The Fabulous Fig!! Ficus carica, is prized for it’s sweet fruit and lovely large leaves. The fig is adapted to Texas soils and and many gardeners treasure growing this beauty. The fruit is sweet and rich in calcium, iron, minerals, vitamin A and C. This fruit is actually a flower. Fig flowers are produced inside the hollow pear shapes that become the fruit we treasure.
The plant can be trained to grow in many forms such as a bush or a tree. It can grow from 15 to 30 feet tall and should be spaced 15 to 20 feet apart. Preferred varieties in central Texas are Celeste or Texas Ever Bearing varieties. They don’t need much extra amendments when planting . and although they do look shocked at first they will revive and all of a sudden look great. The Celeste is more freeze resistant and if it gets freezing for extended time I will throw a large piece of burlap over the bare limbs to give my trees a little protection.
Plant when the tree is dormant in the winter add a little rooting powder, and in a sunny place, possibly protected from excessive wind. During the first season, allow shoots to grow from the base of the fig. Just before growth begins the year after planting, select 3 to 8 widely spaced vigorous shoots to serve as leaders and remove all others. After frost has passed on the second year remove 1/3 to 1/4th length of annual growth (shorten the leaders) and prune out all dead wood and suckers around the base. And any limbs that cross or rub each other. Each summer mulch heavily to hold moisture, they are drought tolerant but need water so they don’t drop their fruit. Fig plants can also be planted in large pots or containers.
Personally I have 4 fig trees in various stages of growth, and when the flower fruit is turning that dark golden brown I am out daily enjoying their bounty. The fig is another treat found in many yards, old homesteads and can be a productive bearing tree to add to your harvest of native fruit.
Next week is all about garlic!
Growing green in the fall garden with Jannie