2nd year in a row, not a single ripe fig.

denninmi(8a)October 28, 2009

I said to myself this spring -- "well, it can't possibly be as COLD this summer as the summer of 2008 was here in S.E. Michigan."

And, it wasn't, it was COLDER, record cold, in fact, in July.

Just like last year, many little figs, but none ripened. Frost took the leaves last week.

What to do -- well, not a total loss. Picked them all on Sunday and candied them. They turn out delicious.

Last year, I found a Greek recipe that used vanilla, lemon, cloves, and ginger for flavoring agents. This year, I did my own -- anise extract. The result, little candied figs that taste like licorice. Really yummy.

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If this global warming trend continues all of you northerners are going to be living in a frozen tundra.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 7:48PM
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what type of figs are you growing there and how old are the plants.
Here near Chicago i had ripe figs of course nothing like last year due to very cool summer , our season was terrible as yours and my figs have been in storage for several weeks due to a couple good frosts.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 7:55PM
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I do agree that this Sommer was very cold ,and colder than 2008 Sommer wich was cold too.
Totally adverse condition for getting fig tree to ripe fruits.
We hope this will not Happen again for a long time.
2010,got to be normal hot Sommer,for a change.
I did have many fig cultivars get ripe fruits but only in small quantities.
Yet one of my early ripening cultivars did very well,and so far I have 50 fig jam jars,and is still ripening,as it still got,many fruits at the close point of being ripe.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 8:49PM
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Den, you have got 2 fig experts in NJ, namely Herman & Gorgi -- write them and I am sure they would give you excellent advise & they sell variants that are suited to your zone.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 9:43PM
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Well, I guess in theory, I have some of the most northern adapted ones, Hardy Chicago, Brown Turkey, and also some unknown, mystery black fig (basically the same as the other two, IMO) from an Italian grandpa of a friend.

They've all been in-ground for about 10 years now.

In previous years, I have gotten many nice ripe figs, it was just this past two years due to very cool summers. In 2006 or 2007 (can't remember which), I think I got over 200 ripe figs. I also had a yellow/green colored one back then that ripened as well, but voles completely destroyed it over the winter.

Thanks, folks.

BTW, does anyone else make the candied figs? They really are good. Very easy, just take off the stems, cut a slit in each, boil for about 20 minutes to get out the latex, drain and rinse, then simmer for an hour in a 2-1 sugar-water syrup. You can add any flavorings of your choice. This year, I did anise extract, and they taste like licorice gumdrops, most delicious.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 9:57AM
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dinninme after 10 years in the ground the trees are definitely mature so you should be getting ripe fruit.

You can speed things up a bit by mulching with composted leaves and composted de-smelled manure in the spring. Others also pinch the ends off new growth leaving seven nodes to encourage faster fruiting/ripening.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 3:47PM
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When you have a fig that is not good for your location, and you still want to keep it, the best you can do is be thrilled the rare years you get good figs.

For us, this year it was the terrible heat that messed up my "happy" fig harvest, the Nonnie's fig sadly, finally got its act together again, too late, as normal. People with more heat in their summers and/or a longer growing season will definitely get more out of a heat seeking fig like that one.
I am slowly pruning it back this winter and hope that giving the tree a better habit will allow me to get the best figs instead of the starlings.
So make sure you have the best fig for your location; and if you don't, get one!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 4:50PM
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Which cultivar are you refering to when you mentioned "one of my early ripening cultivars did very well"?
Being in relatively colder zone 5 and with relatively short summers I always keep my eyes and ears open for 'early ripening' figs. This summer, though not very warm, I got hints that my two or three years old potted Marseilles VS, Hardy Chicago, Sal EL, Natalina and Celeste may be keepers for me by giving me some ripe figs. Other trees are young.

Also, and it is easily believeable that the few ripe figs I got were from plants located close to the south side wall of our garage. Plants located near the vege plot away from the south wall had many unripe figs until the end of September but then some were not there and none on the ground. Then a week ago when I was diggong out the half-buried pots I fund the green hard but fat figs buried in the ground by the squirrels. Something has to be done for this 2nd site for heat and squirrels.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 9:20PM
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Ottawan:I do not like to pinpoint people to,the fig I selected,personally as my best because I sell a few of these ,and I do not want to sound like advertising.
But if you ask:Yes Marseilles Vs was my most productive and able to ripe many fruits to the point that 2 times,I harvested 12 pounds of ripe figs once,last time was 2 weeks ago.
It did start getting ripe, 2 weeks later than normal,at very end of August,but from then it kept churning ripe figs continuouselly,and it still does today.
I do have 4 of them,inground, and that also counted for my abundant harvest.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 12:20PM
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Vasile, you are the man responsible for spreading around the Marseilles VS cultivar following the good results you experienced with it in your fig trials. You deservedly should be quite proud of that fact as it seems to perform quite well in most growing areas. It is not bragging or advertising when you are making an honest report. We thank you for spreading it around. I am glad that Jon labeled it with "VS" to denote it originated from you as you are due some credit in recognizing its potential.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 4:37PM
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I agree with Dan. Credit goes to where it belongs, to Vasile, for helping spread Marseilles VS which is an early ripening cultivar even here in the relatively far North Zone 5. It did not get the dark colour it is supposed to have but the figs were sweet and above all the figs ripend and I am looking forward to next year for more figs ripening before frost.
There were a few that were hiddden behind the leaves and when I found them as a welcome surprise, they were very ripe and very sweet.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 1:21AM
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A delightful variant MVS. Productive & ripens in cooler weather here. It is going in ground this coming spring. Thinking of even building its own greenhouse for this promising variant next to the house. Thanks Herman for making MVS known.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 8:02AM
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