Fig

Growing Guide

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Where to plant

Full sun, with protection from strong winds. Well-drained in raised garden beds or mounds to ensure good drainage.

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Sow depth

5cm

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Space between seeds / seedlings

300cm

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Row space

600cm

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Size of pot needed (width / depth)

600cm2

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Seedling Sow Depth

5cm

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Best practice

Transplant

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Germination (days)

7-10

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Maturity (days)

730-2190

How to Grow

How to grow video guide
From seed

Combine equal parts peat moss, perlite and finely ground volcanic rock to create a coarse, well-draining growing medium in which to germinate your seeds.

Pour the growing medium into a 10-15cm deep tray with drainage holes in the bottom.

Mix the fig seeds with 1/2 cup of wood ash or fine horticultural sand.

Distribute the mixture evenly over the surface of the growing medium in the tray.

Water the seeds to settle them into the growing medium and encourage them to germinate.

Place the tray in a location that receives four to six hours of bright sunlight per day.

Water, as needed, to keep the growing medium evenly moist; the seeds should germinate and sprout in approximately seven to 10 days.

From seedling

When the seedlings have reached a few inches in height, they can be gently removed from the seedling tray and planted into 5-8cm pots.

Seedlings can be planted into regular potting soil, in the ground or in a pot, and should be watered well for the first two weeks after transplanting.

A thorough watering once every two days is best.

After this period, they should be watered only when the surface of the soil feels dry to the touch.

Ficus seedlings also perform better when kept in indirect sunlight for the first month before being moved to a location with direct sunlight.

In a pot

Figs can be grown in a pot at least 60cm wide and deep, allowing the roots to spread.

Position pot in full sun and fill with quality potting mix.

Dig a hole in the pot twice the size of the root ball.

Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.

Position in hole in the pot and gently backfill, firming down.

Water in well.

Water deeply once every two weeks.

From Plant

Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil.

Enrich with fertilizer.

If the soil is clay-based, add gypsum and fork in well.

Dig the planting hole twice as wide, and to the same depth as the root-ball.

Gently tease roots from the container, and position in the hole.

Backfill.

Form a raised ring of soil around the base of the tree, and dig a well around the trunk, so that the mound it shaped like a doughnut.

This allows the water to go to where it's needed.

Water in well.

Mulch around the base but away from the trunk.

Water in deeply.

Ready to harvest

When fruit is purple, soft to the touch and smells sweet.

Only pick fruit when it is ripe, as it will not continue to ripen off of the tree.

Collect seed

To harvest fig seeds, acquire a fresh fig, soak for two to three days in a bowl of clean water for 1-2 days.

Cut Fig in half, scoop out the pulp and seed, and soak for a day or two.

Viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the container.

The rest can be discarded.

The viable seed has already absorbed moisture and will be ready to crack and germinate quickly.

Soak two or three fresh, ripe figs in a bowl of clean water for one to two days.

Pour the water in the bowl through a strainer and spread the seeds on a paper towel to allow them to dry slightly.

When to Grow

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Zone 1 - Cool

September , October

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Zone 2 - Temperate

March , April , May , June , September , October

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Zone 3 - Subtropical

March , April , May , June , September , October

Companion Planting

Tips for Care

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Figs can be easily propagated in late autumn.

Take hardwood cuttings between 20-30cm long with several nodes.

Plant the cuttings in a free-draining propagation mix, like seed raising mix, and make sure you cover a couple of the nodes.

Water in well and keep the soil moist.
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If you live in areas prone to heavy frost, protect young trees with fleece or hessian.
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Some varieties of fig crop twice, a light crop (known as breba) in on last year's wood and a heavier crop, which forms at the base of the current season's growth.
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Figs will respond to a light prune on winter, but make sure you keep some of the old wood.

Ensure dead and diseased wood is removed to prevent spread of bacterial or fungal issues.

Well established, mature trees may need to be pruned a bit harder to promote new growth
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Look out for the fig leaf beetle.

These create scalloped edges on leaves and damage fruit skin.

The solution is to prune leaves with larvae or beetle clusters, and destroy.

Fruit fly can also be a problem.

They create pin-sized holes in fruit, often found with larvae in the fruit.
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Fig plants are commonly propagated by cuttings.

Dormant cuttings of 2- or 3- year old wood, or basal parts of vigorous first-year shoots with a heel of a two-year branch at the base, should be used for propagation.

Cuttings should be Ā½ to Ā¾ inches in diameter and eight to twelve inches long (Morton 1987).

For best results cuttings should be prepared in early spring well before bud break.

Grow cuttings for one or two seasons (12-15 months) in the nursery before transplanting to a permanent location (Morton 1987).

Occasionally two cuttings can be set in one location to ensure establishment if one does not survive (Hartmann 2011).

Pests & Problems


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