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Marie Iannotti

Finally a Fig

By January 18, 2013

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Every year I would wait for the figs to arrive in the produce aisle and every year I would miss them. I can get strawberries in February, but I went decades without a fig. They sell out fast.

There aren't many fruits that are only available seasonally anymore. I"m sure someone is working on a perpetual fig, but I solved my problem with my own little fig tree. My friend, Marge, presented me with a sorry looking twig. I was doubtful - but it grew. Oh boy, did it grow.

It's sitting dormant in my basement right now, but it did delight me with a few small, plump fruits last summer. Most fig trees are only hardy to about Zone 7. Northerners have to be creative about protecting theirs. Some wrap them, some bury them, most grow them in containers and schlep them indoors. Using a small pot keeps the plant a manageable size. When a frost threatens, you can move the potted fig into a garage or basement where it can spend the winter being cool and dormant, but not freezing. If you choose this option, leave the tree out doors, as long as possible, so it can slowly go into dormancy. Of course, if you have a greenhouse or sunroom, it will be happy in there, too.

'Petite Negri' seems to be the most often recommended fig tree for containers. It's a black fruit with sweet, red flesh. In warm climates, you can get 2 crops per year. (USDA Zones 7 - 11, outdoors). I think it's still worth it for my short season.

Have you grown figs? Let us know if you have any tips for getting the most from our trees.

Photo: majima82 / stock.schng.

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January 19, 2013 at 9:06 am
(1) Deb says:

I want a fig tree!

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