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Tourandaddy

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi experts,

I rescued a poorly fig from my garden when I moved in and replanted on a south facing fence in a lined pit as suggested by the uk horticultural society.
I loved the Japanese style of growing so have trained two horizontals and cut the verticals off each year to grow again.
I have never had a ripe fig from a tree ever and would love for this one to succeed.
I do not know the variety but can only assume it's Brown Turkey or Brunswick perhaps ( two most common in the garden centres nearby)
The fig is watered via drip line everyday with approx 2 litres rain water and my moisture meter says the pit is not dry.
There are figs growing at each leaf and figs did not appear on last years growth only the new growth.
I pinch out the tops when they reach fence height (6ft)
This is its second year as moved in April 2014 and the horizontals are about 1.5" diameter now.

Are the figs yellowing to ripen or are they going to drop? Is there anything I should be doing differently as its only two years of growth?
Is Japanese the way to go in the uk or should I grow it differently.

I'd love some help with it so I can taste a fresh fig

I live on the south coast UK near Brighton if that helps with any zoning as I don't know how we do that here?

Thanks for reading

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haslamhulme

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Reply with quote  #2 
The leaves are a bit different from my English Broth Turkey and based on the leaves this is Definately not a Brunswick.It could be a Brown Turkey as there are some variants.

Figs here will try to ripen 2 crops,the main crop,which ripens on new wood(your verticals) and the Breba which ripens on last years growth.The main crop won't usually ripen in time for winter here,it is the Breba crop you want to place your bets on,and in your case it would look like you are pruning off each year the wood which that would form on.You could consider a permanent framework?

Safest bet might be to let it go dormant as it is and see what happens?,the current framework looks great.

Another thing to consider if this isn't a Brown Turkey it could be just about anything.


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Haroon,Birmingham U.K,Europe,zone 8

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haslamhulme

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Reply with quote  #3 
As for zoning I'm guessin you are Zone 8 or 9,some of the south and coast are considered zone 9,mainly around london(all that concrete storing heat),the bigger problem here is not the cold but the amount of sunlight you will get.You will get enough for figs,just depends which variety
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Haroon,Birmingham U.K,Europe,zone 8

Growing:40+ varieties
Wish List:Improved Celeste, Alma, Smith, Sultane, MBVS, Mission, Brooklyn White, Becane,LdA,Negronne,Petite Negri,LSU Champaign ,Lampeira Preta

Timo

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Reply with quote  #4 
I agree that this is not Brown Turkey or Brunswick. 

The fig that starts to yellow is a main crop fig. If the fig is starting to ripen now, this would be quite early for a main crop fig in the UK (but not impossible, I guess). Just wait and see what happens.



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Tourandaddy

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Reply with quote  #5 
Wow ok. Thanks haslamhulme, timo

I only considered Brown Turkey as I noticed a lot of the plants in the garden were from the local garden centre and went and looked at the figs there to see.

I didn't realise the UK figs might breba which is why I went Japanese.

I might see how it goes and then only prune half the verticals so I have alternating year old uprights?

How would I maximise breba survival? Pick off all the figs larger than a pea at the end of the season then cover up against frost?

I'm really stubborn and don't want to get rid till I've figured it out
haslamhulme

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Reply with quote  #6 
Even if it was from the garden centre and was labelled as Brown Turkey it doesn't mean it's brown turkey,brown turkey is the only fig most people know so nurseries will label everything and anything as brown turkey
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Haroon,Birmingham U.K,Europe,zone 8

Growing:40+ varieties
Wish List:Improved Celeste, Alma, Smith, Sultane, MBVS, Mission, Brooklyn White, Becane,LdA,Negronne,Petite Negri,LSU Champaign ,Lampeira Preta

VeryNew2Figs

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Reply with quote  #7 
It's a gorgeous plant. Hope you figure out how to keep the fruit from dropping.
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Timo

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Reply with quote  #8 

I think that the first thing to do is to find out what fig you have. Then you can decide how you will prune it. Some figs produce only brebas, some only main crop. There are also figs with 2 crops, but in our climate it is best to only grow one crop, at least when the trees are young (more reliable harvest, less stress for the tree, easier pruning).

If you only want to grow the main crop, then removing all the vertical branches is the way to go. For breba production, pruning half of the vertical branches would be a good strategy. There is a good video on youtube that explains how you can prune fig trees to maximize the breba crop (how to prune Desert King). The link to that video is also somewhere on this forum.

When the tree goes dormant, there is no need to pick off figs that are larger than a pea, just protecting the young branches from the cold during winter is enough. If temperatures don't drop below -5°C, I don't cover the branches.

Without a ripe fig it is difficult to tell what fig you have, but I think that White Marseilles is also quite common in the UK. Maybe your fig could be a White Marseilles?


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Tourandaddy

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks again chaps, I'm now fully appreciating how hard a diagnosis is!
The more I look at Brown turkey the more confusion I see as was mentioned. Label it that and all will buy it.
The lady in the house before doesn't know and said she just picked it up so I don't think,it will be anything rare.
Can't wait to try a fresh one as the descriptions sound amazing of any variety.
Fingers crossed and I will check out the breba vid Timo suggested.
drew51

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Reply with quote  #10 
The UK does not get as cold as I do and I have 6 cultivars ripen so far, main crop figs. So having a main crop ripen there now, I would suspect would be easy with some figs.
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ricky

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi TouranDaddy:

You need to understand Japanese method, It is more for main figs, and It is a package, you need to know what varieties work for this system and when and how to prune them, also They might use greenhouse at early spring and end of season.

I live in PNW, we have very weak sun, our climate is quite close to UK, Most people do not understand cool climate, UK = mild winter with cool summer, so I understand how hard to ripen figs here, In strong sun/warmer area E.X NEW York, It takes 3 months to ripen fig, we need 4 months+ to ripen fig due to cool climate, I walked on street last week, many fig trees with full of main figs, I am pretty sure that 80% of them are too late to ripen here.

Anyway, you should look for early ripen fig tree in your area, or vareities have big breba crop (San pedro) because main crop is not reliable, In our area, "Desert king" grows very well here with high productive, My 6 year old Italian fig tree only have 60 breba fig this year with 300+ main crop bigger than your figs and it will be all dropping ( very sad to see it), I am  going to cut it down and plant "Desert king", because 6 years old "desert king" tree, I should get 200+ big fig easily.






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hblta

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Reply with quote  #12 
pinching off the tops before they reach the top of the fence, when  they are maybe only 2 or 3 feet from the main branches will encourage earlier fruiting.
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Tourandaddy

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Reply with quote  #13 
More great info there chaps thanks.

Ricky, I'm hoping that the figs that are sold commercially here will be cool ripen varieties however not guaranteed. I will try breba growing next year by cutting out every other vertical this year and allowing the remaining to crop breba and new growth to replace the following year. I should have at least 6, 6ft tall shoots for breba next year.

If nothing happens then I think I will be begging for a cutting of a different type as the garden centres around here do not stock anything but Brown or Brunswick.

I do love that these things grow like weeds so to replace it should not take too long.
Thanks
Tourandaddy

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hblta
pinching off the tops before they reach the top of the fence, when  they are maybe only 2 or 3 feet from the main branches will encourage earlier fruiting.

Thanks hblta, will try that on the new growth next year and also see if main crop is viable.
nycfig

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hi Jez.  Nice structure on that tree and good job on the rescue.  Keep up the good work!

Don't worry about the variety.  You took the time to rescue and grow it like you have and did a great job.  It looks nice,
healthy and vigorous whatever it is.  If you really want to know what you have, get a second one of a known variety that
you'd like and plant it too.  :)

Can't tell if the fig that is yellowing is going to drop.  Has the tree dropped figs before?  I have plenty of trees (in pots)
that drop some figs for no particular reason and still ripen a very nice crop.  

I don't know much about growing in your climate but it looks like an equivalent to our USDA Zone 9?  May be similar to
growers in our Pacific Northwest.  I know we have quite a few on the forum and maybe they can chime in with some advice.
Otherwise, it looks like you might ripen a fig this year.  Probably lighter colored.  Knock off any smaller figs or fig embryos now
so the tree can concentrate on ripening what you have.  Keep pinching next year.  Get that tree a friend for next season.  You'll be fine.

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Tourandaddy

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Reply with quote  #16 
Thanks Danny,

As its only been there two years the figs that appeared last year did not ripen and hardened and dropped.

I thought erratic watering and the fact a well drained pit doesn't hold a lot of moisture so made sure to mulch this year and added drip watering every evening to keep the moisture up.

I didn't get any breba on the horizontal from last year which is why I asked if I was doing anything wrong as others in the uk say our figs produce breba.

Next year will be fun trying alternate uprights and pinching.

I might just get another variety just in case this one is no good and give it a head start.

Thanks

Jez
ukfigsteve

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Reply with quote  #17 
Hi Tour,

I agree with what people have written above, your tree is definately not Brunswick, it doesn't look like brown turkey either, as mine has mostly 5 lobed leaves, yours looks mostly 3 lobed, could be white marseilles?. 

I grow a few figs in pots and outdoors only the (first) Brebas crop will ripen in the uk. The main or 2nd crops will need a greenhouse for the extra heat and to wake them up a month or so earlier in the year.

To get a crop, assuming your tree will produce a breba crop, (depending on variety some only do a main crop) leave some wood, as you should start to see little bumps between the branches and the leaves in late summer, these will swell next year to become your brebas crop. I agree you could remove every other upright, then next year pinch the growing tip after one leaf has formed, it'll then form side shoots (which you could also pinch to control), but you ought to get some rip figs by august. You are also in pretty much the best place to grow figs in the uk, the industry used to be based at Worthing in the victorian times. Good luck :-)

Oh yes, there is another fellow on here called Vinny, his user name is kkk something, he grows loads of figs on the south coast, Bognor I think?

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Tourandaddy

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Reply with quote  #18 
Thanks ukfigsteve, obviously didn't research enough when cutting off the verticals as it looks like I was taking away my crop.
Time will tell.
Thanks again all
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