Violetta de Bordeaux Dec 21st 2012

thisisme(az9b)December 22, 2012

Took this picture yesterday. This tree usually goes partially dormant for 1-2 weeks mid January. I think its about time to harvest the remaining figs. They don't seam to be ripening anymore. I'm going to try and make some fig preserves.

I trimmed it back hard last January. This is what it looked like in February 2012. If I don't trim it back hard again it will be huge by this time next year.

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LEBMARK(7)

Nice tree, when you prune it, please save me some cuttings, will pay for it.
Mark

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 6:12PM
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fespo

Me too please

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 8:01PM
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gorgi(z7a_NJ)

Hi there all you/thisisme/us ...
Very glad to just hear from you again.

An extremely nice VdB fig bush.
My congrats.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 6:11AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Beautiful plant!! You guys don't get much winter!! How long do you get high quality figs from this bush? In my greenhouse it's about mid June to mid October. But we are much colder than you. My fig trees have been without leaves for a month already.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 10:07AM
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thisisme(az9b)

Hi fruitnut, once fully mature. In a normal year it produces good quality figs here from late April to late November. This one tree/bush produces a lot of figs during that time. There are several flushes where there are a bunch ripening at a time. Through the entire season there is almost always at least 1-3 ripe fruit on any given day. So nearly every day when I'm out in the garden I have a small handful to eat.

Last January I trimmed it down to about 1' tall so I got almost no breba figs. This coming January I plan on cutting it back to 3' tall so I can have some more breba figs early in the season. What might seam strange to people in other zones is that a healthy fig tree here goes through several flushes of growth during the growing season. As such there are both breba and main crop figs produced throughout the season.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 4:53PM
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dieseler

Very nice and thanks for sharing the pictures.
Eating figs for so many months sure is nice i bet.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 7:42PM
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thisisme(az9b)

dieseler another forum member who lives here said to me Arizona is like fig heaven.

Today my son picked roughly twenty five quarts of peppers and I'm still eating ripe cherry tomatoes off the vine. I posted some pictures I took of my garden on Dec 21st in the Arizona Forum. I will probably post the pepper harvest pics tomorrow.

For those who are looking for cuttings. Last year I did not sell any. This year I plan on offering them up for bid on eBay. My eBay user name is the same as my forum user name. The best time to take cuttings though is when the tree is dormant and that won't be until Mid-January. I suspect there will be 10-15 lots with three 12" cuttings each. With that many lots I suspect the prices will be very reasonable.

I also have three large rooted cuttings. Small trees really. The part below ground is 18" long and they are all 3'+ tall above ground. I plan on cutting the above ground part off at 12"-18". That way they will fit in three foot long boxes and be easier to ship.

If you click on the link you will see that temps just started dropping below 70 degrees a couple weeks ago. Dec 28th averages a temp of 62 degrees. From there we start warming up again. Our winter such as it is just got here and very soon it will be gone.

Here is a link that might be useful: A look at Arizona weather

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 12:08AM
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LEBMARK(7)

thisisme
just post a link when you list on eBay.
Best of Luck
Mark

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Centurion_(Verde Valley AZ Z8)

Good to see you posting, thisisme.

Here is the VDB you gave me last February. The fence to the right is 4' high.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 10:12PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Mark if it's OK with gardenweb I will.

Looks really healthy Centurion. Not torture tested by the salty water and salty and alkaline soil we have here in the valley. How recent is that picture? Just asking because I know it gets cold up in the mountains. I thought your trees would be dormant by now.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 4:05PM
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foolishpleasure

Nice tree you are in a good weather area. Today December 25 every thing is freezing.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Centurion_(Verde Valley AZ Z8)

Pic was taken in September or October. It looks much different these days.

(First frost was a little before Thanksgiving...and we got three nights in a row, We've had 10-15 nights below freezing since then, so it is very very dormant right now).

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 7:23PM
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ottawan_z5a

It is nice so many of you posting again here after such a long time.
Also, I remember some years ago George had posted a picture him standing by the side of his fig plant full of many dark figs, all visible in the tree, I believe it was also VDB.

Happy New Year to all.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:08PM
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frozenjoe(9 Arizona)

Nice looking plant thisisme. The one you gave me is doing great. I'll try to take a photo to post tomorrow. It must be just a little bit colder up by me because mine has dropped most of its leaves. All my fig trees have been dropping their leaves. I got a lot of delicious figs off of the VdB tree this year. It's a very nice variety.

Joe

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 8:09PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Joe my other fig trees have dropped all or most of their leaves. The exceptions are some large rooted VDB cuttings and one Conadria in the ground.

Where your trees are planted I would think that some would be in full sun this time of year. If so it must be colder on the northern end of Mesa than it is here near it's southern border.

looking at the forecast it's supposed to get down to 29-30 with rain and possibly a little snow seven to ten days from now. If it really gets that cold several days in a row I bet the rest will be dormant soon.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:44PM
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frozenjoe(9 Arizona)

Yeah its been getting pretty cold up here for a few weeks now. Sounds like it isn't warming up anytime soon. I'm gonna try to post that photo tomorrow. The tree is doing good. It produced a lot of figs this year.

Are you still getting any other kind of fruit this time of year? We had the last of the pomegranates today. They weren't bad.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:31PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Hi Joe, actually most of my citrus ripens from January through April. You've seen my trees though. They are small so not much fruit. Like figs though production goes up with age/size and each year is better than the last.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 9:49AM
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frozenjoe(9 Arizona)

My citrus are still small too. Here's the VdB tree you gave me. The tallest branch is about 6 feet tall.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 11:36AM
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fignewbies

Hi,

Could you please describe the taste of the fruits of
your beautiful fig tree? Does it have a
wonderful fragrance?
Members always claim this is 1 fig to get!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 11:54AM
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thisisme(az9b)

Hi fignewbies, taste can be a fairly subjective thing. I have been told more than once that my taste buds are burned out by my wife from eating to many hot peppers.lol

Anyway, to me they taste moderately sweet with a mixed/complex mild berry flavor. I would not say they are particularly aromatic. I mean when you cut open a Fully Ripe Desert King you smell it long before it gets up to your nose. The same is not true of VDB. At least not with my nose. There are other very tasty figs to be sure but this is a very good one. Not saying it's the best tasting of all figs but it is very good.

Only read below this line if you are a Newbie.
----------------------------------------------------------

To me there are some other important factors like...

How many seasons a tree takes to get into reasonable fruit production?
Does the fruit have a closed eye to prevent spoilage?
Is the variety a heavy producer?
Does the variety produce both a tasty breba crop and main crop?
Does it produce over a long season?
If the fruit are not green does it produce more than the birds can eat?
Do the fruit dry out before they are ripe?
Does the tree require caprification/pollination for its breba or main crop or for both crops?
Do the fruit have a tendency to spoil do to splitting?
For others a resistance to root knot nematodes because they have them in their soil.
Do the trees you are buying come from an area or a person who is known for selling trees infected with root knot nematodes?
Is the seller either a forum member with a good reputation or a retailer with a good reputation as figs are often mislabeled or misrepresented.

To me fig taste means very little if the fruit are spoiled. With a closed eye spoilage is not a problem with this variety.

For me here in Arizona with our long season this is the best tree I have tried so far. Until last year which was this trees third season the birds were getting more than I was. Last year however it produced more than the birds could eat so I had a steady supply to snack on. Though no large amounts at any one picking. Certainly not enough to make batches of jams and preserves the way I make Hot Sauce or Pickled Peppers. This year I expect much better.

If my Conadria ever produces like the VDB I would be in fig heaven as the fruit are very tasty and much larger. It however is not known to produce large amounts of fruit. My LSU Gold produces lots of fruit and the fruit is very tasty. That is if it's not spoiled but most of it is spoiled do to it's large open eye. There are so many factors and variable that I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect fig tree or even a best fig tree. Some however are better than others in some climates and lousy in others. A for instance. I Really Really like the taste of Desert King figs. They produced very well for me and the fruit are large. They have large soft shelled seeds that produce a very favorable crunch that is hard to describe. The fruit is custardy and creamy when fully ripe and the seeds produce just the right contrast in texture that gives them a real WOW Factor. However one of the crops require caprification/pollination if you do not live near the coast/damp climate. That meant that I had a tree in my yard that produced large numbers of large figs that refused to ripen producing a BIG MESS. It was a hard decision but I pulled the Desert King just like I will be pulling the LSU Gold.

However from what I've heard from other members. VDB tends to do well in hot and cold and dry or damp climates so it's highly adaptable. If you don't have one and have room for one I would recommend it. Not because its the best fig for everyone everywhere. I admit to wishing I could grow massive amounts of extra large and tasty Desert Kings like I have seen grown by some West Coast Coastal growers. I recommend it but because it tends to meet most of the desirable criteria for most people in most climates. It is not even my favorite tasting fig. In fact out of the roughly thirty varieties I have tried it's ranked fifth on my list for taste. But so far I have pulled three of the varieties that taste better and will pull another before the next season starts. In fact if Conadria does not produce a lot better within the next two years it may go too. So to me with all that goes into choosing a fig and yes taste in definitely included in that. VDB is a safe recommendation to make because it has become widely planted and it seems to be almost universally liked. As Forest Gump once said. "That's all I have to say about that."

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 1:55PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Forgot to say; Nice looking tree Joe. If you chose not to prune it back it should produce like made next season and grow like a monster. I would not worry about the branches getting to tall to pick in the coming season. They are flexible; you can pull them to you with one hand and pick the fruit just fine. I've become accustomed to pulling the branch to me and holding it in place with my wrist while using both hands to pick up and down the branches. (I hope that makes sense.) Come this time next year when they are very tall and dormant you may want to prune them back to 4'. Would not want the upper parts of the branches to become too thick and inflexible unless you want to have to use a ladder to pick your fruit.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 2:10PM
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frozenjoe(9 Arizona)

Thanks for the advice. I will let it grow. I can always use the shade. This year the trees were still small enough to cover with bird netting. Next year some of them will be getting large for that. Not sure what I will do about the birds. I took the netting off this September because some of the trees were starting to outgrow it. It took a few weeks for the birds to realize there were figs. By November they started eating almost all the figs. As of now the plan is to just keep planting more trees.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 6:25PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Just a little heads up for those who have been waiting. I will be listing some cuttings on eBay tomorrow and will post a link here for anyone still interested.

Three 12" cuttings per lot with a .99 cent starting price.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 11:10PM
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thisisme(az9b)

OK, heres the link to the auctions. I have been asked to post a link. Hope GW does not delete it. I will be posting more auctions when I have time. If anyone prefers a different auction format let me know.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/thisisme/m.html?item=330868772338&ViewItem=&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562

Here is a link that might be useful: Violetta de Bordeaux cuttings

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:09PM
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MadameMeow

WoW!!!! I thought my VdB was happy in her container- until I saw yours! Holy cow- beautiful tree! Maybe I should not have trimmed off the branches that started near the bottom of the trunk; oh well, too late now. I'm going to repot this week into a half-barrel size with Tapla's 5-1-1,I hope that brings some good growth in 2013- and more figs too! Can you share any particular cultural notes- is your soil sandy? alkaline? do you feed with anything specific in mind? or other particular notes? I can't put mine in the ground- the gophers here would kill her right away. so, it's a challenge...thanks for any advice

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 8:20PM
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thisisme(az9b)

hI MadameMeow, Violetta de Bordeaux does do quite well in a large container. In the ground they really take off though.

The soil here is clay and very alkaline and salty. The water is alkaline and salty too which makes the leaves subject to salt burn.

In early Spring (Mid-Feb here) I sprinkle a few tablespoons of slow release Arizona's Best Citrus Fertilizer under the canopy. This fertilizer contains slow release sulfur to help acidify the soil. I then cover that with a few shovels full of de-smelled manure. I then water it in really well. After that I mulch and put the drip system over the top of the mulch.

Growing productive healthy fruit trees in a container is a lot harder than growing in the ground. There are a number of Gardenweb Fig Forum members who do an amazing job of it though. If I were growing in containers I would want to talk to dieseler and ask him about his soil mix and fertilizer and watering regimen. That guy and a few others are real masters at growing in containers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arizona's Best Citrus Fertilizer

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 12:25PM
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MadameMeow

I see the error of my ways now...I was afraid to use a citrus-type feed, they carry such high N. This product looks great- I had to buy trace elements separate for my lemon tree. There are no retailers local to me, but I'll hunt for something similar. Thank you! BTW- my 'soil' is also alkaline clay, but as mentioned gophers preclude planting in ground...

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 12:57PM
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cis4elk(5)

MadameMeow,

Just a thought, this is what I would do if I had your scenario.
You could always try digging(or hire someone to do this) out a fairly large hole(maybe 3ft wide by 3ft deep) and placing a wire cage/fencing in it, then plant your tree inside the caged area. If the holes are smaller than the head of the gophers, then they are limited to what is outside of the cage and at the depth they tunnel.
You can also then lay some wire screen flat on the top of the ground on the inside of the cage perimeter to stop them from digging down from above; place some mulch over it and no-one will ever know. Lastly, wrap the bottom 6 inches or so of trunk with some 1/4-1/2 inch screen to prevent them from girdling the main trunk, be sure this extends a couple inches below the surface of the soil and the screen you laid flat on the surface.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:27PM
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