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Subject: Kathleen's Black Replies: 40
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,840
 
Herman, are you saying that Kathleen's Black is a Mission variant?

Bob-zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Breba New World. Replies: 114
Posted By: robertharper Views: 23,621
 
Hello, Abraham.

We are in a cold climate also. A zone 5b/6a. As far as I'm aware, I have only seen the word breba. Not Breva. But, then I have only been into figs for maybe 6 to 8 years

Our Breba crop of Bayernfeige Violetta, is just starting to ripen, here in Connecticut, on August the 17th. So, it's well beyond Spring here. We are in the process of trying to learn how to grow a breba crop of Bayernfeige Violetta, in ground here.

Although Violetta produces hundreds of main crop figs here, we have only been able to harvest about 12 of the breba crop for the last two years. But, that might be because we have not learned yet, when to stop removing late main crop fig embryo.

One of the form members, Herman2, might be your best bet for obtaining information on breba crops, for a zone 6.

Bob- zone 5 Connecticut




Subject: Kathleen's Black Replies: 40
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,840
 
Gene Hosey, once told me that once I tasted his Kathleen's Black, I would want to feed Hardy Chicago to the pigs. That's high praise, when you consider that both Deisler, and Ray Givens consider Hardy Chicago one of the best tasting figs.

Our plant has been in ground now for two years, with winter protection. But each winter it has been killed down to the ground. It seems for us to enjoy it, it will  have to be better winter protected then we have done in the past.

Although we specialize in cold hardy figs for the north, we are willing to put up with it's cold sensitivity, and keep trying to get it to bear here.

Bob-zone5 Connecticut



Subject: Breba New World. Replies: 114
Posted By: robertharper Views: 23,621
 
Dennis, I'm happy to hear of your evaluation of Florea. I have also heard reports out of Rhode Island, that it is performing well there also. We have a young plant of Florea, that we receive just this summer, form one the forum members. It was simply a small rooted cutting when we received it. But, it has been a very strong grower here. We stopped using fungicides/insecticides this spring. Bad idea. We had our worst out break of FMV, that we have ever had this year.  

So far, Florea has been one of about three figs that appear to be very resistant, to the FMV out break. The other two are Marseilles Black VS, and Danny's Delight. I'm wondering if that is a big factor in why these three are so cold hardy.

Herman, any idea of why Florea taste so good for Dennis, in South Carolina, and also in Rhode Island, but not in your part of New Jersey?

If Rhode Island was close to South Carolina, I would guess at it being the heat. But the weather in Rhode island is closer to the weather in Connecticut, then South Carolina.

Bob -Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Toni's Brown Italian aka TBI Replies: 3
Posted By: robertharper Views: 971
 
Dennis, are you saying the first two figs on your TBI were breba?

Bob - Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Best figs at your location Replies: 308
Posted By: robertharper Views: 76,644
 
LOL. Face it Dennis. With a list that long, and all the WOWS, you like all figs. LOL.

Dennis, can you describe more about Toni's Brown Italian?

Such as it's flavor profile?

When it ripens in comparison with Marseilles Black VS?

Where did it originate?

How cold hardy is it?

Does it have a open or closed eye?

Is it your sweetest brown fig, or your sweetest of all your figs?

Thanks.

Bob - Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Improved Celeste Breba got ripe,now pix: Replies: 9
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,254
 
Herman, we have one strong growing plant of Improved Celeste from cuttings we purchased from you, last year. It's already two feet or more, and appears to be a very strong growing, healthy plant.

Have you been able to determine whether the improved Celeste is more or less cold hardy then the regular Celeste?

From what I have read, regular Celeste is hardy to around O degrees Fahrenheit.
Are you aware of any of the cuttings you have sold of this Improved Celeste, being grown any where in the country where it has endured temperatures lower then 0 degrees Fahrenheit, without winter protection?

Bob - Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Long D'aout cold hardy? Replies: 14
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,276
 
We have a fig that was sold to us as Hardy Chicago, from a reputable nursery.

The Hardy Chicago that we grow is not the same, as the Sal's EL that we grow.

Yes, it is said that at one time Michale at Edible landscaping thought that maybe Hardy Chicago and Sal's EL was the same. Michale has been growing and selling figs long enough to know something about different figs.

But, in my opinion this is what has happened with his Hardy Chicago, and why Michale may have been wondering if they were the same.

Michale, like a lot of retailers, was buying his figs from a wholesaler who was in the south. Once Hardy Chicago got into the trade it was propagated by wholesalers. Some where along the line, the wholesalers became aware of the fact that Hardy Chicago was an Italian Ever bearing fig. Growing hundreds of different plants, if not thousands, most wholesalers do not have the time for in depth research on the plants they sell. At least not as well as fig collectors.

So once Hardy Chicago was identified as Italian Ever bearing. The wholesalers started to propagate large numbers of Italian Ever bearing, from different sources for cuttings. I think they may have done this because they did not realize that Although all Hardy Chicago figs are Italian Ever bearing, not all Italian Ever bearing figs are Hardy Chicago. Then some how they started cuttings of Sal's EL. Because some one told them it was Hardy Chicago.

In my opinion figs tend to mutate rather easily. So, somewhere alone the line an Italian Ever bearing fig became more cold hardy then others. Maybe from growing in a cold climate like Chicago, for a long time. 

Our hardy Chicago has been growing in ground here somewhere between 6 to 8 years. It was our first fig, and our first attempt at growing figs in a cold climate. All though the fruit, and leaf looks just like a Italian Ever bearing and other Hardy Chicago's that we have seen and tasted, it is a dismal performer here. Although planted in a micro-climate here, in the V of our chimney. It dies to the ground just about every year. It does not produce enough fruit to be worth the effort. It ripens to late in the season. But, it indeed does taste good. 

When there was no other cold hardy figs to chose from, it was the best fig for northern gardeners. But, now there are at least a dozen or so figs that can be grown through zone 6.

As to Long D'aout, we have no experience ingrowing it. So do not have any information that we can offer. But, I would imagine that long D'aout has to be tested by others in cold areas before we know what it will do. So, try it and post your findings. We, for one, would welcome your postings as to how it performs for you.

Hope that helps.

Bob - zone 5 Connecticut



Subject: Long D'aout cold hardy? Replies: 14
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,276
 
We started doing research into identifying, locating, and testing cold hardy figs, maybe 6 -8 years ago now.

The first thing that we noticed was that what the French consider to be cold hardy, is not cold hardy here, in our part of Connecticut.

From what I have been able to find on French cultivars of figs, is that the French consider cold hardy between plus10 degrees and down to maybe minus 4 degrees.

For Connecticut there are maybe a half dozen or so figs that might be considered cold hardy enough to plant out side without winter protection. Of course after they have become mature enough. Three to seven years is what most fig experts I have talked to consider mature.

It all depends on where your planting the fig. From what I can tell, most figs the French consider cold hardy, are only cold hardy through 6b. Even there it has to be planted in a protected spot.

If I remember right Connecticut has zones that run from 8, right next to the shore, to 5, were we are located.

Paul Tracesky tested Sal's EL about 30 miles north of us, back in the nineties. It was the only fig he kept from his collection of figs that he was testing for cold hardiness.

He told me that he felt that Sal's EL was even more cold hardy then Hardy Chicago. But, then there may be many more figs more cold hardy then Hardy Chicago. Even though Paul selected Sal's EL as the one fig to keep, after his testing, he still had it planted in a protected spot in his yard, and covered it in the winter with tarp.

The only figs we suggest to new growers in zone 5, for planting out side, with winter protection is Sal's EL. Which has become the gold standard for zone 5 locations in Connecticut. 

But, Marseilles Black VS in my opinion is even more cold hardy then Sal's El, and a lot more cold Hardy then Hardy Chicago.

We have only been able to identify maybe three figs that  might  be cold Hardy enough to survive winters in our cold zone 5, part of Connecticut. They are Marseilles Black VS, Hanc's English Brown Turkey, and LaRadek's English Brown Turkey.

We are in the process of growing and testing those three. Marseilles Black is the only one that we have been testing long enough, to think it might be even more cold hardy then Sal's EL.

Growth of less then one year old Marseilles Black VS, withstood a low temperature of 5 degrees Fahrenheit last winter, without any winter protect. Except for some leaves we raked over it's root system. The top 12 inches or so of the little whip, was not covered with anything. So far Marseilles Black VS looks very promising, for zone 5 locations in Connecticut.

Also, there are many factors that will effect how a fig handles cold weather. Such as, whether or not it's planted in a dry or wet spot. Whether it gets enough sun during the summer. How much fruit it was allowed to bear the last summer. How much winter wind protection it gets. How does it handle FMV. Did it originate in a cold part of the world? How much fertilizer was it given during the summer. How much fig experience growing does the grower have?

I think until enough fig growers have been able to test the other new supposedly cold hardy figs, Marseilles Black VS will in my opinion become the new gold standard for growers who want to grow figs in zone 7 through zone 5.

The biggest advancement that we made in growing figs here in zone 5, was to stop thinking that a fig could be grown like the apples and pears we grow.

Hope that helps.

Bob - zone 5 Connecticut   

Subject: Zone 6 unprotected figs. When? Replies: 5
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,248
 
From what research we were able to come up with, Nordland Befeige appears to be only cold hardy to around 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Way to tender for our location. Blue Celeste might be about  the same in cold hardiness. Herman2 would be the best source for information on Blue Celeste.

In our location. we need figs that are at least cold hardy to minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, ripen it's fruit early. The only fig we have been able to come up with, that meets those requirements is Marseilles Black VS.. The mother tree has survived minus 18-19 degrees in Columbia Maryland.

Hardy Hartford actually ripens it's fruit around three days before Marseilles Black VS. But, is only cold hardy to around a 6b. It has been growing in Hartford, CT. for at least 30 years, in a protected spot. But, without any winter protection.

The only other two that we have been able to identify, that might also be as hardy as Marseilles Black VS, is Hanc's English Brown Turkey (might in fact be a cold hardy variant of Southern Brown Turkey) and LaRadek's English Brown Turkey.(It's breba crop is reported to be able to survive the winters of the Czech Republic without winter protection)We just received Hanc's  English Brown Turkey, and LaRadek's English Brown turkey this year. So it will be sometime before we can draw in conclusions, if they will be as Cold hardy as Marseilles Black VS.

So far Marseilles Black VS, might just end up being the gold standard for cold hardy figs. Mother tree has endured minus 18 -19 degrees Fahrenheit, Bears heavy crops early, disease resistant, cuttings root easily, handles cold wet summers, and taste good if left long enough on tree.

Also, Bass at trees of Joy has several varieties that are cold hardy. 

Hope that helps.

Bob-Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Zone 6 unprotected figs. When? Replies: 5
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,248
 
Are you looking for figs for zone 6a, or 6b?

Zone 6 b; Violetta Bayernfeige, Hardy Hartford, Hardy Chicago, Sal's EL, Danny's Delight, Brooklyn White, Bornham's Diamond just to name a few of the better known ones.

6a Marseilles Black VS, LaRadek's English Brown Turkey, Hanc Mathies's English Brown Turkey, Sal's EL.

All of the above will need winter protection for the first three to seven years. Until they become mature. There are some F4F form members living in New Jersey and growing figs outside without serious winter protection.

We found that winter hardiness was only one thing one needs to understand, to grow figs in a zone 6. You will also need varieties that can handle early and late frost. Ripen early enough to beat the first frost. Resist rain and cool summers.

We found that no variety had all the attributes we wanted. But, if I had to make the choice of keeping only three, they would be Marseilles Black VS, most reliable. Sal's EL one of the sweetest. Hardy Hartford, the best taste.

Tips and tricks?: Start off with only varieties proven to be cold hardy. Read all the post on F4F. While your in the process of reading and learning, obtain a Marseilles Black VS, and plant it in a protected spot. It is the one we recommend the most for the beginner. Bend it to the ground, and cover with soil and protect from moisture for the first three years. Then when you leave it out side unprotected, at least mulch the root zone.

Hope that helps.

Bob - zone 5 Connecticut

 


Subject: Gino in part sun? Replies: 34
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,838
 
Dennis, Herman's mature Gino's fig has a bluish tint to it's leaves. are you saying that Don Fortisi's fig also has a bluish tint to it's leaves, also? 

Dennis, does your Don Fortisi fig taste the same as your Gino's fig

We got our start of Gino's from cuttings we purchased from Herman last year. For us it is a very easy fig to root. We had a 100% rooting success with Gino's fig.

It is the exact opposite of Hanc's English Brown Turkey. I have never seen a fig so hard to propagate as Hanc's English Brown Turkey. Even Our air layering failed, with it.

Dennis we also find that Gino's appears to be a lot more winter hardy then Don Fortisi's fig. We had about 50% die back on Don Fortisi's figs last fall, and no die back on Gino's, from early frost.

Bob - Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Gino in part sun? Replies: 34
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,838
 
Herman, how old was your Gino's fig before it started having that bluish cast to it's leaves?

Not sure about the slow growing. around 25% of the ones we bought from you, are now about three to four feet tall, after being rooted now for 14 months. he other 75% are around 3 to 3 feet in height.

We used the same potting soil for all of them.So, not sure why 75% are slow growers, and 25% are rapid growers.

Bob -zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Gino in part sun? Replies: 34
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,838
 
Herman, do you consider Gino's fig better tasting then Kathleen's Black fig????

Bob - zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Hank Mathies Replies: 18
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,138
 
Not really a, "Mea culpa" Frank.

It's hard to know when a person's name you have heard, is spelled differently from what is normal. Or you read it in the past and then forget how it was spelled.

I do it all the time. My excuse is I'm an old guy.

But, what you did was to create a discussion that informed a lot of new fig growers know who some of the people were. People who led the way for a lot of us in selecting figs for certain attributes.

It saves a lot of time if those of us who want figs for different things are able to select from those who have gone before us.

Bob - zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Hank Mathies Replies: 18
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,138
 
Dennis, I never met Hanc either. But, I hear other fig collector friends talk about him, when I'm talking to them.

They tell me Hanc, was among a hand full of fig collectors who regularly  traded cuttings, back in 1990's, with people Paul Tracesky, Bill & Chris at Belleclare,and Michael at Edible Landscaping.

I think it's nice that he is remembered by so many fig collectors. Even by those of us who never met him.

Dennis, I have always wondered why Zanino's Garden Center called their version of Atreano, Golden Atreano? Is it a mutation of the original Atreano, and does it taste better then the Original Areano?

Bob - Zone 5 Connecticut

  


Subject: Hank Mathies Replies: 18
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,138
 
Your right about Long Island Green.

Paul Tracesky once told me that he thought His Sal's EL was more cold hardy then Hardy Chicago. Then we later learned that Hanc's English Brown Turkey was more cold hardy the Sal's EL. But, that Hanc's Long Island Green was even more cold hardy then his Hanc's English Brown Turkey.

We have been searching for Hanc's Long Island Green for years. We have been able to locate several sources stating they have it. 

We were also told that Hanc's Long Island Green did not taste as good as his Hanc's English Brown Turkey. Then alone the way Belleclare came up with a fig they simply called Long Island. Then the two got mixed up and now no one that we have talked to, knows which is which now.

Since our interest with figs is to find locate and test cold hardy figs for the north into zone 4, we would be very much interested in purchasing a plant or cuttings from some one who got their start of Long Island Green directly from Hanc.

Bob - Zone 5 Connecticut

 

Subject: Hank Mathies Replies: 18
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,138
 
Thanks for proof reading Herman.

I thought I had corrected all the incorrect words. But apparently I missed that one.

The correction has been made. The last thing we need is more name confusion with figs.

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut 

Subject: Hank Mathies Replies: 18
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,138
 
Hanc Mathies was a friend to many fig collectors,  and a true fig lover. Hanc collected several dozen different figs over the years, and tested them at his Long Island location. He passed many of them on to BelleClare, Paul Traceski, Michale at Edible Landscaping, and many more fig lovers.
 
 I have been told that in Hanc's later years he got tired of winterizing so many figs, each year. As Hanc got older, he kept only two figs out of the dozens he had. they were Atreano, which in my mind is one of the best white figs one can taste. The other fig he kept was a English Brown Turkey. a Brown Turkey that became known as Hanc's' Mathies English Brown Turkey.
 
I had been told that Hanc's English Brown Turkey was very, very hard to propagate. So this spring a good friend and fig collector sent to me a small plant of Hanc's English Brown Turkey. Being aware of it having a reputation of being difficult to root, I decide to air layer part of it. This is the only fig I have not been able to at least air layer.So, it does appear to be hard to propagate.
 
Hanc stumbled across his English Brown Turkey from Miller's Nursery in up state New York. and they had obtained it from a wholesaler somewhere in the South.Several collectors have tried to obtain the same English Brown Turkey, from Millers over the years, that Hanc serendipity found.
 
Later when some collectors had trees big enough to show to the rest of the fig collector world, Herman believes that it really is not a English Brown Turkey. But, that in fact it's a variant  of Southern Brown Turkey. I tend to agree with Herman, as to it's true identify. If it's really an English Brown Turkey, then it's the smallest English Brown Turkey, that I have every seen. 
 
In my mind it makes no difference as to the name. only that out of dozens of Hanc's figs, the only two he decided to keep were his Hanc's English Brown Turkey, and Atreano. Both are outstanding figs. 
 
Hanc's English Brown Turkey is more cold Hardy then Atreano. Some believe it can be grown as far north as zone 4b, WITH WINTER PROTECTION. It's biggest drawn back appears to be the difficulty in propagating it.
 
 
Although I would only rate Atreano as being cold hardy through zone 7, Atreano is a. must have fig for the collector. There are now several different nurseries selling what they are calling Atreano. If you want a true Atreano, I would suggest one do some home work to make sure you get the right one. 
 
Noss, says it has an explosion of flavor, when one bites into it. Plus, it is a very heavy bearer.
 
Thank you Hanc Mathies for two outstanding figs.
 
Bob, zone 5 Connecticut
 
 
 
 
 

Subject: Sal's EL - Breba crop Replies: 2
Posted By: robertharper Views: 802
 
No, we do not have any other Brown Turkey, as far as I know.

From what I have read Brown Turkeys are heavy bearing figs. But, the biggest problem that most growers, in the north, complain about, is the fact that Brown Turkeys do not ripen all of their crop.

Herman, rates the breba crop of Violetta at a 10. So, this year we are going to try to only ripen the breba crop of Violetta. Last year over half the main crop never reached maturity, before it was hit with frost.

That is why I was looking for information on the breba of Sal's EL. It would be nice to have at least two different figs for a breba crop.

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut  

Subject: Pastiliere Main Crop Replies: 8
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,036
 
Martin, how old is your Pastiliere?

Has it been able to hold it's main crop in the past?

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Sal's EL - Breba crop Replies: 2
Posted By: robertharper Views: 802
 
In checking for Breba this year, Violetta has out performed all the other dozen or so cold hardy figs we are testing.

Sal's EL comes in second. But, I was wondering if there is any one who can comment on the quality of the Sal's EL breba crop. This is it's third year in ground for us, and the first time it has produced a breba crop.

Is it worth keeping or should it be removed, since Sale's EL is a late ripening fig to start with???????????

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Negretta Main Crop - Colorful Replies: 13
Posted By: robertharper Views: 930
 
Martin, I have also read that Negretta is a very sweet fig. In your opinin how does it's sweetness compare to, Celeste, or White Trinna?

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut 

Subject: Negretta Main Crop - Colorful Replies: 13
Posted By: robertharper Views: 930
 
Nice healthy looking plant Martin.

Martin have you been able to determine whether or not Negretta is more cold hardy then Hardy Chicago?

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Breba stay on after frost on April 28,pix. Replies: 25
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,004
 
Yes Gorgi, I'm sure. That is, I'm sure about the information we recovered in our research.

LaRadek Is listed by a few European growers as having survived a winter in the Czech Republic to minus 18 degrees Fahrenheit. The American mother tree of Marseilles Black VS, is in Columbia, Maryland. The weather station there listed a winter low there of between 18-19 degrees below, Fahrenheit, two to three years before Warren shared cuttings with Herman, and Warren lives in Columbia, Maryland. As to Hanc's English Brown Turkey, Miller's Nursery had it listed as being able to grow into zone 4b, with winter protection., when they were selling it. (They have since lost the variant that they sold to Hanc.

The rest, such as Danny's Delight originated in a zone 6a/5b part of Michigan. Or the originators/finders classify it as cold hardy for them. Hardy Hartford has been growing in Hartford for over thirty years without winter protection. Although it is planted were it is protected from winter winds. Hartford is a zone 6b. I don't think Hardy Hartford is a cold hardy enough for our zone 5, without some sort of winter protection, from the wind.

As an  experienced fig grower your self, you know that cold winter hardiness is conditional. The figs age before it is exposed to the cold? Whether the it is grown in dry spot or wet spot. Was it allowed to reach maturity before being left exposed to winter cold. Was the new growth, and number of fruits controlled before winter set in.

Although all of the figs being tested by us are considered winter hardy, to a certain point, they cannot be grown like a newly planted apple or pear tree, and left on their own. We had nothing but failure after failure when we first tried to grow figs here. It took a lot or reading, research, talking to other fig growers, before we started getting figs not to die to the ground, and fruit for us.

So, I don't think any one who does not understand that a fig is a fig, and not an apple or pear tree, will not be able to grow figs in a cold winter area of the country. Even so called cold hardy figs are still figs. They do not become hardy until the are mature. (Three to seven years)? They do not like winter wind. They do not like cold wet ground.  Their growth has to be controlled. There crops have to be controlled. 

I don't suggest even cold hardy figs to the casual grower.If your not willing to learn what the fig needs, and willing to look after it. Then one should not waste ones money.

I hope that clarifies better the label. "Cold Hardy", and what we are doing here

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Breba stay on after frost on April 28,pix. Replies: 25
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,004
 
Eli, most of our figs that are in ground are only three years old, and have not been old enough to winter test without winter protection.

The only other fig we have that would be old enough to test is a so called Hardy Chicago. But, I'm not positive it's Hardy Chicago. I say that because I bought it from a fellow collector and friend. It was bought at the same time he was having doubts as to whether Sal's and Hardy Chicago were the same. (They are not). at least the ones we have here.

Hardy Chicago was planted in the most favorable spot, we had. In the V of our chimney, and it has died back several times, to the ground without winter protection.

So far the only fig we would recommend for a cold area, would be Herman's Marseilles Black VS.

It maybe cold hardy down to minus 18-19 degrees Fahrenheit, once it is mature. It has proven here it can be grown with under 6 hours of sun light, and in wet ground, and still produce an acceptable fruit. Plus, it will produce a lot.

We are testing about 12 or so others, that are considered cold hardy. Such as Danny's Delight, Hardy Hartford, Ronde de Bourdeaux, Brooklyn White, Beyernfeige Violetta, Abbruzzi, Hanc's English Brown Turkey, LaRadek's English Brown Turkey, Sal's EL, and Geno's. These have been rated as cold hardy between 0 to minus 19 degrees. But, we have not tested anything more then we have Marseilles Black, so far. So I would only recommend Marseilles Black as being cold hardy, from our testing. But, of course those rating are conditional.

However, Paul Tracesky did test about 30 miles north of us, Sal's EL for about 15 years. Although it bears late into the season, it is considered the gold standard for our area of Connecticut. I have been told that Paul use to pick them like dates late into the season. I have also been told that his winterizing consisted of simply throwing a tarp of his Sal's EL. I like the fact that they are sweet, even when picked in late October or early November. 

Bob, Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Breba stay on after frost on April 28,pix. Replies: 25
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,004
 
Pete - Both Florea and Marseilles Black VS come from Herman2, and Herman has always felt that Florea is not as good as it is in Europe, as far as flavor and taste.

So, since we have other cold hardy variants that have taste and flavor, there has been no reason to grow it here.

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: dragon mulberry Replies: 21
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,154
 
Pete, I understand that Silk Hope is good for the Southeast.

 If memory serves me right it was discovered by a well known NAFX member, Dr. Bullard. He states it is better then Illinois Everbearing. I believe Edible Landscaping and Burnt Ridge sell it.

Bob, Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Breba stay on after frost on April 28,pix. Replies: 25
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,004
 
Dawgdrvr, although all of our Marseilles Black VS figs are planted in the ground, they are all planted were there are wind breaks. That much wind just might kill any fig. If I could not plant in a protected spot, away from the wind, I would try to use some Wilt Pruf on them. Also, there is a new product finally out called FreezePruf. That might also help with the wind.

Since we have been bending all of our dozen or so different varieties to the ground, and covering them with soil, and insulation to keep them dry, we have not had to use either WiltPruf or FreezePruf yet. But, I'm thinking about using it when we leave one of the  the three year old Marseilles Black VS uncovered this winter. I have been told that Hanc Mathies used WiltPruf on his figs, to protect them from the wind.

As to other figs that might be as cold hardy as Marseilles Black VS. We have only been able to locate two other possibles; Hanc Mathies's English Brown Turkey. (Herman feels it's really a Southern Brown Turkey). I tend to lean toward Herman's identification. Since it is smaller then any English Brown Turkey that I have ever seen. I forgot which, but either Hanc or the nursery were Hanc bought it from, thought it might be able to be grown in ground as far north as zone 4b. (With protection) The other fig that some think might prove to be as hardy as Marseilles Black VS, is LaRadek's English Brown Turkey. Some growers in Europe are indicating it to, has survived minus 18 degrees Fahrenheit. It to is being grown in a protected spot up against the foundation of a house.

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Breba stay on after frost on April 28,pix. Replies: 25
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,004
 
That's why Marseilles Black VS needs more growers to test, in colder areas. 

From weather records, we know for sure the American mother tree has survived minus 18 to minus 19 degrees Fahrenheit below.

 Have not been able to reach Warren to see whether or not the top survive or not. Or to see whether or not it was able to bear a breba crop, the following Spring. But the tree most certainly survived. Because it experienced those lows two to three years before Warren shared cuttings with Herman.

From cuttings we purchased from Herman we were able to produce several trees. We sold all except for four. We have three in ground tress being tested for different things. One is planted in a very wet spot. One is being grown in a very cold spot, and one is being grown in a spot were it gets under 6 hours of direct sun light. Plus, we have one in a pot.

All produced figs that were more then acceptable last year. Even with the one planted in the very wet spot. Plus, last year was the wettest summer we have ever had. 

So far we finding that Marseilles Black VS, is not only cold hardy, but appears to be able to produce under less then ideal growing conditions.

This fall we will not winterize one of them, to see if it is able survive in a zone 5.

I would not be surprise if it turns out Marseilles Black ends up being able to be grown as far north as a zone 5, without winterizing, as long as it is grown in a protected spot.

Is there any one else who can report on Marseilles Black VS. Mainly how much cold it has taken at your place?

So far Herman and Warren's Marseilles Black VS has turned out to be the most versatile fig we have under test.

That was a great find Herman, thanks.

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut



Subject: Kathleen's Black additional information Replies: 24
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,757
 
Correction. I was suppose to have typed in Tokoma Park, Maryland. Not Tokoma Park, Washington.

Yes, some fig collectors think it may be Noire de Caromb, including Gene. But, some collectors think it is not. 

Yes, Gene gave it the name of Kathleen's Black. Named after the person who gave it to him. Chances are there may be hundreds of Kathleen's Black out there, since Kathleen bought it from a large mail order Nursery, some twenty years ago.

Dan, a fig collector and tester in Louisiana has a fig he calls Black Beauty # 10. Some think it  may be the same as Kathleen's Black.

There appears to be a lot of confusion as to the true name of Kathleen's Black. But, one thing is constant, the outstanding taste ratings it gets from all who have tasted it. That is except for people like Kathleen, who does not like any figs, Every one else I talk to seem to think it's one of the best figs ever. A must have fig, for those who are trying to find the very best tasting figs.

I only wish it was more cold hardy. But, with taste ratings that high, I will put up with the winterizing.

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut 

Subject: Kathleen's Black additional information Replies: 24
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,757
 
While going through some old emails, I ran across an email from Gene Hosey.

Gene, was telling me about Kathleen's Black fig. Gene said that he Obtained the fig from a friend by the name of Kathleen, in 2001. Although she was a gardener, she did not like figs. But, had bought the fig for her husband.

Gene said she had bought the fig from one of those large mail order discount nurseries, and had bought it some 20 years earlier, 1989?

Gene also, said that Kathleen's Black died back for him, the first couple years.
But, after that  it was cold hardy in his fig orchard. He also said that it is late coming into bearing. That seems about right. Since it was the only fig we have every had winter cold kill on, it's first year in ground. We had it buried under soil like the others we winterize. In checking the historical weather data for Takoma Park, Maryland, it seems that area is zone 7. Which means from what Gene told me, Kathleen's Black should be able be grown in zone 7, without winter protection, once it has become established, and maybe zone 6 and 5 with good winter protection. 

This, is when Gene told me that once I tasted Kathleen's Black, I would feed Chicago Hardy to the pigs. I thought that was very high praise coming from some one with as many figs as Gene has.

Our tree has been in ground now for two years, with no fruit yet. But, any fig that will make me want to feed Hardy Chicago to the pigs, I can wait.

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut



Subject: Newbie Says Hi Replies: 44
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,990
 
Welcome John. That fig looks like you will have no problem with growing other figs in Toronto. Your in good luck. There are several growers of figs in your area. Some of them post here often.

Bob, Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Frost was present last night,here in Willingboro NJ! Replies: 18
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,201
 
I learned my frost/freeze lesson here in Connecticut. I caught several times by the weather man missing the low. So, now any time they say it's going to be anything below 40 degrees I take precautions.

We have a weather station just 10 miles away. But, I have noticed at least a 5 degree difference in the temperature, between what is fore-casted on the weather channel, and our location.

They were forecasting temperatures of between 30 degrees and 35 degrees for this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We had to bring in all the figs, and place light bulbs at new pecan grafts.

Of the dozen or so variates we grow, Desert king potted has taken the cold worst then any other with small stems being killed from temperatures under 40 degrees .The one year rooted Gino's, seems to hate the cool/cold weather a lot. The leaves get saggy.

Bob, Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Frost was present last night,here in Willingboro NJ! Replies: 18
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,201
 
I learned my frost/freeze lesson here in Connecticut. I caught several times by the weather man missing the low. So, now any time they say it's going to be anything below 40 degrees I take precautions.

We have a weather station just 10 miles away. But, I have noticed at least a 5 degree difference in the temperature, between what is fore-casted on the weather channel, and our location.

They were forecasting temperatures of between 30 degrees and 35 degrees for this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We had to bring in all the figs, and place light bulbs at new pecan grafts.

Of the dozen or so variates we grow, Desert king potted has taken the cold worst then any other with small stems being killed from temperatures under 40 degrees .The one year rooted Gino's, seems to hate the cool/cold weather a lot. The leaves get saggy.

Bob, Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Colasanti Dark Replies: 20
Posted By: robertharper Views: 3,019
 
Can any one post more history on Colasanti Dark? 

Such as were it originated.
 
Has any one been growing it out side in Canada, in a zone 5, for any length of time?

How does it compare in cold hardiness to Marseilles Black VS, or English Brown Turkey.

Does it ripen all of it's fruit before frost?

Is any one getting ripe fruit from it in zone 4? 

Is there any one in the states who would be willing to trade cuttings of Colasanti Dark, for either Hardy Hartford, or Gino's cuttings?

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut 

Subject: Colasanti Dark Replies: 20
Posted By: robertharper Views: 3,019
 
Is any one growing Colasanti Dark, in the ground, in Canada?

How does it stand up against Marseilles Black VS, for cold hardiness?

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: question for those growoing KB. Replies: 17
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,473
 
My KB has just finished it's second year in ground here. I received My KB plant also from Gene Hosey. It was kept in a 5 gallon pot it's first summer here. It was at least three feet, when we received it from Gene.

There was no fruit the first summer in the pot. No fruit the second summer either. If memory serves me right, this will be it's third summer here.

Although it was covered with 2 inches of dirt and insulation, It did sustain some winter damage, it's first winter here.

We are primarily interested in locating and testing figs for cold winter areas. As far as I can see, KB does not fit into that category. I hope that as it gets older it will become more cold hardy here. But, because of it's very high taste rating we plan on keeping it.

Gene Hosey, once told me that once I tasted KB, I would feed Hardy Chicago to the pigs. Although ours has not fruited yet, any fig that gets that high a rating from someone like Gene Hosey, who has tasted perhaps hundreds of figs, should be in every serious collectors collection

I'm planning on top working it onto rootstock that is in a warmer spot.

Bob, Zone 5, Connecticut




Subject: Beyernfeige Violetta vs Brown Turkey Replies: 13
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,071
 
We have Bayernfeige Violetta here in Connecticut. No fruit the first year. Second year unripe tasting fruit. Third year, the sweetest fig I have ever tasted.

It bears two crops here. In it's third year, 12 very large fruited breba. with good flavor. 
About 100 main crop figs middle to late October. Only about 25 ripened into figs so sweet, it attracted hundreds of flies. We had to put out fly traps, and had to cover the figs to keep the flies off of the fruit.

The only Brown Turkey we have is one very small plant. So, I have not had a chance to compare them side by side.

I was planning on top working the Bayernfeige Violetta this coming Spring. But, we both like very sweet  tasting figs, and Violetta taste fig syrup to me/ So, we will keep it.

I tend to agree with Herman on the fruiting. One may have to limit the number of breba and main crop to avoid having so many still green figs left, when frost hits. Right now I'm thinking maybe only a breba crop. Or remove the breba crop and only keep maybe 25-40 main crop figs.

Our tree will be going to it's fourth year, this year, and it is already may 8-10 feet tall.

My take is, there are maybe thousands of Brown Turkey figs. Different sizes, flavors, different textures, and maybe slightly different looking leaves, and growing habits. Bayernfeige Violleta could be a member of the Brown Turkey family.

But, if you like big breba fruit and super sweet figs give it a try. I think that may be the reason why it's under patent.

I got my start from Lucile Whitman, at Whitman's Farm on the west coast. 

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: one season plants overwintered inground successfully Replies: 12
Posted By: robertharper Views: 943
 
Grant, we have been planting young figs into the ground, off and on, for around 6 years. have never lost any, and we are in a zone 5. 

We always apply mice poison and that has in the past been a good control. Though we have not uncovered any figs to inspect them this year.

Last fall we bent to the ground around dozen different figs. We then cover them with earth, then aluminum insulation, and finally leaves.

We will start attempting this year to over winter them by growing some horizontally next to our basement wall, and simply covering with leaves.

We have read in the past, of people being able to grow figs as far north as zone 4, by bending them to the ground and covering.

Where in zone 5 are you growing your figs?

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Best figs at your location Replies: 308
Posted By: robertharper Views: 76,644
 
Yes, she is using a dash verses a minus symbol.

I contact her as soon as I read her post, looking for additional information.

She replied, and confirmed that she meant 14 degrees Fahrenheit, not minus 14 degrees.

So, the search goes on for more additional information on cold hardy figs.

This Spring, we should all be getting a lot of additional information from fig collector friends in Europe. It looks like, just like last year Europe is getting cold and snow as far as Italy.

As far as Marseilles Black VS, being the same as Hardy Chicago, don't think so. I have two plants that are suppose to be Hardy Chicago, from Edible Landscaping. Have had them for about 6 years, and ten feet away I have two Marseilles Black VS, Plus, one in a pot, and another Marseilles Black VS, planted in a more cold spot, for testing.

Hardy Chicago will be topped worked this Spring. It simply does not produce enough fruit, for the space it takes up. Not to mention the that fact it is no way as cold hardy for us, as it's been reputed to be. 

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut


Subject: Best figs at your location Replies: 308
Posted By: robertharper Views: 76,644
 
Landscapewitch, very interested in your cold weather experience, with Marseilles Black VS.

How old was the Marseilles Black VS, when it was hit with the minus 14 degrees Fahrenheit temperature????????????

 Did the minus 14 degree temperature kill the top?????????

We are testing for cold hardiness in figs here in a zone 5 part of Connecticut, and have 4 plants of it. that we have planted out side.

In our research of Marseilles Black VS, we found that it has taken a low of minus 18 to19 degrees Fahrenheit, and if memory serves me right, around 1998. At that time the original tree planted in America was over 50 years old.

We have not been able to confirm whether or not the top was killed. That is why I'm interested to know whether or not the top was killed on the Marseilles Black VS, that you have, at minus 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thanks for your feed back

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Bob 
  

Subject: New USDA cold hardiness zones Replies: 42
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,683
 
Your lucky Bass.at least you can still grow Oriental persimmon, at you place.
 
I could never figure out why, you were able to grow Oriental persimmon and we could not. Every map we looked at said we were in a zone 6. But we always wonder how we could be a a zone 6, with winters that got in the past, down to minus 27 degrees Fahrenheit.

Then when we received the new cold zone classifications, we found that we had been designated to a zone 5.

If I had known we were in a zone 5, chances are we would have never started trying to grow and test figs here, for cold hardiness.

We have found all cold hardness maps very  confusing. If one checks the historical weather data, at Underground weather, it shows your area Bass, with a low of minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit, in 1994.

At least it prompted us to try harder to find those cold hardy figs, that we did find.

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut



Subject: First class parcel mail Replies: 8
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,235
 
No, the post office does not deliver within 3 days maximum, for first class.

It has been taking as long as 5 work days for some of our first class mail to be delivered.

We had a package shipped by priority mail on the 18th of this month, from New Mexico. It arrived here on the 23rd of this month. Five days later. It looks like the post office is having a hard time trying to make deliveries on time.

If your going to use the post office, I would make sure the plants have plenty of dampness to keep them from drying out.

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Violetta Sweet surprise Replies: 7
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,751
 
Yes Alan, it's a very vigorous grower.

I'm guesstimating here, without being able to see the tree from were I'm sitting right now. I would say the tree is around 8 to 10 feet in height.

It does appear to have FMV on some of the leaves.But, so far this has not bothered the fruit or it's growth.

The only other information I can offer after three seasons of growing it here, is that the breba ripens here in August. Which means it is our first taste of fresh figs of the year. I'm hoping as it gets older, it can start ripening breba in July.

Bob, Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: very little to contribute.... Replies: 11
Posted By: robertharper Views: 685
 
Luak, were is Beaver Lake located and what variety of figs are you growing?

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Micro-climates Replies: 6
Posted By: robertharper Views: 633
 
Similar to Dominick,

We have planted on the south side of our house 7 figs. They are all up against a heated south facing basement wall. After they become mature and hopefully cold harder, we will leave them uncovered for the winter, as a test.

We started testing cold hardy figs about six years ago. At that time we thought we were in a zone 6. But, later found out we are in a zone 5. The micro climants do indeed make a big difference. The ground one foot or more from the basement wall, never freezes.

Hope that helps.

Bob, Zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Stark Bros. - Brown Turkey - what is it? Replies: 17
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,106
 
There must be a thousand different strains of Brown Turkey figs. So, I can't help you with identification.

However, I bought some of my first trees from Stark, some 37 years ago. After waiting for 10 years or so for my dwarf pear trees to pear, they finally did. But they were not dwarf. They topped out at over twenty feet high

So, I decided not to buy from any one who made me doubt what they would or would not ship; Then about 6 years ago, I read that they had been bought out. So, I decided to give them a second chance, and purchased a Flaming Fury Giant peach.

Then about two years ago it started to bear, and it turned out to be anything but a Flaming Fury giant peach

I really hate paying good money for a plant only to learn years later that it is nothing close to what ordered.

My experience has been when you buy from a lot of online nurseries you may or may not get what you ordered.

I will only buy fig plants and or cuttings from members of this form. Plus, a lot of collectors do not rate Brown Turkey figs that highly.

Hope that helps

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

Subject: Heatwave Replies: 15
Posted By: robertharper Views: 904
 
Does not sound good Martin. You weather always moves toward us in Connecticut.

Martin, is your garage attached or a stand alone?

Bob

Subject: Giant black german Replies: 15
Posted By: robertharper Views: 3,060
 
Marius, the first picture reminds me of a Brown Turkey.

Bob, zone 5 Connecticut

 

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