Grow your own figs at home
Most of us know dried figs and buy them for Christmas. But recently, we have learned that figs are also great raw, that is if you buy them fresh, for example in supermarkets. Many people soon learned to like this fruit. Well, we have good news. You do not need to wait for special offers because now you can grow your own fresh figs at home!
Buying a fig tree
If you are not sure which tree to buy we recommend the common fig tree (Ficus carica). It belongs to the mulberry family and comes from Eastern Asia. The first record about cultivation dates back 11,000 years – archaeologists found seeds intended for cultivation Today, the largest producers of figs include Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Algeria and California. But did you know that fig trees have also been grown in our country? And for quite a long time – since the time of Charles IV.
Growing a fig tree
As you would expect the fig tree can only deal with above-freezing temperatures, so it must be grown in a portable container and transferred to a warmer room for the winter where the temperature does not drop below 0 °C. Other than that, growing fig trees is pretty straightforward. When the spring comes, put the tree in a sunny location and make sure that the tree is exposed to sunlight until autumn. Watch the weather forecast carefully and if low temperatures are approaching, put it inside. When the winter is over, put it back outdoors but not immediately. First, gradually expose the tree to the outdoor environment so it has a chance to adjust.
Frost-resistant fig trees?
Varieties that are a little bit more resistant to cold temperatures have also been bred. However, you can grow these tree outdoors for the entire year only in the warmest regions in the Central Europe. These more resilient varieties are able to tolerate temperatures down to -5 °C so, you still need to be careful.
Fig trees need plenty of water, especially when the fruit begins to grow. As soon as the fruits begins to ripen, you should limit watering to prevent the fruits from cracking. In winter, the tree drops its leaves, and when it does, you need to limit watering even further (once every two weeks). When the rest period is over, i.e. in early spring, resume watering again.
Fig trees should be transplanted every year in autumn. Make sure to provide a permeable soil, which does not contain too much nitrogen but it is rich in nutrients and contains clay.
There is no need to buy several seedlings at once. Propagating is so simple that even a total beginner can do it. Make cuttings 20 to 30 centimetres long. Cuttings must be cut from one-year-old wood. Now, you should use a growth stimulator to help the cuttings to take roots. Layering is another option how to propagate fig trees. Bend a horizontal shoot down to the ground and cover it with soil. It will take root after a while and when it does, it will bear fruits the next year!
Fruits grow once or twice a year directly from buds on the trunk. Figs are from 5 to 9 cm in size and the colour is white, purple, black or red. Early varieties ripen after about 80 to 100 days, late varieties after 125 days.
Preview photo: Pixabay
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