Thursday, June 14, 2012

They're Figgin' Huge!!

When healthy and planted in a good location, fig trees can grow unbelievably quickly and become very productive. Here is a photo of my fig trees 15 months ago after I transferred them from pots into the ground.

Fig trees down the left wall of .09 Acres in late March, 2011.
What do they look like today on June 14, 2012? Check it.

Fig trees down the left wall of .09 Acres in mid June, 2012.
Yup, pretty darn beastly if I do say so myself. Let's take a look at them in more detail.

4 year old Negronne fig. This plant is almost 6 feet tall and equally as wide. I pruned it heavily in early March to encourage multiple branches to grow from the pruned areas. It is beginning to form a nice multi-stem shrub.
5 year old Violette de Bordeaux fig. This plant is almost 6 feet tall and nearly 8 feet wide. I also pruned it heavily in early March to maintain a mult-stem shrub. It is important for me to prune my figs to a manageable size in such a small yard.
Negronne and Violette de Bordeaux figs. Looking good.
Very young LSU Purple fig. This plant is just over 1 year old and has a long way to go. I actually dug out another fig tree (thought it was a Strawberry Verte fig but it turned out to be a Magnolia fig...they split heavily in high humidity) previously planted in this location and replaced it with the LSU Purple.
6 year old Celeste fig from Paradise Nursery. This is the first fig tree I ever purchased, and now it has really settled into a permanent home. It is 7 feet tall and nearly 9 feet wide. This is always the first fig variety to ripen in my yard, usually in early July. Waiting...
Some of you might be wondering if all the heavy pruning I do in early spring to maintain smaller plants significantly reduces the amount of figs that I harvest. The answer to that question is quite simple. No. Here are two pictures of figs on my Violette de Bordeux fig tree, which I have pruned heavily for 3 years.

Unbelievably prolific variety of fig. But it takes great patience to watch these little VdB figs grow and ripen.
More young VdB figs. I'm optimistic that this will be an epic year for figs.
I plan on taking pictures of these figs again in the winter after they have dropped all their leaves to show the overall form of each multi-stem shrub. I also plan on taking pics during the pruning process next March to better illustrate how I prune my figs. And stay tuned for an update on my fig espalier later this summer.

Happy growing.


Veggie PAK said...

Wow! That VdB is really a heavy producer! They all look to be in excellent health. You are the Fig Master!

Les said...

Figs are a good looking tree/shrub even if they never bore tasty fruit.

Coral at Adventures in Agriburbia said...

Wow! That VdB is gorgeous. I just got one this year. I hope it looks as good as yours in a few years. So, does the taste live up to the hype?

Jenny said...

welcome back, for a while i thought all those rains washed out your garden. Those figs look wonderful! i planted them also first time this spring so hopefully in few years will try it.

Tree Service Charlotte said...

Your Negronne is lookin' nice n' healthy! Figs are always a nice decoration and plant. God bless, and happy gardening!!

-Tony Salmeron

Anonymous said...

When I saw the headline I was SOOO excited that finally I was going to see what happened to the espalier you hacked off. What a tease... Please don't make us wait too much longer... Helen

Kim said...

Holy hannah! I can't get over how huge they grew in such a relatively short amount of time. I'm also impressed that with all that pruning you still have so many figs.

thad said...

Looking great! Potted up most of the cuttings that I got this spring and hopefully they will be ready to lanterns this winter. Still thinking about how to keep them small in our little yard and so, am interested in any advice on pruning. Do you know anything about the Japanese pruning methods?


ValHalla said...

For the second time, an internet search has turned up your blog, so I thought I'd give a virtual shout out from a fellow VA gardener. Thanks so much for the fig posts. I am considering one for my urban backyard, where size (and not shading out my veg garden or flowers) is of particular importance--but man I love figs! If you had to choose one variety, which would it be?
happy gardening!

.09 Acres said...

@Veggie PAK, I'm no fig master, just a guy who likes to grow and eat figs, but thanks! @Les, agreed. @Coral, VdB definitely lives up to the hype. No question about that. @Jenny, very wet again today. A huge summer thunderstorm and downpour. Knocked over my trellised cucumbers. Boohoo. @Tony, thanks for dropping in. Hope all is well in NC. @Helen, don't worry...I'll be posting about the fig espalier this month. It's alive and quite well despite my heavy pruning. @Kim, pruning hasn't seemed to hurt the plants or number of figs this year. @Thad, I don't know alot about Japanese pruning methods, just seen pictures online and I try to imitate what they do. I've had better success when I prune right when the new buds start to swell - usually early March in Newport News. @ValHalla, welcome to the blog and thanks for returning again! If I could only pick one variety, it would be Violette de Bordeaux. I'm also growing (it's only a tiny rooted cutting with 5 leaves...) a variety called Ronde de Bordeaux that is supposedly even more flavorful than VdB. I'll keep you posted, but it'll likely be another 2 years before I get any figs from it.