Fig trees are very popular around the world. They provide a variety of products like fruit, oil, syrup, jam or honey. These products have been used for centuries and their use continues today. There are many types of fig trees with different shapes and sizes. Some varieties produce fruits only once in a year while others produce fruit all year round. The size of the fruit varies from small seeds to large fruits. Fig trees come in various colors including red, yellow, white, pink and purple.
The most common type of fig tree is the American Ficus (Ficus carica). They grow well in a wide range of soil conditions and are native to North America. They require full sun but will tolerate partial shade better than some other species. They prefer moist soil but they do not like dry soils.
Fig trees need good drainage so make sure the potting mix drains well. Make sure there is plenty of air space between the bottom of the pot and the surface of your ground. If there is too much room between the bottom of the pot and your soil, then it may not drain properly. You can try adding pebbles or gravel to fill up any gaps in your soil. Fig trees are not picky eaters.
They will grow in almost any well-draining soil as long as it is not too wet or too dry.
The ideal temperature for a fig is between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area that gets very cold during the winter, it is best to keep your fig tree inside somewhere that stays around 50 degrees at all times. Do not expose them to frost because it will kill them. You can keep your tree outdoors if you are sure that the temperature will not drop below 50 degrees at night or the morning. In general, it is best to keep your tree inside somewhere that stays around room temperature.
Fig trees are sensitive to cold and they need time to slowly adjust to the colder temperatures. Do not put your tree outside on the first day of fall. Wait a few days or even weeks before putting it outside. This will prevent it from getting sick.
Fig trees are prone to a disease called black spot. Black spot causes the leaves to have black spots all over them. The spots will grow until they cover the whole leaf and then the leaf dies. This disease thrives in warm, wet conditions so be sure to water your tree early in the morning or late in the evening to prevent this problem. The best way to fight this disease is to plant your tree in well-draining soil so that the water drains out quickly.
A fig tree can grow up to fifteen feet tall. It can take many years for a tree to grow this big. Be patient and don’t prune your tree severely. You should never prune your tree back to within three feet of the ground. If you would like to trim your tree, only trim back the smaller branches.
During the growing season (spring and summer), fig trees require a lot of water. It is best to water your tree every day or every other day. Do not let the soil turn to dust. A dry soil surface means your tree won’t produce as much fruit.
During the winter months, it is best to water your tree less. Cut back on watering your tree during the winter. Let the top layer of soil dry out before you water it again.
Be sure to keep your tree away from air conditioners or heaters. This will prevent it from getting frost burn. Keep your tree away from windows also. The change in temperature can cause moisture drops to form on the window. Moisture drops falling on your tree can cause disease and insect problems.
Most types of fig trees will start producing small, non-edible fruits three to five years after you plant it. It takes another two years before they reach full production. Figs are ready for harvest when they are still green. After picking them, spread them out in a shaded area so that they can dry. Dried figs can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to a year without refrigeration.
Before you plant your tree, take the time to prepare your planting area. Digging and amending soil should be done one year before you plan to plant your tree.
Fig trees need to be planted in a well-draining soil. If your soil is not well-draining, you should dig a hole and pour a bucket of gravel into it for drainage. After you’ve installed proper drainage, fill the bottom of the hole with 2 feet of manure and topsoil. Dig a second hole and pile the dirt next to the first hole. Water the pile of dirt and manure for a week and then dig another hole next to the first and add the water, manure and topsoil mixture to the first hole.
After a week, dig another hole and add that mixture into the first hole. Keep doing this until you have dug eight holes and mixed all the manure, topsoil and dirt together in one hole. This should be done at least one year before you plan to plant your tree.
If you need to purchase topsoil and manure, this can be done a month before you plant. Add the manure and topsoil to the hole and mix it together.
After the hole is ready, set the fig tree in it. The top of the root ball should be about three inches below the ground level. Fill in the rest of the hole with the dirt mixture. Pack it firmly around the base of the tree but not against the trunk.
Water the tree thoroughly. This should be done daily for the first month and then once a week for three years.
If you live in an area that gets heavy winds, your fig tree will need to be staked. Drive a wooden or metal stake next to the tree before you plant it. When you plant the tree, tie it to the stake with garden twine. The tree needs to be staked until it becomes established, which usually takes about three years.
You can begin to harvest figs three to five years after planting the tree from seed. Figs will start growing laterals, or smaller branches, from the main branch on the tree. These laterals will have a small fig, about half an inch in diameter. These are ready to pick when they turn a rich golden color and are soft to the touch. Always make sure to release the fig by pulling it downwards with your thumb and forefinger.
Never pull the fig off the lateral.
The first year you pick the figs, you should only harvest every other one. Leave the others to ripen and grow. By the second or third year, depending on the variety you have, you should have a good crop of ripe figs and will only need to lightly pick through them. During years after that, you can lightly harvest your entire crop.
Figs are ready to be harvested in the early mornings. It is important to pick them early because if you pick them in the heat of the day, sunburn can occur. This will turn the ripe figs a brownish color and make them inedible.
It is also important to harvest your figs early because insects love to eat figs. If you find that your fig crop has been devastated by insects, such as fig beetles, you can spray the tree with an insecticide or wash the figs before eating them.
Figs can be stored in a refrigerator for about two weeks. If you want to keep them longer than that, you can make them into fig jam, fig preserves or dried figs. You can also pickle figs.
Fig jam is made by combining figs, sugar and lemon juice in a pot and boiling it until it reaches the consistency you want. You can do this with fresh or canned figs.
Make dried figs by slicing the figs in half and laying them out on a drying tray. You will need several trays for this and they can be stacked on top of each other. Place the drying tray in an area with lots of air flow, but not direct sunlight. The ideal temperature is about 90 degrees, you can use a dehydrator if you have one, otherwise a warm room or garage will work just as well. You will need to turn the figs once or twice a day until they are dry, this will take about 2 to 3 days.
If you want to store your dried figs for later, you can place them in plastic bags or sealed jars. You can also eat them as soon as they are dry. They taste like chewy raisins.
Fig preserves are made by combining figs, sugar and lemon juice in a pot and boiling it until it reaches the consistency you want.
Dried figs can be made into fig cookies. First, you need to grind the dried figs into a fine powder. You can do this in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle. Combine the ground figs with flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and fruit juice concentrate. Then add in butter and sugar and mix well.
Place spoonfuls of the dough on a baking sheet and cook in an oven at 350 degrees for around 20 to 30 minutes. You can also add chopped walnuts to the cookies if you want.
These are just a few examples of how you can make use of your fig crop each year. Figs are nutritious and delicious and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Growing figs is easy and can even be done in large containers, so try growing your own today!
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