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Subject: Is there such a thing as too much water for air layer Replies: 11
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,152
 
I've had no problem doing them with a sopping-wet mix of compost and potting soil, but I'm in a dry climate. Here, they seem to root into anything as long as there's plenty of moisture in it.

Subject: best bird deterrent Replies: 32
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,849
 
They only sell large quantities--13'x820' for $245: http://www.amigoni.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=101&Category_Code=BNSM

Subject: best bird deterrent Replies: 32
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,849
 
It's all in how you apply the bird netting. If it's the right netting and it's installed correctly, it works great. I had great success with the netting Dave linked to (sold through Amigoni Vineyards) until some very tiny birds in my location figured out they could squeeze through the mesh. Now Amigoni sells a smaller, pale green netting which has openings small enough to exclude all birds and even the green fig beetles (aka green June beetles). The openings are so small that only tiny snakes or lieards could conceivably become trapped in it, so I'm planning to order a roll and put it to work.

It works best if it's supported by a framework (PVC works nicely) so it's not in direct contact with your tree, and it should be stretched enough to take up any slack, so it doesn't hang in limp folds where birds and other critters can get tangled up in it.

Subject: Anyone growing Black Jack from Almost Eden? Replies: 18
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,276
 
If you don't like the Quasimodo look, maybe you should let that new sucker keep going and see if it grows straight. They are often very vigorous and perform better than the original trunk--if that's the case, in a couple of years you could clip the old one.

Subject: First Ripe Black Madeira Fig of 2012 Replies: 5
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 945
 
Joe, it's a shame you've got all that research ahead of you--I hope your taste buds hold up under the strain. If it ends up being too much and you decide you need help, remember I'm less than two hours away....

Subject: Improved Celeste & Black Mission Replies: 10
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,137
 
I'm leaning that way myself, but I wonder if it's more psychological than anything? They just look better to me--I haven't eaten enough yet to form a valid opinion. Have any die-hard dark-siders ever tried a blindfolded taste test? It would be interesting to see if the preference is still as strong when the fig can't be seen.

Subject: Starting to happen! Replies: 11
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 904
 
Thanks, Jon, for the link to Giant Amber. Ironically, a smaller one that I sent to Texas has produced much larger fruit--obviously a manifestation of the famous Lone Star Syndrome.

Thanks, everybody else, for your comments. It was quite gratifying to be able to compare several varieties at once, and fun to set them up for a photo.

Joe & Ruben if any of the big green beetles find your trees, show no mercy. Once a few show up they lay eggs in the soil around your trees, and the grubs will munch the roots for much of the year; then, when the monsoon hits, the adults emerge from the ground in large numbers and eat any fruit they can find. In addition to figs they love peaches, apples, whatever--and in a couple of years you'll have hundreds laying their eggs, rather than just a few. I kill as many as I can catch and it still hardly makes a dent in the population.

Martin, those dark figs were just for you!

Gene, the size difference may be partly because the Tena started bearing last year, but this is the first season the Conadria has really ripened anything (it came close last year). Hopefully it will have bigger figs next year. Do you notice any difference in the growth habit? With no pruning, my Tena has a single trunk with lots of branches, but the Conadria is more-or-less a cluster of suckers with no main trunk.

The Celeste, Tena, Conadria, and VdB are cuttings from UCD (2010) and are in-ground. Giant Amber is also UCD 2010, but is in a pot because I'm not going to keep it. LSU Improved Celeste is a graft from this spring (thanks JD!). Improved Brown Turkey and Black Mission are about 12-15 years old, in-ground, from a local nursery. BM was cold damaged and has very few figs this year.


Subject: Starting to happen! Replies: 11
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 904
 
Today's harvest--the work, waiting, and water are starting to pay off! I assume most of these are still smaller than normal, but expect that will change over time. Most actually tasted pretty similar, but Celeste and VdB had an edge over the others. Tena was juiciest. The LSU IC could have used another day or two, but I didn't want it to miss the party, and I'll leave the next ones longer (it is from a graft I did this spring, which has grown like mad all season and has several more figs starting to ripen). I didn't realize I had a couple of nearly ripe Black Missions until a few days ago, when I was doing an air layer and noticed them hidden under the leaves--a nice surprise.

The BT wasn't ripe so I didn't bother to taste it, but I can remember them well enough from the past and the other figs were somewhat better--sweeter, and more dense. I included it for size comparison, and had to use an unripe one because all the ripe ones were either sour and disgusting, or being devoured by fig beetles (aka green June beetles) and even more disgusting (see photo). So, sadly, the BT has been sentenced to death--it will be shredded into mulch as soon as I have time to carry out its execution. It only gives about one day's harvest each year before the little sour beetles show up and start ruining the fruit, and then a few days later the big green guys show up to finish the job--so it's not worth the space or water. It will make room for an avocado, and soon all the figs will be growing inside the big cage, which will be re-netted with material small enough to exclude even the green beetles. More on that project another day!

Attached Images
jpeg figs_19_Jul_2012_cut.jpg (183.88 KB, 79 views)
jpeg figs_19_Jul_2012.jpg (166.16 KB, 62 views)
jpeg fig_beetles.jpg (96.60 KB, 65 views)


Subject: Air Layering/Propagation Help Replies: 7
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 754
 
The air layers I've done (3) on branches with figs didn't seem to affect the ripening process.

Subject: Figs at the Workplace Replies: 10
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 964
 
FMD--you're the kind of co-worker everyone should be lucky enough to have around!

Subject: Air Layering/Propagation Help Replies: 7
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 754
 
I once did a fairly large one (4 feet) late in the season, and was worried about cutting it loose too soon. I decided to wait until the tree dropped its leaves, and then potted it in a larger container more in  line with the size of the trunk and branches. It wintered in the garage, and in spring I moved it into full sun; it soon it leafed out and grew with no problems.

I'm finding it's pretty hard to mess up an air layer. As long as the rooting medium doesn't dry out, it seems to work.

Subject: What Can You Tell Me About LSU Gold? Replies: 25
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,877
 
Suzi, I received a 1-gallon LSU Gold from texascockatoos. It went right into the ground (Feb) and the top was about 6 inches above the mulch. It's now a single trunk nearly five feet tall (no pruning or pinching), with huge leaves like you describe, and several branches starting. It hasn't shown any sign of stress from the heat, although I fill its basin every couple of days. No fruit yet, but looking forward to next year. These shots are from more than three weeks ago.

Joe, your comment about "bland" is a little worrisome, since if anybody has enough heat to bring out the flavor, it ought to be you. How old is your tree? Could it be another of those varieties that improves with age?

Attached Images
jpeg LSU_Gold_leaf.jpg (103.79 KB, 71 views)
jpeg LSU_Gold.jpg (134.00 KB, 77 views)


Subject: 2012 Cutting progress so far ..(Grafting Vs. Rooting) Replies: 47
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 3,042
 
Ruvan, the monsoon has spurred growth in all of my "stagnant" grafts except Black Madeira, so I expect a decent size increase by the end of the season. However, I probably won't have time to air layer them this year as I had planned, so I'll have to protect the grafts this winter.

Subject: Yesterday's rain Replies: 13
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 913
 
Well, I must confess to having a weedy little postage stamp-sized lawn in the back yard.

Subject: Black Madeira Fig Starting To Turn Color Replies: 11
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,190
 
Outstanding! When it gets all the way there, let us know how it tasted (and don't give the birds a chance to sample it first)!

Subject: Yesterday's rain Replies: 13
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 913
 
Thanks all, glad you enjoyed the cactus & agaves. Here's a shot of some Queen Victorias, which I quite like. I had to pick those camera angles carefully; most of the yard could best be described as "rustic"--if you were trying to be kind!

Attached Images
jpeg Queen_Victoria.jpg (208.03 KB, 23 views)


Subject: Yesterday's rain Replies: 13
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 913
 
We got pounded yesterday with our first hard storm of the season--2.25 inches in two and a half hours. Fortunately no real damage--erosion in the front walk and driveway (both unpaved) and quite a bit of mulch washed away in my "anti-aviary" fruit tree cage. The plants are loving it!

Attached Images
jpeg driveway.jpg (168.50 KB, 57 views)
jpeg washout.jpg (199.99 KB, 59 views)
jpeg front_walk.jpg (164.04 KB, 62 views)


Subject: Joe's Jersey Replies: 37
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,757
 
Go luck to both of us, then--mine has had green figs for a few weeks, so maybe there's time. It keeps starting new ones too, so maybe I should remove everything that isn't already a decent size.

Subject: Joe's Jersey Replies: 37
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,757
 
Joe--I just read through this thread again, since you linked to it from your current Joe's Jersey post. Did you ever get ripe fruit off your Black Madeira last year, and if so, how was it, and when did it finally ripen? I think I'm in the same boat this year as you were last year.

Subject: Noss Replies: 17
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,136
 
Those are beautiful, Martin!

Subject: Joe's Jersey (Unknown) About To Ripen First Main Crop Fig Of 2012 Replies: 29
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,247
 
Great fig, Joe--I'm looking forward to seeing the photos when it's ripe. You may have answered this already in another post, but I don't remember--was the taste and size last year comparable to what you remember from the mother tree in NJ?

We got hammered with rain this afternoon--the rain gauge showed 2.25 inches in about two and a half hours, with a long break between a couple of major downpours. I haven't seen the aftermath in daylight yet, but my dirt driveway was running like a river and I'm sure other parts of the yard got some erosion. The plants are loving it though, and so am I, as long as there's not too much damage!

Subject: Mission Replies: 9
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 878
 
Looks great--how do you manage to get such rapid progress in Chicago, when in Tucson's heat and sunshine my in-ground, +- 10 year old Black Mission is nowhere near as far along? (Maybe it's because mine froze way back this year and has mostly re-sprouted from the base.) Anyway, nice figs!

Subject: Fraternizing With The Enemy Replies: 26
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,511
 
Loved it! With enemies like that, who needs friends?

Subject: UCR 135-15s breba Replies: 10
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 969
 
Jon, the main crop fruit is starting to dry up on the tree just like last year, so I guess I won't have anything ripe to compare to your photos, but I agree, mine looks nothing like what you've posted (leaves or fruit). I expect maybe the cuttings arrived mislabeled because I'm quite certain I didn't mix them up. I un-wired and bagged the cuttings one variety at a time, labeling each bag as the cutting was placed in it. At any rate, this seems like too much variation to be explained by tree age or local conditions such as climate or soil, so I'm guessing it can't be a real UCR 135-15s.

Attached Images
jpeg UCR_135-15s.jpg (109.26 KB, 17 views)


Subject: Excel figs ripening Replies: 9
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,207
 
Very nice, Dennis--your tree is loaded! I should get quite a few off my young tree this year also, but they aren't quite as far along as yours.

Subject: My 1st green cuttings started! Replies: 52
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,388
 
Thanks--I look forward to seeing how it grows in the desert!

Subject: My 1st green cuttings started! Replies: 52
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,388
 
Cecil--great job! Sorry, didn't see your earlier question till just now, but yes, that looks pencil-thick and perfect for grafting--but maybe an inch or two longer to leave room for the angled slice off the end. However, seeing how well yours rooted, maybe I'll be better off rooting than grafting.

Subject: Fig in Phoenix?? Replies: 28
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 5,329
 
Dominick, my trees have a harder time with the dry period just before the rains get started. They all perk up when the thunderstorms start, and usually begin a growth spurt. The only real monsoon damage I've had to the fig trees is from hail--I'm sure there'll be a lot of perforated leaves before the season is over.

Subject: Fig in Phoenix?? Replies: 28
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 5,329
 
Figfinatic, I can't offer much advice because my trees are still too young to draw many conclusions. Maybe frozenjoe or someone else from Phoenix will chime in with better information. Of the four varieties you mentioned, I have all but Atreano.

Conadria has grown the fastest and seems like it will be prolific, but I have yet to taste a fully mature fruit. I wouldn't count on Celeste due to its tendency to drop fruit in hot, dry climates (I'm ripening a few on my young tree, and they're pretty good, but many more drop off than actually ripen). By all accounts VdB should be the best of the three varieties we have in common, but my tree is still too young for me to speak from first-hand experience.

My Black Mission tastes very good and the Black Mission NL tastes even better, but neither seems to produce very abundantly (BMNL is still too young to judge accurately), and both have been cold sensitive in my yard--though in Phoenix they should be fine. I'm starting to lean toward some of the LSU figs--I have LSU Purple, LSU Gold, LSU Improved Celeste and LSU Scott's Black. They're all too young to have ripened fruit yet, but from what I've heard all should be very good bets here in Tucson.

Subject: Today's Harvest 2012 Replies: 9
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 839
 
Well, since only have one of these varieties is growing in my yard, I'm pleased to hear that I chose the best of the bunch (HC).

Subject: Anybody growing Ischia Green? Replies: 93
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 15,526
 
Very nice, Ruben. Looking forward to my tree following suit one of these years!

Subject: Celeste Dropping Its Fruit Again Replies: 24
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,504
 
Noss, mine is two years old from a UCD cutting. With such a nice rain, I didn't see any point in turning on the sprinkler.

Subject: Celeste Dropping Its Fruit Again Replies: 24
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,504
 
Unfortunately, I spoke too soon in my previous post--even with a nice rain yesterday and high humidity, it's dropping figs again. Oh well, at least a few of them are ripening!

Subject: Negronne breba 2012 Replies: 41
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,681
 
I looked Negronne up this morning on the Encanto varieties pages to get more info, and found I already have it. I didn't realize it was another name for VdB. That's good, because it means I don't have to go out and find one, and not-so-good because mine hasn't been very impressive so far. But, it's still young, so hopefully the fruit will get a lot better with time.

Subject: A little off topic Replies: 25
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,189
 
Plenty of coyotes in my neighborhood, occasionally roaming in packs of five or so. I haven't noticed them eating any figs yet, but that may be because there are so many rabbits around here. I'm pretty sure they were eating the low apricots a few years ago until that area was fenced.

Subject: Heat & Drought Damage: How Serious? Replies: 17
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,165
 
Hi John,

I had an emitter get dislodged from a potted outdoor fig (I think it was an Excel) which then lost all its leaves. I replaced the emitter and it quickly rebounded with no lasting problems.

BTW, the White Hybrid Unknown and LSU Purple are both doing great.

Best,
Ken

Subject: Celeste Dropping Its Fruit Again Replies: 24
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,504
 
My Celeste fruits started dropping as well so I tried a variation on Slingha's suggestion, reasoning that if some figs swell and split in the rain, maybe a little "artificial rain" would keep them from shriveling up so much in a dry climate. So, I moved a hose sprinkler to where it would spray the tree and ran it about fifteen minutes in the hottest part of the day for a couple of days. The fruit drop stopped; now one fig is nearly ripe and others are starting to darken. Could be coincidence, but I think I'll keep spraying them every few days and see what happens.

Attached Images
jpeg Celeste_3_Jul.jpg (80.46 KB, 50 views)


Subject: Negronne breba 2012 Replies: 41
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,681
 
Jason--the dead ripe shots always seemed to be a bit smaller than the others.  Is that coincidence, or do they shrink a little as they get fully ripe? Guess I'm going to have to find a Negronne; those look amazing.

Subject: Rafed , a class act Replies: 20
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,730
 
Yes, Rafed is definitely a good and generous guy!

Subject: A Fig producing Celeste Pix + count Replies: 45
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,012
 
Looks tight enough to stop any bugs. What a great tree--enjoy the harvest!

Subject: beautiful sight - off topic Replies: 18
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,282
 
Beautiful trees, Ben! Sure wish I could grow them in Tucson, but the winters are too cold.

Subject: Which of your fig(s) are up for elimination? Replies: 47
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,174
 
I had been planning to nuke my very prolific "Improved" Brown Turkey (which tastes delicious, by the way) because for the past few years the fruit has been soured by beetles. This year, however, it's ripening fruit and the beetles haven't appeared yet, so I've given it a temporary stay of execution. I also plan to toss a Giant Amber (prone to souring in my yard), a DIFIC0164-1 that I ordered by mistake from UCD back in 2010 (I read the wrong line on the order form), and a UCR 143-38 (although I'm second guessing because it continues to ripen quite a lot of decent fruit, despite being completely neglected. Who knows what it might do if I started taking care of it?

Subject: A Fig producing Celeste Pix + count Replies: 45
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,012
 
Cecil, it sounds as hot and dry there as it is here, so maybe my young Celeste will toughen up and stop dropping fruit once it's a little older. It's heavily mulched and gets enough water to keep a fish happy, but the figs still dry up and drop.

Do the figs from your neighbor's tree have a closed eye?

Subject: 2012 Cutting progress so far ..(Grafting Vs. Rooting) Replies: 47
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 3,042
 
That's impressive--congratulations! Only one of my grafts (LSU Improved
Celeste) is growing fruit; most of the others are showing little progress. There's usually a big growth spurt once the monsoon rains get under way, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the grafts will take off then, too.

Subject: Newspaper shield Replies: 7
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 959
 
Well, my BT tastes really good, so maybe it got mislabeled and is really a Sal's Corleone! ;)

Subject: UCR 135-15s breba Replies: 10
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 969
 
Jon--I was very careful with my labeling from the time the cuttings arrived to when it went into the ground, so I'm guessing the differences are due to either its young age or hot climate. Also, I've never had a Desert King--unless you're talking snakes. ;)

Herman--I know what you mean about apricots. We would pick them when I was a kid, and they were soooo good; then years later I would see these beautiful, huge apricots in the store, buy them, and be astounded at their absolute lack of flavor. Now I'm growing them myself, and both the smell and taste are absolutely wonderful. I saw some more of the giant, gorgeous ones at the grocery store tonight, and just for fun, sniffed one. Not even a bloodhound could tell that thing was an apricot--I might as well have been sniffing a piece of glass.

Subject: Espalier, sort of Replies: 35
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 3,747
 
Very nice!!

Subject: 1st LSU Gold Main Crop Fig of the Season Replies: 5
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 832
 
I got mine from Cathy Shepherd (texascockatoos) and it's very healthy, so hopefully that will make a difference. When I planted it this spring, it was only as tall as the bottom leaf.)

Attached Images
jpeg LSU_Gold.jpg (134.00 KB, 27 views)


Subject: A Fig producing Celeste Pix + count Replies: 45
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,012
 
Cecil, that's a great tree. In general, how hot has your weather been recently?

Subject: UCR 135-15s breba Replies: 10
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 969
 
Thanks guys, I'll keep my fingers crossed that time will work some major magic. Jason, we need to get you a huge double-bladed ax and a black hood--then I'll put a stick with your photo on it near any trees that aren't performing, just to get their attention.

 

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