I would like to know what varieties do you grow in the ground in the Northeast? and what's your favorite?
I'm more zone 7, but I am on the east coast. Here's what I have in the ground that's old and big enough to be relied upon to produce every year: Kathleen's Black fig, Paradiso, Sal's (EL), Takoma Violet, Excel. They're in order of my preference.
KB came from local cuttings, not sure, but may be same as Noire de Caromb. It suffered cold damage the first few years, but now it has none. Produces two crops, fall crop ripens withing a short 2-3 week period of mid August. Fruit is a dark violet and red pulp, taste is out of this world.
Paradiso is a green fig with red pulp. This one seems to be the bird's favorite variety, so I rarely get anything. Bares figs up to frost. Mature tree suffers no winter damage.
Sal's (EL) is pretty well known. I got this as a 2-3 year old potted plant. It's never suffered from the cold.
Takoma Violet is from an unknown local tree. Produces small, pretty violet figs with dark red pulp over a long period starting in August. Rich taste, biggest drawback is small fruit size. Seems very hardy. For several years I had this in a clay pot sitting on the ground where it sent roots into the ground. Never once had freeze damage, or had protection.
Excel, a green fig with pale pulp, strong grower and fairly hardy. The figs are too mild for my tastes. I may try grafting on it this year.
I have Sal's in a container and Paradiso cuttings.
I wanted to replace some of the trees I dug out. I had a black unknown fig that ripens late, and a Yellow Marseille that wasn't impressive.
I currently grow, Brooklyn White: delicious hardy white fig that has been very productive for me,
Dark Portuguese: came from a Portuguese man in my area that he grown for years, a medium size fig that is packed with sugar.
Hardy Chicago: very vigorous grower, produces a crop reliably in my area.
I have over 60 varieties in containers, but not sure how they'll do in ground over winter.
I'm not sure this thread is the best place for this post. I always find it interesting how different our tastes are. I prefer a bite (or maybe two bite) fig. Descriptors such as "huge" and/or "big as a baseball" do not appeal to me as much as it does to some others.
Gene's comment on the Takoma Violet "biggest drawback is small fruit size" makes it seem like a great fig for me. ;)
I have to agree with you. Most of the largest figs I've tasted were watery, and has less sugar contents. The small figs are packed with sugars.