastic or whatever available to stop roots going out under the pot (which is hard to cut later). This allows the roots to graze for nutrition out of the pot sides. The side holes allow me to cut the roots easily in the fall with a long knife with saw like teeth ($1 at dollar store). After dormancy, I take my plants to a cold storage in the basement where the temperature stays between 6C and 8C during the winter which is the right temperature for dormant figs. In the spring I bring the pots out around mid April and watch for frost for protection if required. So, storage is not a problem except he labour to lift and transport to and from the basement. My plants thrive vegetatively and give some fruits but like in zone6 and above. The ones I get are fat, green and hard having hard time ripening. I hope it will change as the plants mature and I acquire the right varieties for my cooler climate.
     
  23. Paull22

    Paull22 Member

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    Hi Sly33,

    Any chance you have any spare wood for trade from your Ghosh fig variant? Thanks.

    Paull22
     
  24. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Nice to find this thread going as I was thinking to ask.....
    Having now successfully grown a pair of figs to fruition if anyone might care to venture a guess as to the name of this variety which I got for little as a left over on sale.
    Pics included below.
    The didn't take too many years in a raised bed facing south.
    I have picked a fruit from the pair of trees at the Milner garden on Vancouver Island one year in late August. They are the dark turkey, growing in a location which seems shadier than I would have thought they like. They are quite large limbed trees compared to mine.
    Do they get to any size here in BC?
    D
     

    Attached Files:

  25. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Location:
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    Also,
    I have read on-line where one person was having to remove a fig growing next to their house as the spreading roots were undermining the foundation. Would this likely be a problem here in BC if one chose to plant a fig on a south wall of a house?
    D
     

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