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Figs not ripening.... any ideas?

Posted by parrothead_fa z10 FL (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 3, 06 at 7:24

We planted two brown turkey figs a couple years ago when we bought our home. Both trees are planted where they recive a good amount of sunlight, water, and we fertilse them fairly regularly. One has had huge figs on it all year, up to 3", and is still covered in them and shows no sign of quitting this year. The other, started getting figs in early spring, had some ripen, and then put out dozens more small figs. However, they seem to have remained just that. The tree has been loaded with small, grape sized green figs since May, and I have not had another ripe one off that tree. Some of these dropped, but most have remaned on the tree and just not grown much larger. Does anyone know what might have caused this, or a possible remedy? I find it a bit puzzling, since both trees were planted at the same time, are now about the same height, and have recieved the same care. Each one is planted close to another tree that does provide some shade, but they both probably recive a good 6 hours or more of direct sun per day, and are watered by the same sprinkler system, so they recive the same amount of irrigation. Any helpful tips would be appreciated, as we love our fresh juicy ripe figs. Dave


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Figs not ripening.... any ideas?

I got great advice. Kill those Brown Turkey fig trees, and replace them with easier to ripen and tastier varieties like:

1. Desert King
2. Osbourne Prolific
3. Excell

This is coming from someone who is growing figs in the cool climate of San Francisco.

The problem is with your variety. Plus, brown turkey is just mediocre in terms of taste and quality.

My Brown Turkey figs are not ripening, and only ripens around the skin. There just isn't enough heat.


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RE: Figs not ripening.... any ideas?

Oh, we get plenty of heat here. We're in the southern tip of Florida on the gulf coast. The weather up til Christmas is in the 80's, mid 80's to lower 90's most of the summer, plenty of humidity, and even jan and feb are in the 70's during the days, and rarely below 49 at night. Our other brown turkey produces super sweet figs that sometimes get up to 3" across. The problem is, I can't find anything but brown turkey here. And I can't stand screwing with mail order stuff where you can't see what you're getting. I like to walk into a nursery and pick out fruit trees that are already producing so I know I won't have to wait 4 years to get a piece of fruit. I'm not a patient person. Anyhoo, I chalked it up to the tree being barren, and took an axe to it this weekend and replaced it with another small tree that already had figs ripening on it. Dave


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RE: Figs not ripening.... any ideas?

Dave, guess you have it much easier that us San Franciscans.
I would love some heat down here.

Yeah, I'm impatient too. Thats why I bought this huge Excell fig tree with a fat 4-5 inch trunk for $180 in a 25 gallon. That thing was heavy.

I have had good luck so far with my fig trees even in the 1st year. I think it has a lot to do with:

1. I mulch the ground very heavily with dried leaves all year round.
2. I dump banana peels and other potassium / phosphorus rich left overs into the ground around the trees.
3. I add a layer of manure on top of the soil. It seems like manure encourages the figs to come out when I do that. I read some where that the bible says if your fig tree does not produce figs, you should dung it, and it still does not, then discard it. So I figure, if the bible says it, there must be something behind the idea. I tried it, and it seems to work for me.
4. I add bone meal to the soil which is high it potassium and phosphorus.

By the way, the fig is actually a flower, and not a fruit.
So if you want more figs, you have to do things to get the fig tree to flower. Phosphorus, Postassium, and lots of sun light seems to encourage flowering.


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RE: Figs not ripening.... any ideas?

Oh, and I forget to mention that I sometimes add diluted urine in a 5 to 1 ratio onto the dry leaf mulch every month or two.


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RE: Figs not ripening.... any ideas?

One problem you might want to check for is nematodes. They could have come with your plants, or you might have put your trees in infected soil. Old gardens where tomatoes, okra, etc., have been planted typicaly are full of them. If you find knots on the roots, you probably can find a little grub inside the knot sucking away the nutrients of your tree. Heavy mulching encourages higher root growth, which the nematodes don't like. The best bet usually is to start over with a new tree in a new place.


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RE: Figs not ripening.... any ideas?

I think you have it too good! You need to cut down on feeding and watering so as to make the figs produce the crop and finish it. They are the type to work better in bad conditions. This is why I am planting them - can't get much worse than Georgia clay ;)All I hear is: do not feed them unless they grew less than a foot. Do not water them, etc. The rest of the problems seem odd to me (like nematodes) - your problem is that they are not ripening, diseases would not just affect that, but the entire being of the tree. So I am guessing that the tree does not get enough persuasion to proliferate. If all else fails - try yelling at it! Works on my husband, and his problems are identical to your tree's!


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