Ox, the winter of 98/99 our Chicago Hardy was killed to the ground by a late spring frost. Then came back with sprouts from the root system. Around the end of July of last year I read about pinching on the forum. Stating that one should start pinching at the 6th leaf. For us here in this part of Connecticut, that is some time around the first of June. It was around the end of July. But, I figured I had nothing to lose. So, I pinched. In about three weeks three figs appeared. Around the first of November one of the figs ripened, and had a average taste. Considered that it was pinched so late and that we had a very cold summer, it was better tasting then the fresh Mission figs I had been buying, The other two figs never ripened.
We seem to have a lot of problems with our Chicago Hardy. Last year I ran out of rat poison so did not bury the Chicago Hardy with poison. Of course it was the only fig plant out of the nine we buried that was eaten up by the mice. The mice not only ate all the bark above ground, but also the root system down to about two feet into the ground.
So, it was not until the first of June that new Chicago Hardy shoots came up. Around July 1st it was about three feet high and I started pinching.
This year I'm pinching about three weeks ahead of what we did last year. So, that alone with the fact that this has been a very hot summer I'm testing to see if we can get a better result then last year.
On top of pinching this year, I also scored on the shoots starting about six to seven leaves down on the four shoots I kept. Under each leaf petiole I scored about 1/16 of an inch into the green bark. Or until white latex came out. Then applied about a gallon of Miracle Grow, Bloom Booster. At each daily watering the Hardy Chicago gets sprayed with the Bloom Booster. This weekend we will be placing black plastic under each fig plant
So, with pinching, scoring, Bloom Booster, black plastic heavy watering, and oiling we are testing to see whether or not figs can be grown with heavy mulching, like perennials, here in our part of Connecticut
If your fig fruits are already the size of marbles, depending were you are located, I would think you would have a good chance of getting ripe fruit, this year.
Of the one year old fig plants we planted, bent to the ground and buried last year we have about 45 fig fruits, so far. The fig fruits range in size from pea size to marble size.
What part of the country are you in Ox?