I adore figs. In my old house I had a huge fig tree that flourished — but the figs were inedible — small, hard and dry inside. I tried everything to make it fruit but they were always the same. And when I decided to kill it, hiring tree loppers several times, it still grew back.
My new garden also had a large fig tree, and I was assured it grew edible figs. So I’ve been waiting, and watching the tiny figlets grow with great anticipation, and fretting that the possum or the birds would get to them before I did. My neighbor told me the figs were really delicious, which only added to my anticipation. But the trouble was, there weren’t many.
My first taste was of one I found on the grass, with a bird peck into it. So eager was I to try the figs that I cut off the bird-pecked bit and ate it. It was delicious — a rich dark red inside and almost like jam. Seriously, it was the best fig I’ve ever tasted.
I just picked two more — that’s a total so far of two and a half figs this season — not exactly the bumper crop I was hoping for. There are several more left on the tree, but they’re small and still hard and we’re into autumn now, so I doubt they’ll ripen. But today I found two that were ripe and ready to pick. The outside is green as you can see, so you have to guess ripeness by how soft it is. These two were perfect. There they are in the photo. Aren’t they a gorgeous color? And they taste delicious.
So I’m now looking up ways to make a fig tree fruit more prolifically. I gather a good pruning might help — seems they only fruit on new branches. So once winter hits, I’ll get out my trusty pruning saw and get cracking.
Are you fond of figs? They seem to be a fruit people either love or hate.
I Love figs. I have serious fig envy right now.
There’s no need — a.5 figs is all I’ve harvested, and the ones in the shops are never right — generally picked too soon.
Hi Anne, from Pt Elliot ,
and I just love my apricots and peaches
like you love your figs
i summer prune after fruiting as it saves their energy and encourages new growth for next year’ fruit
Be warned that fig sap is milky, sticky and gets every where
Can irritate some skin
a fav fig dish….thin thin ham, walnuts, goats cheese and fresh figs…a treat for the eye and pallet
Thanks, Mem. Yes, I know about the nasty fig sap — have encountered it before, thanks, battling with my old tree. Thanks, too for the advice about when to prune. As for peaches, I also adore them and apricots. A friend of mine’s mother had a fabulous old apricot tree that looked ancient but fruited brilliantly with the best tasting apricots. As she got older, she just used to phone me up to come and pick them, because she couldn’t be bothered making jam any more. She was Welsh born, and when her sisters came to Australia for a visit,… Read more »
I only like them dried – the ones we get in the UK fresh are purple outside and quite dry. The dried ones are jammy and have a nicer texture than the fresh ones we get. Would love to try a really fresh one because these look delicious and juicy.
Christine, I wish you could taste a fresh fig, just picked and warm from the sun with a drop of nectar oozing from the bottom. I enjoy dried figs too, but nothing beats a perfect, fresh fig. Mind you, there are quite a few different varieties, and that makes a difference.
Hi, Anne, to get your fig tree flowering and to produce fruit, give it a feed of Cindy’s crystals. Mix it to a pinkish purple and spray it over the leave. May need to use a wetting agent with it. And give it some sulphate of potash around its root system. If they are small and hard may be a boring deficiency so give it some boron or borax. Id wait until spring though, but you could give the root system a feed of sulphate of potash now. It’ll harden up its fibres and prevent diseases. Good luck with it.… Read more »
Thanks for that advice, Elaine. I hadn’t thought of Condy’s crystals — I’d planned to add some potash to the soil — I added some to my vegie boxes but not to the soil around the fig tree. I’ll definitely investigate Condy’s crystals. I think the poor harvest was also the result of a not very good summer — my tomatoes were very sparse too. But we’ll see about improving the harvest next year. Thanks.