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Subject: VdB and Celeste in Virginia Replies: 8
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 850
 
Chris, good to hear from you. I will have cuttings in late Feb.  Remind me then and I'll make sure you get some.

Subject: VdB and Celeste in Virginia Replies: 8
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 850
 
Here are some pics of VdB and Celeste from my yard in Newport News, Virginia this morning. VdB just starting to ripen, Celeste have been ripening since mid-July.

First photo shows not-yet-ripe VdBs that I'm growing under a massive bird net, second picture is a dish of figs I harvested, third is the interior of a ripe VdB.

Attached Images
jpeg VdB_on_Tree_F4F.jpg (497.46 KB, 59 views)
jpeg Fig_Harvest.jpg (852.46 KB, 64 views)
jpeg Ripe2.jpg (663.74 KB, 52 views)


Subject: Announcing the Figs 4 Fun Foundation Replies: 111
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 24,865
 
Jon,
Awesome! I have some non-profit experience (I work at a large non-profit museum on the East Coast) and am willing to help in some capacity.
Dave

Subject: Are figs your favorite fruit to eat? Replies: 34
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 1,472
 
I love figs, but definitely think that homegrown yellow/gold raspberries are better, and possibly a ripe peach that drips down your chin as soon as you bite into it. 

Subject: Quiz...:what's that on my fig tree... Replies: 22
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 1,336
 
I could've sworn it was a bird egg. More specifically, the egg of a Maltese Falcon!

Subject: Preparing container soil media in the MD/VA/DC area Replies: 16
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 1,754
 
Steve, I'm in southeast Virginia. By no means am I a seasoned veteran like some of the other forum members, but I've had great success transitioning my rooted cuttings into 100% compost. No fancy ingredients, no special blends, no fuss. I don't fertilize my newly rooted
cuttings, but add 10-10-10 fert and lime the following spring.

They grow well and quickly, have healthy foliage, and produce ample fruit in pots, although I prefer to plant them in the ground long-term. I'm sure others like Al/Tapla know the hard science behind optimal planting media for long-term growing in pots, and I defer to their knowledge.

But simple compost has worked for me for the past 4 years in Virginia.

Subject: The end is near :( Replies: 6
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 751
 
Congrats on a successful and tasty first summer with your own figs...sounds like you are hooked!

Subject: Thanks to Drivewayfarmer Replies: 9
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 985
 
I owe a big thanks to Kerry for helping out a fellow grower by going above and beyond the call.  I very much appreciate it.

Subject: Panachee in NC Replies: 7
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 715
 
Thanks for the advice, Dennis. I'll give it a try. I'm still probably another 2 years from getting even a handful of figs from my Panachee.

Subject: Violette de Bordeaux 2012 Replies: 27
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 1,955
 
JD, looking good!  It is definitely a very productive variety.  I took these two pictures of my VdB almost 1 month ago on June 14.  Can't wait for the harvest (after the bird/squirrel/ant battle)...

Attached Images
jpeg VdB_2.jpg (577.19 KB, 46 views)
jpeg VdB_3.jpg (590.36 KB, 42 views)


Subject: Panachee in NC Replies: 7
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 715
 
Dennis, how badly (if at all) do they split in wet, humid weather?  I've got a small first-year Panachee in humid southeast Virginia and wonder if I should keep it if it splits and gets bad fig rust.  It already has fig rust, and none of my other nearby figs are affected.  Just curious what your experience is in Zone 8a.

Subject: Guess This Fig and Win A Prize Replies: 16
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 1,015
 
Frank, are they as good as advertised?  I'm hoping to harvest some in my yard, but it'll be another 2 years or so.

Brent, I'm also growing an Alma cutting from Sybil.  It grew two strong leads very quickly, and I pruned them back to encourage more branching.  Now it's growing strongly from the pruned areas.  I hope it's that vigorous once I plant it in the ground next year...  How are your cuttings progressing?

Subject: VdB vs. RdB Replies: 8
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 1,061
 
Thanks to all for their insights, particularly Bass and Ed.

Rafed, please tell me a bit more about why you prefer RdB over VdB by such a large margin.  I've only tasted VdB and think it's great, but I guess I haven't had too many rare fig varieties for comparison.

Subject: VdB vs. RdB Replies: 8
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 1,061
 
For those of you lucky enough to grow and taste both, is there an appreciable difference between the two in terms of flavor and productivity? Or if grown in the exact same climate and blind-taste-tested, would anybody be able to tell the difference?

Subject: What kind of it? Replies: 10
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 1,138
 
It also looks a bit like a Magnolia fig...

Subject: Espalier, sort of Replies: 35
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 3,747
 
Thanks for the compliments! I definitely recommend trying to espalier a fig if you have the space and good climate.

Noss, my dog is a Hairless American Terrier. Great dog, loyal, super athletic (can jump 5-feet high in the air from a standstill even though she's only about 18 pounds), and pretty good guard dog. I also have a classic lab/mix/mutt from a shelter in North Carolina.

Gene, once you plant them in the fall post some pictures on this thread, or start a new one. Looking forward to hearing from you then.

Jenn, it's a Celeste fig started from a cutting off my Uncle's huge old Celeste tree in Virginia Beach. I see you have a birthday coming up in a month. I only have a single rooted cutting of RdB. I'd give you one if I had another. Good luck on your quest. I also hope it's as good a fig as all the hype suggests.

Bob, looks like we have a very similar wish list!

Subject: Espalier, sort of Replies: 35
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 3,747
 
Thanks, Gene.

What variety do you think you'll plant? Mine is a Celeste, but I wish I planted something different. Don't get me wrong, I love a dead ripe Celeste but it would be fun to have a more unique
variety for my espalier. At least Celeste is fairly cold-hardy and grows quickly...two reasons why I planted
it! Good luck, looking forward to hearing what you decide to do.

Dave

Subject: Espalier, sort of Replies: 35
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 3,747
 
Here's an update on my fig espalier against the corner of my shed. I pruned it back very heavily on March 15, but did not move/transplant it farther away from the corner of the shed because of lack of free time. When I pruned I left 1 or 2 nodes on each vertical depending on the size of the growth. Approximately 100 days later the espalier is getting big again, each growth is almost 7 feet tall. I accidentally broke off 2 growths when they were young and green. One of them did not grow back and is now just a stump. The other grew back but was bare for a while and the tree got badly sunburned in that location. I also had to include a pic or two with my ferocious guard dog Scout. She may not look like much, but she's tenacious. I'm pretty much flying by the seat of my pants with this project, but I'm also loving every minute of it.

Shameless plug...I posted a few more pictures with a more thorough overall description of the tree on my blog. Check it out if you are interested. http://point09acres.blogspot.com/2012/06/espalier-fig-iv.html

Hope everybody's fig growing seasons are off to a great start. I'm loving all the breba pics and main crop pics from the really warm growers.

Attached Images
jpeg CIMG2069.JPG (614.61 KB, 108 views)
jpeg CIMG2071.JPG (556.50 KB, 91 views)
jpeg 1.JPG (656.79 KB, 103 views)
jpeg 5.JPG (314.74 KB, 88 views)
jpeg 8.JPG (381.99 KB, 84 views)
jpeg 3.JPG (606.62 KB, 98 views)
jpeg Scout_Confused.JPG (676.32 KB, 122 views)


Subject: A Fig producing Celeste Pix + count Replies: 45
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 2,012
 
Looking good, Cecil. Celeste is a very tasty and reliable tree here in Virginia as well.  Enjoy.

Subject: Violet De Bordeaux Replies: 6
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 856
 
Looking good, Martin.  When do you usually move your figs outdoors in the spring?  I start getting growth of my in-ground and potted plants in very early March, but I'm a few growing zones south of you (Newport News, VA). I am looking forward to my VdB harvest.  Here are pics of the tree and developing main crop. 

Attached Images
jpeg VdB_1.jpg (832.86 KB, 60 views)
jpeg VdB_2.jpg (577.19 KB, 65 views)
jpeg VdB_3.jpg (590.36 KB, 53 views)


Subject: 6 Cuttings On Wish List Replies: 176
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 17,501
 
Rafed,
Thanks for responding so quickly. I appreciate the offer of help down the road. I tried getting Noire de Barbentane cuttings in early 2012, but there were very few of this variety to go around. Happy growing,
Dave

Subject: 6 Cuttings On Wish List Replies: 176
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 17,501
 
I'm still looking for a Noire de Barbentane.  Obviously, it's not a great season for cuttings.  But I would be very grateful to anybody that could steer me in the direction of NdB.  Thanks, and happy growing!

Dave

Subject: New Member Replies: 9
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 734
 
Remp,
Thanks for saying hello and letting us know about your experiences. I'm envious of your growing location! I also grew quite a few orchids (cattleya, dendrobium, phals, etc.) but once I caught the fig bug my priorities changed. Look forward to hearing more from you in 2012.
Dave

Subject: Happy New Year!! Replies: 6
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 519
 
Happy New Year to all the fig lovers out there!

May your 2012 be filled with bushels of tasty figs and new varieties you are looking forward to growing.

Subject: Espalier, sort of Replies: 35
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 3,747
 
Oh boy, looks like I'm in trouble... 

Who knows, maybe my Celeste esaplier will turn the garden shed into a treehouse! 

Subject: Espalier, sort of Replies: 35
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 3,747
 
Drivewayfarmer, I plan on cutting all the verticals back to 1 or 2 nodes, leaving a vertical stub no more than a few inches tall. I don't know yet if I will change the plan for the smaller vertical limbs. 

Ruben, you are probably right. The main trunk and horizontal arms are about 9 inches from both walls of the shed. It looks closer in the pictures. 2 years later I am wishing I planted it a bit farther from the corner of the garden shed.

Bill, thanks for the compliment and good luck! You should definitely try growing a fig this way. I had similar thoughts for people growing this method in northern climates. It might actually be a heck of alot easier to protect the entire plant in the winter because it is already so close to the ground. Let me know if you decide to try it.

Alan, I was worried when I first planted it that the left portion of the plant would receive less light than the right portion of the plant because of the exposure of the building. As it worked out, the right side of the plant was only a bit stronger in terms of growth, but it definitely ripened figs more quickly than the left side.

Subject: Espalier, sort of Replies: 35
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 3,747
 
Thanks for the compliments. It's been a fun project so far, but I've got a long way to go.

Tokechan, I plan on cutting the vertical branches back close to the main horizontal limbs early next spring, then allowing the new vertical growth to replace the removed growth.

Theman, I rooted the Celeste cutting in spring of 2009. I planted it in ground in spring of 2010. The tree will be 3 years old in spring of 2012.

Subject: Espalier, sort of Replies: 35
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 3,747
 
Jon,
This is a great image. It's pretty amazing how once the fig limb or lead goes horizontal, it immediately wants to produce vertical growth. I'm using the same concept to produce an espalier against my garden shed. I planted a small Celeste tree at the corner of my shed in early 2010. It had a central leader and two small limbs. I pulled them down and trained them horizontally. Slowly over time, and with some pruning and staking, I've been able to start a decent espalier. I plan on heavily pruning each vertical growth in early spring to keep the plant compact, similar to how the Japanese have grown their fig trees in greenhouses. 

I'm in Newport News, VA (zone 7b) and Celeste is hardy and reliable. That's why I selected it for espalier. Here are some pics documenting the espalier process so far. I'm open to suggestions and tips that might make this an easier or more effective process.
Dave














Subject: 6 Cuttings On Wish List Replies: 176
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 17,501
 
I currently have 2 varieties on my wish list:

Noire de Barbentane
Ronde de Bordeaux

I'd be willing to mail 1-year old rooted cuttings of VdB, Italian Green Honey,
Blue Celeste, or Osborne Prolific in exchange...

Subject: Afghanistanica Replies: 46
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 4,793
 
I'm not sure if it is a "dwarf" tree. The previous owner of the tree (a well respected former fig nursery owner in Virginia Beach) said it was an Afghanistanica. I don't remember where she said she originally obtained the plant. It is definitely small. Thin branches and 2-3" leaves. I will try to follow up with her for more specific info.

Subject: Afghanistanica Replies: 46
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 4,793
 
Saramc, here are two pics of my Afghanistanica.  The first is an overall shot of the plant.  It's appx 12" tall.  The second is a close-up pic of some leaves.  The leaves are fairly small, about 2-3".

Attached Images
jpeg F_Afghanistanica.jpg (550.67 KB, 139 views)
jpeg F_Afghanistanica_Leaves.jpg (474.67 KB, 113 views)


Subject: Mistaken Fig Identity - Please Help Replies: 2
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 555
 
Thanks for the clarification.  I'm aware that VdB and Negronne share some similar traits (or are considered nearly identical by some folks), but the difference in leaves really had me scratching my head.  

Subject: Mistaken Fig Identity - Please Help Replies: 2
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 555
 
Hi everybody!  I purchased what I thought was a VdB from a local garden center 4 years ago.  Last year I also purchased a Negronne from Edible Landscaping.  After seeing both growing side-by-side in ground, I'm convinced my VdB isn't a VdB.  I'd appreciate some guesses/suggestions as to what variety my VdB may actually be.

The first pictures are of my likely mislabeled VdB tree, fruit, and leaf purchased from the local garden center. The last picture is a leaf from my EL Negronne for comparison.  Look forward to hearing some thoughts.  Thanks very much,
Dave


Attached Images
jpeg VdB_Tree.jpg (470.80 KB, 38 views)
jpeg VdB_Fruit_1.jpg (184.55 KB, 27 views)
jpeg VdB_Fruit_2.jpg (137.65 KB, 25 views)
jpeg VdB_Fruit_3.jpg (371.90 KB, 28 views)
jpeg VdB_Leaf.jpg (392.15 KB, 33 views)
jpeg Negronne_Edible_Landscaping.jpg (427.71 KB, 26 views)


Subject: Afghanistanica Replies: 46
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 4,793
 
I have a very small Afghanistanica in a 1-gallon plastic pot. The plant consists of 7 or 8 small trunks, total growth no more than 10-12 inches tall. It is this season's growth from an in-ground plant that formerly grew on the property of what used to be Paradise Nursery. It had died to the ground the past few years (unprotected location) during the winter and the owner told me I was welcome to dig it up and try to regrow it in a more sheltered location. That was back in March or April so I'm glad it grew as much as it did this year. Will no doubt be a few years before it produces figs, if I'm fortunate to keep it alive long enough.

Subject: Negronne/VDB Fig Replies: 5
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 1,369
 
I agree with Gorgi. Edible Landscaping carries that variety and is in Crozet, Va. Just a short drive from Barboursville.

Subject: Violete de Bourdeaux hardiness Replies: 12
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 1,314
 
I'm in 7b, southeast Virginia. I have a VdB and Negronne (Edible Landscaping) in ground. They are both 4 years old and remain uncovered during the winter. They are sheltered from the wind against a 6-foot fence and receive full sun. Neither plant has suffered any die-back of mature growth.

Subject: Night time pictures Replies: 7
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 1,152
 
What fig is on the bottom left?  That thing is loaded!!

Subject: Terrential rains bombing Pennsylvania Replies: 10
Posted By: vaplantman Views: 885
 
I'm in Newport News, Virginia and we've had about 4-5" so far and it's not supposed to stop until late tonight.  I've got 5 figs planted in the ground, they are in about 3" of standing water...

 

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