Plump flavorful figs ripen on attractive shrubs or small trees that make excellent accents for the patio or garden. Just think of taking a few steps outdoors to gather a handful of breakfast figs or some to eat at anytime.
This is an easy fruit to grow if you can avoid the nematodes. Regretfully it's the figs one problem but it can be overcome with a little preplant soil preparation. One of the tricks is to find an area in full sun that has not had root knot nematodes. Most lawn areas or shrub sites should be fine. Avoid previously planted vegetable gardens and flower beds.
Another way to avoid nematodes is to grow figs in a container. Select a 25 gallon or larger pot to hold the root system. Just fill the container with potting soil and add the fig. For in ground sites it's suggested that lots of organic matter be added to the planting site. Figs seem to like a moist rich soil.
Some varieties of figs that grow locally include Brown Turkey Celeste, Magnolia and San Piero.
Here a few tips to help produce the crop:
- Maintain a 4- to 6-inch mulch over the root system.
- Feed lightly every other month March through September with manures or a general garden fertilizer.
- Keep the soil moist by watering when the surface begins to dry to the touch.
- Each winter prune out declining limbs and older non productive shoots to encourage new growth.
- Control fig rust a disease producing brown spots on the foliage by collecting and removing affected leaves at the end of the growing season.
All Florida figs flower and bear fruits without pollenation. The fruits ripen late spring through summer and are ready to harvest when soft.