Greehouse fig report

fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TXAugust 3, 2012

Have been growing several figs in pots in my greenhouse for three years. I've finally figured out why these things rate a forum of their own, they're very good when properly grown! Until now all my fig experiences were negative. Neither Celeste nor Brown Turkey are hardy here outdoors despite being in a warm zone 7.

My ratings, best to worst, in greenhouse pots:

Strawberry Verte: Green medium size, very sweet, great flavor, and dries rapidly to perfect moisture while hanging on the bush. High yield.

Paradiso: Very similar to above but bigger. Open eye causes some issues with mold.

Vista: Smaller than SV and dark skin. Productive but not quite the flavor of those above.

Black Jack: Huge dark fig. Takes forever to dry down to best moisture for eating.

Blue Celeste: Small and inferior quality.

Strawberry Verte and Paradiso are as good or nearly as good as anything I've grown. Very sweet and a very rich flavor in the best fruits.

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ediblelandscaping.sc(7b-8)

got any small fig trees you want to trade or would you like to trade some cuttings this fall?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 2:40AM
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alan haigh

Are you simply wintering them in the green house and then growing them outdoors? I would expect this to not create the best conditions for them as they need some chilling to remain vigorous unless you bring them in late. If they are in the greenhouse all the time it would seem much less than ideal conditions for figs but I assume you have this issue sorted out by letting the greenhouse get quite cool.

Anyway, I'd like to read your explanation.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 10:13AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

harvestman:

My greenhouse gets good chilling, ~800 Utah hrs as a minimum. Figs only need 100 hrs, much less than much of the other fruit requires. I think the greenhouse is a near ideal climate for figs.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 10:37AM
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MrClint

"Black Jack: Huge dark fig. Takes forever to dry down to best moisture for eating."

I've never heard of waiting for a fig to dry down unless you are eating them dried. When a fig reaches its expected ripe color and droops, it is ready for fresh eating. Color + droop + possibly some skin cracking = eat it now, yum. Some figs will be drier inside than others, even off the same tree. A juicy Black Jack fig is a truly amazing piece of fruit - honey-ed taste with a nice crunch from the seeds. I mean this in the friendliest way possible, you may be over-thinking things. :)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:14PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Fruitnut,

I hate to admit it but I never had a fresh fig until I grew my own. My first fig which was a celeste grew to 5 foot the first year and then froze to the ground in the winter. I was quite disappointed but amazed how fast it regrew to it's previous height and produced fruit all in the same season. Last winter it did not freeze back at all and produced a big crop this spring and now is making it's fall crop. The fruit is incredible. I liked it so much I have added two more varieties and will add another 4 this winter.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 8:52AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

bamboo:

No wonder my Celeste freezes back if yours does too, in 9A???!!! It's supposed to be one of the hardiest cultivars???!!!

I still haven't grown an edible Celeste indoors or out. I do think my greenhouse figs suffer the same issue as other fruits, they are overwatered. So unless the fruit dries down some they taste watery.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 9:42AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Fruitnut,

From what I read the figs are the most cold sensitive the first year. Yep even here in 9A it froze back to the ground....but winter before last was brutal (by Florida standards). We had several nights in the low 20's. This past winter had two nights around 26 and that did nothing to the fig.

I have since added a green Ischia this spring which has grown like a weed and is over 6 feet tall. Added a Texas everbearing also and it has not done much yet. I have a friend that has 10 or so varieties and he started me some of them.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 1:11PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Interesting report, fruitnut. I have a huge Panache I had to cut way down this year, so not sure if I'll get fruit (the damned thing has grown back up beyond what I can reach without a ladder, again.) Also have a Flanders that was nearly girdled by rabbits but has sprung back to life from the top as well as from suckers (assuming all figs are on own roots), and Brown Turkey that I know folks often diss, but that was my first fresh fig I've ever eaten, and boy was it good. I also have a Violette de Bordeaux and a Peter's Honey in large pots on the patio, and have planted a few Ronde de Bordeaux I grew from cuttings this year, and they already have figs on them, shockingly. Really looking forward to trying those figs. I found out that eating a non-ready fig is a memorable experience (as in you would not want to do that, again, pretty disgusting), so I do look for droop, maybe a crack or a dropped fig or two. Figs grow like weeds here. In fact, they're almost invasive, as the birds spread them. But nice to have several varieties of a fruit that is new to me, despite being a native born S. Californian, which is "fig country" here in the USA. I have a delicious fig recipe I'll share with you all. Think I found this on Trees of Joy's website:

Dried Figs with Walnuts

Ingredients:
1 lbs dried figs
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut fig in the middle and place a piece of walnut inside it. Soak stuffed figs in milk for 30 minutes. You will notice figs have r. etained original size. Dip the figs in sesame seeds. Place figs on a cookie sheet on a flat try and place in oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it has turned golden color. Serve at room temperature.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 9:03PM
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MrClint

As long as a droopy fig doesn't leak latex when you pull it off the tree, you should be good to go. Black Jacks have been remarkably good this year. I think they have pulled ahead of VdB as my favorite.

The figs of my youth were the standard Black Mission type. Which were nothing to sneeze at, but can't hold a candle to these newer varieties. Folks would bring shopping bags full of Black Mission figs and pawn them off on the neighbors.

Aside from fresh eating, I like to make a fig and balsamic vinegar reduction. Just put some smashed figs and BV in a pan and simmer them down to a thick sauce. Works well over lean meat such as pork loin. Lots of recipes like this on the net.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 11:48PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Good to know, mrclint. I'll let you know how my Ronde de Bordeaux are. They're supposedly very coveted. I had no idea they were so crazy hard to get. Not a fig fanatic, just learning to like them. I like your reduction recipe, sounds delicious with pork loin, I've saved it and put it in my recipe book.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 1:21AM
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MrClint

I've become a huge fan of Black Jack and VdB which are both small tree figs. BJ are honey-ed and VdB are jam-like, so I get a good bit of variation with these two.

The RdB and Col de Dame are said to be exceptional figs, but they are very large and hard to find trees. If size didn't matter, I would plant both of these as well.

With the exceptional figs you are growing, and in prime fig country, you will be a fig lover soon enough. A slice of fresh fig in a chilled glass of champagne is another of my favorite ways to enjoy figs. :)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 6:22PM
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