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Fig tree anyone ?

(17 Posts)
Washerwoman Thu 04-Apr-19 08:29:56

We're thinking of growing one in a large pot on our South facing patio.My brother has one and gets beautiful figs,some years a bumper crop.Admittedly his is in the ground and very well established ,but I don't want to plant any more trees in our borders.
However we live in Yorkshire ,although our patio is sheltered.And I've read up and it sounds like they can attract wasps and it would be near our eating area.We have one other area we could put it,but it also says blackbirds love pinching the tiny fruitlets-we have lots in the garden as I feed them so well !
Just wondered if anyone had one,and is it worth the effort ?

Badenkate Thu 04-Apr-19 08:39:50

We planted a small one last year here in N Shropshire and it seems to be doing OK in a NW facing garden but with plenty of sun in the afternoon (if available). A local NT house near here in N Wales seems to do very well with them espaniered up a southish facing wall, which I assume would be fairly similar to your conditions. As for the blackbirds and wasps, we're yet to find out!

Liz46 Thu 04-Apr-19 08:44:55

We have one in a pot (near Chester) and this is the third year. There are quite a few figs forming but the jury is still out. We had a couple of figs in the first year but last year was a bit disappointing. I had trouble in deciding when the figs were ripe enough to be picked.

I looked up how to feed the tree but couldn't find any good instructions. Apparently they do not like much fertiliser.

fiorentina51 Thu 04-Apr-19 09:10:21

We had one for about 10 years. At first, we kept it in a pot facing North East and got about a dozen figs each year. Didn't notice any great increase in wasps I'm glad to say.
We planted it out about 5 years ago, used tomato fertiliser from time to time, when we remembered.
It took off like a rocket! Produced a good crop yearly but, it was discovered by the squirrels and Muntjac deer and raided frequently.
We tried covering it with netting in a frame but it was getting to be a real chore so last year we dug it up.
Ours was a Turkish variety and you could tell the ripeness by the deep purple blush, softness of the fruit and the little drop of juice oozing from the base.

MiniMoon Thu 04-Apr-19 10:29:07

My husband rescued a little fig tree from being throw away at a local supermarket. It's in a pot on the south facing wall of our house. It's in its third year now, and has about three or four (at the last count) tiny figs. Last year three grew quite big, but they weren't worth eating.

Squiffy Thu 04-Apr-19 11:08:04

Washerwoman A note of caution if you're going to plant it in the ground!

It's usually recommended that you restrict the root growth. If you don't, the strength will go into growth rather than fruit, plus it will probably get enormous!

I'll see if I can find a link for you.

Squiffy Thu 04-Apr-19 11:11:56

This is from the RHS website. Hope I'm not breaking any rules copying it here!

"Restricting root growth encourages fruiting. Either dig out a planting pit or grow figs in containers on the patio, or plunged into the soil. Prepare a planting pit by digging a hole 60 x 60 x 60cm (2 x 2 x 2ft). Line the sides with vertical slabs, with 2.5cm (1in) higher than the surrounding soil to prevent the roots from spreading outwards. Add a layer of rubble or broken bricks and crocks 10–20cm (4–8in) deep, in the base.

Plant 20cm (8in) away from the base of a sunny south or south west facing wall or fence. Backfill, using garden soil, (improved with well rotted organic matter if necessary) or with John Innes No 3 compost."

Culag Thu 04-Apr-19 11:23:55

Figs are pollinated by a type of wasp, not the stinging variety we normally shy away from. I’ve never seen these attracted to figs, but I suppose it’s possible.

Anja Thu 04-Apr-19 12:11:06

[[ How to grow figs in UK]

Anja Thu 04-Apr-19 12:11:38

to grow figs in UK

Anja Thu 04-Apr-19 12:12:14

I give up! It was a good link but....

Fennel Thu 04-Apr-19 12:18:36

Eldest daughter has a fig tree growing in a narrow plot next to their garage. The roots do seem to be invasive, but the tree is healthy enough. No fruits yet though.
We had 2 small fig trees in France, but the deer ate the figs as soon as they appeared. There were several mature fig trees near us which always had lots of fruit. The owners hung bottle traps containing beer to catch the wasps.

Washerwoman Fri 05-Apr-19 07:18:54

Thank you all for taking time to reply.I had seen about restricting their roots and not over fertilizing them which is why I thought the lovely big new pot I've finally treated by self to would be ideal.I would want to keep it a reasonable size so it didn't dominate the patio area but I think I'm going to give it a try.We don't get deer in our garden and if the birds help themselves so be it.To a certain extent it will be experimental and I'm not expecting great results!

Alima Fri 05-Apr-19 07:41:49

This may sound strange but what do you do with the figs?

BradfordLass72 Fri 05-Apr-19 08:32:21

I always put a fine netting over my fig tree as soon as I see the little green figs growing - this keeps the birds away, although if the ripe figs grow close to the net, they can peck through it. I don't mind sharing the bounty. smile

Alima to answer your question - I eat mine fresh off the tree and if I ever get tired of them, which so far I have not, I'd make jam.

EllanVannin Fri 05-Apr-19 10:14:51

My mum often used to stew figs and give us the juice. Prunes too !
We had both fruits with home-made custard. Yummy.

merlotgran Fri 05-Apr-19 10:27:26

Our fig tree is planted in an old tin bath that I picked up at auction for £2. We sunk the bath into a large hole in a south facing part of the garden and I expect the bottom has now rusted out allowing roots to escape but that won't matter as their spread will be restricted and I no longer have to water it regularly.

It's about five years old and doing well but last year was disappointing. I'm estimating about 20 figs this year - fingers crossed.

Alima Fig tarte-tatin is delicious.