We are now the proud new owners of a fig tree. The cause of this sudden new acquisition is my mother, who has decided that the fig has outgrown its spot in her border. The fig will have been moved before – my mother tends to garden with the same blatant disregard for the rules as I have been known to display on occasion, and will move shrubs and plants as she sees fit – seemingly never with any ill-effect 🙂

So she has passed ownership of the fig to us, we just have to go and dig it out 😦 and then dig a big enough hole to put it in!

On the upside, we will hopefully have some nice fresh figs in the future so I decided I had better remind myself what we need to provide for our latest charge.

Fig trees like the sun (not too much of a surprise there) and will need a fair amount of warmth to bring them to fruit outside. This isn’t TOO much of an issue for us as, being in the south, we don’t get too cold. Figs also need shelter from too much wind which might be a little more of an issue. So really the fig tree needs a nice sheltered place in good sun.

The most successful way of growing them out of doors, is to grow them as a fan against a wall. They can be grown as a bush, but only in mild areas. I don’t think I have anywhere to train them as a fan, so I think it is going to have to be a bush.

Figs are an oddity. In order for them to fruit properly, you need to restrict their growth but penning in their roots. You can do this either by keeping them in a large pot, or by planting them in a stone-lined pit about 2ftx2ftx2ft. This should restrict the roots enough that the tree will fruit.

The fig tree needs a lot of water during dry spells (especially this first year when I am transplanting it in June!). Restricting the roots to bring the tree into fruit takes away some of its ability to find water for itself, so we need to make sure that it has enough.

Figs need a good feed in the spring but I willl probably mulch it well with muck when I plant it as well, just to get it off to a good start.

I think this is a job for the weekend, as the pit is going to take me a while to get right, and digging the plant out of my mother’s border is going to take more than a little time. It is tempting to go and lift the plant, and put it in a container for now and dig the pit later.

But, as I dig, I can be thinking of the joys of lovely fresh figs in a couple of years 🙂

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