Register  |   | 

The search returned 357 posts

Only find topics started by paulandirene
Topics  |  Posts
Subject: My first VDB Replies: 15
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 756
M5allen, it will get better, I've had VDB figs that were incredible. My own VDB produced its first fig this year and it was very bland. However it was in a pot that was mostly in the shade transition due to a move, so that was expected.

Subject: Rafed deleted his account Replies: 52
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 2,830
Oh wow, that's a big loss. Rafed was a fountain of knowledge and extremely helpful. I miss him already...

Subject: Martin would be proud Replies: 7
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 413
Armando, Martin is "Dieseler". His long-declared dislike of light figs [a long running joke] means he would be very pleased by such a bountiful plate of dark figs.

Subject: One CRAZY story--for the love of figs! Replies: 57
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,617
Originally Posted by snaglpus
Since this incident, I started giving back. Over the years, I've given away, Celeste, Black Mission, Toni's Brown Italian, Green Greek, Pananas Purple, Marseilles Black, Purple Passion, Alma, Panchee, LSU Black, LSU Gold, and many others and not to mention cases of my fig jam.

Dennis, it's almost like Emilio was speaking from the grave, saying "Earn this! [by doing fig-related good]", like Sgt Miller said to Pvt Ryan at the end of Saving Private Ryan. 

Subject: Smart Pots/ Fabric Pots/ Root pruning Pots Replies: 16
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 3,722
I moved recently and put bare-root fig trees into 10 gallon Smart Pots [brown colored mesh bags. So far I like them.

I have limited growing area that is not yet set up, so as an interim measure I placed them in an area that gets maybe 4 hours of sunlight/day, about at the drip line of a landscaping tree. Not optimal amount of sunlight but for the rest of this season, it will have to do. At least they seem healthy. They are watered via drip irrigation, which I tapped off of a sprinkler line. 

After having read this thread, I went outside to check on my fig trees, I began pulling up on the edge of one Smart Pot, but heard and felt what seemed similar to Velcro being pulled apart.
I think a well distributed amount of fine root hairs have grown through the bag to the open earth below. A slight tug on another Smart Pot produced the same results.  So, it seems the fig trees are getting extra nutrients from the earth, while the landscaping tree is getting extra water. Both parties seem happy about this situation. 

Subject: Fig Fiesta 2014 Replies: 52
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 2,633
I signed up. I had to hold out because I had learned that we would be throwing a party for my parents that same day [it's 60th anniversary of their first date; they got married by the end of that year].
They have insisted that their party can be in the late afternoon, so I'm all set to attend both. And, I'll bring olives again.

Subject: Please pray for MH17 Replies: 4
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 508
Indeed, they and their families are in our prayers.  Peace.

Subject: Bird netting - Replies: 16
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 2,338

I saw this on my morning walk. Someone has used one of those expandable 'party tent'-type frames as a support for their bird netting. Pretty good idea, especially I see these types of frames with bad fabric for sale quite often.


Subject: Plant tags,Cheap at Lowes Replies: 4
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 472
Great tip Jake, I use aluminum mini blinds too and they work great. I encourage people to not only try the big box stores but also the local window coverings stores. Not having the same trash capacity as the big stores, the small stores are usually very glad to see the 'bad' blinds go elsewhere than their dumpster, and will usually give them to you for nothing more than a smile.

Subject: Do you seal cuts on big branches? Replies: 11
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,883
NMSU is my Alma Mater, go Aggies! :)

One of my neighbors here in San Diego has a Mission fig tree that must be 30+ years old. At about 3 feet off of the ground, the trunk splits in two. One of split-off trunks is doing fine, while the other trunks has signs of insect infestation and is putting out just a few weak leaves. At first guess, it seems that it needs to be removed.  (The tree does have some good suckers coming up. I have told him he should train the strongest as a replacement for the branch that should be removed.)

Two questions:
This trunk is about 4-5 inches in diameter, would such a large cut be worthy of a sealer [even if it's Elmer's glue or latex paint...the owner doesn't want to use the asphalt sealer]?  

Should it be cut now, or should this work be left until the dormant season?  We live in a part of town with heavy marine influence that doesn't get very hot or cold.


Subject: A bug from Hell? Replies: 17
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 770
I was driving when a Tarantula Hawk flew in the driver's window and buzzed in my face, sounding like a B52 Bomber. Luckily I was able to pull over and get out of the car before it stung me.

Subject: Question about Desert King. Replies: 17
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 2,256
Well, I found out something new about Dad's fig tree. I had erroneously believed his neighbor Margaret had planted it, and had offered it to him to remove before she sold the house.  Rather it was growing wild, too close to her house. She asked Dad to remove it so it wouldn't damage the house's foundation. Instead of throwing it out, Dad transplanted it in his own backyard. If I understand, figs do not reproduce true to seed, so we really have no idea what variety it is. 

While the figs do taste OK [much better than in previous years], we do plan to graft different varieties onto it.

Subject: Spanish Fig Festival (Mallorca, 35 mins) Replies: 32
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,616
Originally Posted by HarveyC
Paul, I've watched the entire video 2 or 3 times.  Come on you like figs or what??? LOL  I also saved a copy on DVD!  They are speaking "fig" and I can understand their passion by the look in their eyes and tone of their voices. :)

You got me there, I was focused on the language part!  However I also was mesmerized by what I saw, and do need to watch the entire thing.

Subject: California Commercial Fig Grower: Crop Conditions Replies: 62
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,414
Originally Posted by HarveyC
Paul, we need to schedule a trip to attend the fig festival in Mallorca!  How about 2015?

Sounds amazing Harvey!

Seriously, Jack and Aaron, we might need to put you two in a corner of another room to duke it out. This stuff really doesn't add to the topic of conversation. Yes, we all have our opinions but this has gone beyond that.

Subject: Spanish Fig Festival (Mallorca, 35 mins) Replies: 32
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,616
Great video

I haven't seen all of the video, but at 1:28 a woman, begins asking questions in Spanish, and the conversation remains in Spanish until about 3:00. 

Subject: California Commercial Fig Grower: Crop Conditions Replies: 62
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,414
Originally Posted by HarveyC
Okay, let's keep comments constructive here, please.

Thanks for doing that Harvey,

Originally Posted by HarveyC
In a video posted last year it showed that Pons planted a fig tree in a very deep hole, perhaps 5' deep and in diameter.  He watered it to help it become established and then gradually filled in the hole, resulting in a tree with a very deep root system that did not require irrigation.  With such a large reservoir from which to draw upon during the growing season I am not surprised that a mature tree established in this manner does not require irrigation.

One thing Montserrat Pons described during our visit (April 2010) is that the bottom of the deep hole is just above a damp clay layer, which along with the large reservoir, aids in making it possible to dry farm the fig trees (once they are established).

Subject: Puglia, Italy. Replies: 3
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 431

Nice tree!

From what I can find, a town called "Pezze di Greco"   [GPS  40.812643, 17.413026]  had a festival called "Sagra del Fiorone" that went from June 7 to June 18.

there is also a Facebook page, but it seems it is not up to date

Subject: Question about Desert King. Replies: 17
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 2,256
On sweetness, maybe a 7 but I'd need to try some more fresh figs to better determine that. This year they aren't nearly as watery-tasting as previous years. (My dad doesn't water it much and there's been very little rain so maybe that's why the flavors are much more concentrated this year.) No crunchy seeds and we haven't determined what it really is.  Zone 10b (San Diego)

The tree came from Margaret a longtime friend of my parents who lived just a few blocks away. She offered the tree to my dad before she put her house on the market some years back. Bless her memory, she lived to be 99 and was active until very shortly before she passed on.

Subject: Question about Desert King. Replies: 17
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 2,256

<<May I ask why would you be grafting ?>>

Grafting other varieties to it would allow us to enjoy other fig varieties without planting other trees [there isn't much more space]. However more importantly, it is another good activity that a son [who had lived 800 miles away for 23 years and just returned to his hometown] can do with his father. :)

<<Isn't the tree enough productive ? How many figs do you get (approximately and if I may ask of course :) ) ?>>

I am not sure, how many figs it produces, because until recently I did not live nearby and often my visits did not coincide with fruit ripening [silly me]. However, there many main crop figs on the tree, so if they are as good as the brebas, we will be very happy.

<<That tree is a bit high for my likings ... I would consider some trimming ... to be able to fetch all the figs without a ladder or climbing in the tree.>>

Yes it is pretty big, partly because I was not living in town to keep it pruned lower.  However, now that the fig flavors have improved, we are happier with it. Nearby we do have a Desert King, but even after 6 years, it has not grown very big.

<<I'd rather have two smaller trees than an unique big one - but of course, this is my way of thinking - and for now winters helped me keeping them small :( . >>

In hindsight, yes it would be nicer to have a smaller tree, but it is a magnificent specimen of a tree, and I just have to remind my father [87] that he can let someone else do the climbing.

Subject: Question about Desert King. Replies: 17
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 2,256
I am resurrecting this thread because I had put pics of my dad's tree here 3 years ago.

Well, this is now the fourth year, and the figs are MUCH better tasting. However we do plan to graft other varieties onto it


Attached Images
jpeg dadsfig03.jpg (624.00 KB, 244 views)
jpeg dadsfig04.JPG (122.74 KB, 240 views)

Subject: Fig Fiesta 2014 Replies: 52
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 2,633
Originally Posted by pitangadiego
Fig-stuffed olives, I presume.

Either that or olive-stuffed figs! 

Subject: OT - Need your prayers Replies: 68
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,891
Oh wow, sorry to hear that...prayers headed your way.

Subject: Fig Fiesta 2014 Replies: 52
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 2,633
I'm planning to go, and will bring more home-cured olives.
It will be good to see Howard again. My company has drastically cut back travel to the greater Sacramento area, so I haven't been able to stop by Wolfskill for quite a while.

Subject: killed a rattler Replies: 53
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,317
It wasn't funny at the time, but I didn't let it show and got over it [otherwise they would still be giving me grief about it]

Subject: killed a rattler Replies: 53
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,317
Here's my rattlesnake story: Age 19, camping in the high desert east of San Diego. We had gotten up way before dawn and went for a long hike, returning about 2pm.

Upon returning to camp, I sat in a chaise lounge chair and fell asleep.

Suddenly I was roused from a deep sleep by a stick poking my right shoulder and the voice of my youngest brother saying  "don't move a muscle, there's a rattlesnake next to your right hand!"

I looked over to see that my right arm was hanging off the chair, and indeed there was a coiled rattlesnake only about 6 inches from it.

Now I find snakes fascination and don't mind them if I am out of striking range and fully awake, but this wasn't the case. I froze, and am sure that if my heart were a transmission, I stripped most of the gears.

Again I heard my brother, "don't move yet, but get ready to roll over to your left...I'll count to three....OK, one, two, three...ROLL!!!

I tumbled like I had been tossed off a bull at the rodeo. Still in a daze, I looked up to see five guys laughing their butts off. I looked over at the snake, still coiled. I pushed it with my walking stick, and it fell over. Then they laughed even louder.

When I was asleep, one of them found a rattlesnake in camp that wouldn't leave, so they used a shovel to chop off its head. (We don't like to kill them because they are part of the environment.). Then, they coiled it on the ground next to my hand, pushing the head through the coils as to hide that it had been cut off.  Then, the woke me up.

So glad I was a young guy, that could have given me a heart attack!

Subject: OT: what's in your pocket? Replies: 51
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,622
Leatherman, keychain with 2 carabiners, wallet, phone.

Subject: request extra cutting for malaysian newbie Replies: 7
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 658
Hi Akmar, welcome.
If people seem reluctant to send fig cuttings internationally, it is because there can be serious consequences for them if they do.  Quite a few members here rely on their horticultural work to supplement their income [or in some cases it is their main source of income]. So please understand that.   I am hoping there are other Malaysian members out there that can help you out. The rest of us will be as supportive as we can via tips, etc. Best of luck!

Subject: Wildfire in San Diego--here we go again Replies: 58
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,552
Stay safe Bosco. I contacted my mother and asked about her brother. Not sure why he hasn't left yet....Via de la Valle can't handle a ton of traffic all trying to leave at the last moment.

Yes Sue please head home!

Subject: Wildfire in San Diego--here we go again Replies: 58
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,552
that whole road [via de la valle] is lined with euks......and the brush in the area is huge

Subject: Wildfire in San Diego--here we go again Replies: 58
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,552
yeah, I am watching it. My uncle lives 3 miles from the western edge in RSF, in a tinderbox of eucalyptus groves. 

Subject: Wildfire in San Diego--here we go again Replies: 58
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,552
Wow, hope they get it under control soon!

Subject: Secondary water ideas? Replies: 7
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 511

Gina, I think in some places it's legal to divert the laundry water but indeed there should be a diverter valve if using strong detergents and bleach.

In fact I had wondered about how to filter the water. I had seen some gravity filters but thought they cost a lot for what you get.

A friend and I thought of doing the same thing with a 5 gallon bucket with screw-on lid [having a rubber seal] and 3M-type floor machine scrubbing pads. The pads are already round and can easily be cut to fit in the bucket [the remainders work well as scrub pads].


Subject: Secondary water ideas? Replies: 7
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 511
I know that many of us live in areas where drought is a part of life. I thought maybe we could share ideas of how to stretch the water so it's utilized in more than one way when possible.

Here are a few of mine.

Our bathroom has a shower-tub. Right next to it we have placed a container that years ago held liquid laundry detergent. In the morning, I put the container under the tub spout, turn the water to Hot, and let it run until warm [usually 0.75-1 gallons]. Then I use the water to flush the commode. (Of course for people with young children, having a container with water around would not be a good idea.)

Outside, I have fig trees in 10 gallon fiber pots. Because [even with drip irrigation] the water passes through the fiber pots quickly, I have placed them along the drip line of a tree in our yard. The tree seems to do just fine on the secondary water and doesn't need extra irrigation.

Does anyone have ideas to share?

Subject: Keeping roots cool in potted figs Replies: 39
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,267
I have a large [3' x 250'] roll of burlap at the house.
Would a wrap or two of this around pots keep the temperature down?

Subject: Turkish Figs @ T.J. Frozen Section Replies: 21
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,008
I found this article about them on the Trader Joe's website:

Subject: OT Gas > Electric Rototiller converison Replies: 5
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 496
WillsC I had questioned that too, but from the reviews I saw with similar motors, they worked well. And this motor is a real beast.

Subject: OT Gas > Electric Rototiller converison Replies: 5
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 496
Thanks for the responses. "why" is because I already have the materials [tiller, electric motor, various switches], so there really aren't any additional costs. Also, the area I'll need to till is quite small and very close to a GFCI outlet that can handle the load.  I think the gas engine has a crack that opens when the engine warms up. I've rebuilt the carb, got another carb and rebuilt it, changed gaskets such as the head gasket, and even replaced the exhaust valve.  I do agree that rear tine tillers are easier to use, but for a while I'll have to make do with this front tine model. I did see an non working rear tine tiller on Craigslist today but it is already gone. So, I'll keep an eye out for another one.

Subject: OT Gas > Electric Rototiller converison Replies: 5
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 496


I have $10 gas rototiller that starts like a $10 gas rototiller [meaning not very well]. I have messed with the B&S 3HP engine too many times and it still isn't reliable.


Therefore, especially because the running gear is pretty stout and in good shape , so I thought I'd convert it to electric.  I have an old Century 1HP 110/220V reversible beast of a motor I can use for the project. I have found some articles online about it.

I did find one image online using a very similar rototiller in the conversion

(my rototiller at left; at right, picture taken from ]


Before I begin I am seeking input/advice [including from my dad the farm boy turned electrical engineer]. Anyone out there tried anything somewhat related to this? 



Here's the motor. For scale, it's sitting on a case of Karl Strauss [local San Diego] beer.


Subject: New Fig Deck - Finished! Replies: 66
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 2,385
Dennis, that's going to be a first-class fig enclosure.....sweet!!

Subject: Figs are fighters! Replies: 6
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 675
Good job lelsa! You're on the right path.

Subject: Another one down, due to fignorance Replies: 14
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 762
Tamar, I hope it all works out for you and the lady, and that you're able to regrow it from what you received.

I remember getting an email from a childhood friend:

"Remember that big old fig tree below the house...with the great tasting figs? Well, yesterday we had it removed. I was thinking about you as it was being cut up and hauled away."

Well, he knew I had been in town for several days so I told him "I sure wish you had told me BEFORE you had the work done, because I would have loved to get some cuttings and grow it."

Now, this guy has managed to get through life without really getting his hands dirty, so I know it wasn't an impulsive "I have an axe and pick, so I will go and chop it up".

He had hired a crew to do the work, which would have meant scheduling it at least a day in advance. 

I drove by and sure enough, every last twig from that magnificent tree was gone. It had been there at LEAST 50 years. Sigh. 

Had he told me, my pop or anyone else in my family, one of us would have collected a lot of cuttings.

Subject: Weirdest places you've seen figs grow Replies: 25
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,465
Zafra, Extremadura Spain....fig tree growing out of a tiny crack between a building and the exposed earth for at least 100 feet in any direction

Subject: Going [back] to Paradise Replies: 11
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 753
Thanks all. I must say that not only are my parents really happy, but my 3 brothers too. They're relieved that one of us can do this and have offered any assistance they can provide. Two are coming more than 1000 miles to help us unpack, etc., and the third [who lives in Fairbanks AK] says unfortunately he cannot come but he'd be glad to pull out the welder and fabricate/ship some cool stuff that I could use in the home or shop. Hooray for family!
Rafed, it's a small world....I actually know Jon's next door neighbor [he no longer lives there but his dad still does], because I went to high school with him!

Subject: Going [back] to Paradise Replies: 11
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 753
Soon my wife and I will be moving to my childhood neighborhood, which is the same city as Encanto Farms, only about 14 miles from there. In a nutshell, my mid-80s parents [who've been married 60 years this coming December] need one of their kids nearby. Over the past few years, there are been falls and even some broken bones...which despite us having called them at least biweekly for more than 20 years, we only find out about these things long after they have happened.

We have no children to pull away from their schools and friends, and because my wife's parents and older brother have passed away, she no longer has immediate family in our current state of residence. However, after moving there, she'll have a brother within 25 miles.
Well, I've been given permission to split my workdays between home and one of my company's local offices, for which I am extremely grateful. And, we have found a place we can live in my parents' neighborhood, close enough that we'll have no excuses for not checking on them every day. 
I am hoping that when things settle down a bit, I can become more involved in F4F. Our new place to live won't have a lot of room for planting, but we'll do the best with what we have. It does have good south and west sun exposure on a steep slope, but we'll need to determine if it's possible to terrace it for better usage.

Subject: You know when you're a fig addict..... Replies: 57
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 2,483
...when after a trip [especially some place far from home] where you have seen fig trees, you use Google Maps Street View to find them again, and save the GPS coordinates

Subject: Nice growing site except for gophers! Replies: 7
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 532
Thanks for the comments, yeah the area needs a lot of compost.
Luckily they can get it free from the city. I did notice an old shredder in the far right side of the picture
I don't remember other parts of the yard being so sandy.
My parents live only 2 miles away and they're in a heavy clay area

I think I'm gonna make some gopher gumbo!

Subject: Nice growing site except for gophers! Replies: 7
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 532
nice plot for growing at the bottom [west] of a friend's lot

climate: same as Encanto Farms
lot width; 75 feet [most usable]
depth: about 12 feet
water: nearby
sun: almost all day

However there are a lot of many that the ground feels softer than surrounding areas.

[this land was worked for many years but has been fallow for probably at least 5 years]

Does mean figs only in containers.....or [for figs or other plants] mean raised beds with hardware cloth on the bottom?


Subject: Donation to Fig Foundation? Replies: 11
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 993
Hi Milehighgirl, welcome to the forum.

As far as a priority for Foundation donations, I don't believe it works that way. If I understand, the cuttings orders [cuttings are available in the spring] are processed in ordered received.  )(EDIT  I didn't order last year so I might be wrong)

Lots of people on this site [people who daily and people like me that post every few weeks] are willing to share cuttings. However some of us have become a little guarded because of a few people who ask for and receive cuttings are never heard from again, or we learn that they have done things like sell their [our] cuttings on eBay.

However, I am certain you are not like that, and will do great. :)   Still, many of us prefer that people get more involved in the forum before asking. After a while you will discover that people here are pretty darned helpful and generous.

There is a lot to learn, especially if you are planning on growing figs in your climate zone!  I suggest starting at the URL below. There are posts about using the forum, which figs have done well in specific climates, etc.

Subject: Redneck organza bags Replies: 11
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 857
Great idea...that reminds me...I have some what is called "Drain Sleeve" or "Drain Pipe Sock" , which is used over corrugated black plastic drainage pipes, to keep the dirt out. That might work good too (but probably too fine a mesh for figs that need the wasp), and costs something like $25 for 100 feet.

Subject: snake wages? Replies: 33
Posted By: paulandirene Views: 1,348
Howie, that looks like a Mojave Green Rattlesnake [Crotalus scutulatus], they have really nasty neurotoxic venom.

Never fun to kill something that is mostly beneficial, but sometimes it has to be done.


Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.