At what stage do you pick your figs?

wertach zone 7-B SCSeptember 26, 2011

I have always waited until mine get kind of wrinkled and dark colored, I make preserves with them and they are sweeter at that stage. But the last few years I have had more bee and bird problems. So I'm thinking about picking them when they droop and slightly change color next year. They are good for fresh eating at this stage but not as sweet. I really don't want to have to add sugar to my preserves, but I will. Or can I just simmer them longer?

Netting is out of the question because my fig tree is 20+ feet tall 30 feet in diameter. It has set roots on the lower limbs so it is kinda like a bunch of trees attached to one main tree!

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When they feel soft and start to droop.
Have you ever simmered them in a little sugar and poured that on top of ice cream? Yum

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 7:50PM
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I have planted my first fig tree this spring (Desert King from Raintree) on south side of house and now it has 5 green figs. They are not drooping but weather is getting colder and i am wondering what to do with them. How long do I need to wait for them to rippen?
Also, do i need to do something to winterize them?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 11:22AM
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When they are RIPE!
Listen to other fig members suggestions.
Also, quickly-learned by trial and error....

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 3:41PM
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Figs generally take about 2 months to ripen from when they appear. This can vary with time of year, weather, temperature, variety, and location. If it is October and your figs have just appeared they probably won't ripen. Based on the picture you posted it looks like your tree is still young, so I would recommend you winterize it. Probably around mid November it should have lost it's leaves and you should wrap it for the winter. here is a link to one way to wrap.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 10:24AM
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Like most figs growers, I like to wait until my figs droop, and start to become wrinkled. This late into October, our Sal's EL figs are starting to dry on the tree and they start to remind me of dried dates. That's as close a description that I can think of.

Our figs have been ripening since September. But, with all the rain none of them had a chance to become dry and really wrinkled, until now.

As to your tree being twenty feet high, why not simply prune it back to a height were you can protect it from the birds. Chances are pound for pound you would get more fruit with a pruned tree. Plus, you would have a lot of cuttings to start new trees

Hope that helps

Bob, Zone 5 Connecticut

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 11:58AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I canned 3 pints of the not dark and wrinkled figs. I opened one this weekend, not impressed.....

Bob, I'm planning to prune. It has never been pruned. Can I do it now? The leaves are turning for the fall. I'm thinking about radical pruning, but not sure how much to take off.

If I do it now,or over the winter, I guess I won't get much if any fruit next year?

I will have too many cuttings to deal with, if I radically prune, for starting new trees. Some limbs are firewood size! Hmmm, good for smoked pork? :)

I may stick a few in the ground and some old pots with used potting soil outside and see if they root. Nothing lost, maybe something gained.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 2:41PM
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Some prune after all the leaves have fallen off, in the fall. Some prune in the early Spring, if there is no winter tip kill of limbs, of figs in you're area.

At any rate, regardless of when you prune, most collectors suggest only removing one third the first year, and one third each following year.

Go to Figs 4 Fun for more information on all fig matters

Hope that helps


    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 5:06PM
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