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Subject: Cover in ground figs now to ripen more figs? Replies: 22
Posted By: 1king Views: 946
Ahha! I thought you caught the fig pig! Thanks for the great explanations Pino. I'll be doing similar things in the spring starting in early March to warm the soil and hopefully get buds opening the first week in April when the risk of frost outside. I think poly + row cover should be ok once the soil has warmed...

Subject: Elana 2 Fig Pic Replies: 10
Posted By: 1king Views: 751
I believe mine is Elana 1? I ate the first a week ago and the others still look at least 2 weeks away from ripening, but I gave it no spring warm up and we are very cool here. Mine grows very slowly, but is productive. Many thanks Paully!

Subject: desert king photos Replies: 10
Posted By: 1king Views: 786
Hi fig friends,

this tree is about 18 years old -I planted it 14 years ago on the south side of our house. It gets a lot of shade in early spring/fall but has been faithfully producing breba the past 10+ years. There are about 8 other main crop ripening now and some dropping or getting knocked off by rodents. IF all the main were to ripen - big if, it would be about 1/5 the size of breba crop. George - I was too lazy to rotate the photo - sorry for the mis representation! Pino, I use binoculars to tell when they are ripe and a uav to pick - just kidding, I use a ladder - very slow and dangerous, but worth it. Calvin - be happy you don't have a tall tree, picking is very troublesome. I let the tree go tall for more light because of the marginal site it is in. I doubt we have THE WASP here - too cold for them probably?

Subject: desert king photos Replies: 10
Posted By: 1king Views: 786
Finally got around to posting a few pics. The first is a main crop dk I just ate. Despite the cool rainy weather it was every bit as good as the brebas. Some hardened honey shots of fruit just before they started to mold(I wait until the last possible hour to pick) and the base of my 20' backyard tree with breba harvest...

Attached Images
jpeg dk_main.JPG (201.37 KB, 112 views)
jpeg photo_3.JPG (71.83 KB, 126 views)
jpeg photo_1.JPG (144.64 KB, 121 views)
jpeg photo_2.JPG (77.12 KB, 110 views)

Subject: Ciccio Nero ripening nicely Replies: 36
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,628
Thanks for all the great pics + info Pino. I noticed a hoop in one of the shots - are you "cheating" in the spring using a hoophouse or is that for winter protection?We have a zone6a place by a Okanagan lake  and I'm planning on doing a spring warm up with small hoops and poly to protect from late frosts with row cover and if really needed a heater for a few nights. Have you tryed anything like this with small in ground trees?

Subject: Plants lost this past winter Replies: 44
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,624
Hi Nelson,

I'm sure I can help with 1/2 dozen + cuttings on your list once trees are dormant. Send me a pm and we can make arrangements... With your generous forum contributions, I 'm sure it won't take long to start a new impressive collection.

Subject: Picture - Melanzana Main Crop 15th Sept 2014 Replies: 12
Posted By: 1king Views: 889
:-) !

Subject: Picture - Osborne Prolific 17th Sept 2014 Replies: 7
Posted By: 1king Views: 973
Thanks for posting this + numerous other recent reports Paully - the info you share is valuable and appreciated! My OP is from the good professor. Does that mean mine is related to yours? My OP is in it's 2nd year in a 12 g pot with plenty of branches and despite pinching only has 3 figs this year. I suspect this variety, like DK and alma takes a few more years to set a good crop?

Subject: Adrianos inground desert king Replies: 8
Posted By: 1king Views: 892
Thanks Nelson! Curious if he is boxing or burying still and what production is like - if the brebas survive it looks like a great crop...

Subject: Delicious RdB late August 2014 Replies: 20
Posted By: 1king Views: 900
Thanks for sharing pics Paully! My RDB is just starting to ripen - it is only 2 yr olds. I think we are about three weeks behind you down here on the coast. Figs + salmon = paradise!

Subject: Should I avoid planting in this soil? Replies: 18
Posted By: 1king Views: 590
I have a couple old trees growing about 2' above sea level on heavy clay/ silt very near the ocean - I can smell when the tide is in! Here in bc we get enough rain to be classified as a temperate rainforest. I planted on a small mound and have fair to excellent production for over 10 years from the Desert king - but perhaps other varieties like lda would not like wet feet 8 months a year. A friend is on sandy soil at sea level and a few hundred feet from the beach and also has good production. I have read that ficus carica has a salt tolerance. I use un rinsed seaweed in potted plants with no apparent problems. You can do all kinds of things to direct water away from the trees...

Subject: Earliest In-Ground Fig Fruit, No Protection, Zone 6b Replies: 80
Posted By: 1king Views: 3,491
Thanks for sharing your plans +pics Tony. I have been plotting to do something very similar on a steep gravelly loam soil in zone 6a. I'm convinced there is a way to do this without great expense and large above ground work. I plan to do several trials this winter by planting 2-3 year old trees 6-12" deep, surround with rodent protection a) small rocks b) wire wrapped around trunk to 1' above ground  and backfilling with loose, breathable material such as pine needles, cones and then a few inches of the gravelly soil so that the trunks base is about 2' below surface. I'll pull it all back in spring/unwrap the wire mesh to let the soil warm and provide very low poly covered hoops for an early spring start. The poly will be taken off in in May/June after embryos form and netting will go on as needed for hail, insects and birds. I see one of the huge benefits of this kind of growing in northern areas as being able to provide the low poly hoops 2-5' wide/tall at low cost to increase yields/growing season.

I look forward to sharing more as plans become reality...

Subject: Introduction from BC Canada Replies: 32
Posted By: 1king Views: 982
Thanks Moonlight. Yes, we are planning on a wide mix of fruits + a few veg for farmer's markets + family and friends! We will be concentrating on high value, hard to find fruit varieties that will do well on our site. It is more a labour of love than business.

Subject: Florea - Good News For Pacific North West Replies: 6
Posted By: 1king Views: 535
Wow what fantastic early production for a main crop Paully. I'm drooling over here!

Subject: Introduction from BC Canada Replies: 32
Posted By: 1king Views: 982
Sounds  like you are an experienced fig shuffler Moonlight! We have a bit over an acre and plan to do a small market garden. Our site faces SW with a steep slope and lots of rocks and is somewhat protected from wind. Figs will go up against rock walls and either cut back to short stubs each year or handled like the japanese "step over"methods detailed on this site for easier protection. I think keeping the wood at ground level and top dressing with 8" of hay should be enough because we only get a night or two at -21c each year with most lows in the -5c to -10c range. Small hoophouses will give the trees an early start with electric heat and or row cover available for extreme april nights. Hoops will be used later with netting to protect from birds, wasps and hail! This is what I hope will work - otherwise I will spend more time studying the fig shuffle! 

I have about 30 varieties and would be happy to provide cuttings this winter. I have some hardy and/or early ripening varieties like MBVS, Longue D' Aout, HC, and Dany's Delight that you might like.  Seems late spring is best for rooting. 

Subject: Introduction from BC Canada Replies: 32
Posted By: 1king Views: 982
Thanks for that. When do your potted trees start to ripen main crop? Here in Vancouver it is very late if at all. I would think with the extra heat you get that main crop might ripen in August or early Sept? Do you provide extra early spring heat in a greenhouse or under lights? With an extra month early start indoors I am able to get main crop ripening here on Sept 1st. 

Subject: Introduction from BC Canada Replies: 32
Posted By: 1king Views: 982
Hello Moonlight in Penticton. Are you growing the Brown Turkey in a pot or protecting it outside? I am looking to grow some figs near Vernon and am curious about your experience. 


Subject: Impressive Nebraska Greenhouse Replies: 17
Posted By: 1king Views: 701
Thanks for this Harvey! Thought provoking. My limited understanding of heat pumps is that they are 1. Expensive to buy 2. Use a significant amount of electricity to "squeeze" air thereby increasing it a few more degrees above the underground temps. We live in one of the greenhouse capitals of the world (delta bc). It amazes me how big ag can make money burning so much carbon, laying so much concrete and covering farmland in glass while producing the the most bland vegetables. There must be value in throwing money at winter production otherwise the big growers wouldn't keep building 50 acre greenhouses.

Subject: Introduction from BC Canada Replies: 32
Posted By: 1king Views: 982
Welcome! My understanding is that trees outside in 5b/6a will need some fairly robust protection over winter- below that seems like too much work for most folks. You will probably want to keep plants in pots as discussed here - do some searchs - there is deep and excellent info on this site from many generous + experienced members. I suspect a greenhouse and or grow lights for an early start is at least what you will need to do to see ripe fruit. Concentrate on only early varieties to avoid disapointment. Good luck!


Subject: RdB half leaves Replies: 9
Posted By: 1king Views: 580
So long as they don't start looking like marijuana leaves, you should be fine.

Subject: Benson's 1886 Illinois Guide to Fig Culture Replies: 10
Posted By: 1king Views: 814
Good to hear folks enjoyed this bit of fig history. I find it valuable to compare and contrast fig findings in order to more fully understand these complex fruits and their relationship to "terroir". I have gleaned so much from this site - it felt good to finally find a little scrap to return!

Subject: Benson's 1886 Illinois Guide to Fig Culture Replies: 10
Posted By: 1king Views: 814
That's right folks step right up step right up!

Trees for just $1 each and advice on how to get rich growing figs in the north + much more! Check it out now for a free gift!

Subject: Desert King in the South? Replies: 11
Posted By: 1king Views: 994
I've grown dk here in vancouver bc for 14 years. Amazing crop 9/10 years and a good crop 1\10. Eye opens with moist soil and light rain, the. Splits with heavy rain if it happens in the last few days of ripening. Had about 40% breba/ tip frost damage one winter when night temps hit -15celcius and about 15% loss last year when we had a very late frost. The tree has ranged from 10-20 feet high on the south side of our house with lots of other trees around- so protected and cool. It ripens 100-300 figs within 2 weeks in early aug. when the hi temps rarely are over 22celcius and yet the fruit is excellent! This tree has also proven resistant to "wet feet" as we are on heavy clay soil which sits waterlogged through the winter.

Subject: Anyone start their figs Under Grow Lights Replies: 11
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,209
I started propagating in baggies and moved the cuttings around Christmas into cups under t5 lights with 6500k bulbs. I started with about 2 feet from the lights for the first few weeks and now have the lights 4-6 inches from the nearest leaves. I keep the temp around 25c with the lights on and 15c at night, water with a spray bottle 3 times a day with a 80% perlite mix. Slow growth for the first month, but now plants are taking off with 6" of grow and 6" leaves on some. No gnats I think because i use sterilized soil and empty any standing water every few days. The set up is enclosed in plastic in my basement with a nearby fan to vent moist air outside. The new starts are happiest around 80% humidity which is not good for indoor human air quality so isolating the space and providing ventilation is key. It is a fair bit of work and energy costs are no longer cheap, but the early start enables 1-2 foot plants in 3 months.

Subject: cheap, simple growlight source/setup? Replies: 34
Posted By: 1king Views: 2,105
I had good success rooting cuttings + giving an early start to year old trees with 5000k fl. tubes - cheap and work very well provided they are only a few inches away. I kept the drapes open so the bad guys could clearly see what I was doing, but the neighbours were curious. Moisture was a huge issue that needs to be mitigated and I worry about the potential for fire and the insurance company... It helps ward off the the winter fig blues though and I just finished the last figs from those early starts, but is no replacement for summer.

Subject: Paul's crops Replies: 12
Posted By: 1king Views: 917
mmm yummy. they look great Paul!

Subject: 6 hours of sun......MAYBE!!.....MAYBE NOT!!! Replies: 24
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,400
Where I am heat seems to trump sun in terms of fruit development and leaf growth. I have a backyard greenhouse with parts getting 6 hours and other parts getting more + a front yard with 8-9 hours of sun. Trees I moved out of the gh two months ago are way behind those in the greenhouse. Seems the greenhouse trees are producing twice as fast with 6 hours of sun and 8 hours of 25c - 30cel. temps compared to the outside trees which  have only seen the best 8 hours be 15-22c and 8-9 hours of sun...

Subject: Brugmansia Quebec. 2013 Catalogue Replies: 17
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,479
I just received another batch of trees from Dany in good condition. I treated the ones from last year like royalty and started them under lights in February and then out to a backyard greenhouse where they each have 5-20 figs from the tiny embryo stage to a few that should ripen in a few weeks. The leaves and habits seem to be consistent with what I have seen but it is a bit early to see fruit. Several of the trees had fmv - one so badly I thought it would die but this year there are no signs of fmv and it is growing like crazy and putting on figs without being pinched. Another forum member commented on RDB leaves from Dany. The one I just received also has some leaves that don't look like RDB but one of the small leaves are exactly the same as those from a baby RDB a very nice, trusted member gave me.

Subject: Is Seaweed Good For Your Fig Tree? Replies: 14
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,642
Good to hear Paully22 ! I like collecting in the fall because there seems to be more on the beach near the access places. Next time you are in the neighborhood drop in and I'll give you a hand with a wheelbarow! I checked with the feds and was told it is legal for personal use. Boundary Bay near Vancouver produces HUGE amounts of the stuff every year so I don't feel too bad about taking a bit from the local marine ecosystem.... 

Subject: Is Seaweed Good For Your Fig Tree? Replies: 14
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,642
Yum, that is beautiful stuff - I'd eat it! My seaweed is mostly eelgrass ( long and stringy) from the local beach. I've been using it for 12 years in my garden with great results. I like that it takes several years to break down and mix it with well aged horse manure/hay/wood chips from a local stable and a bit of sand, then perlite around the baby roots of new trees with great results. For older trees I mix more compost and leaf mulch in. I fill up the pickup in fall and let the winter rains rinse it for me. Seaweed has been used in places like Ireland for hundreds of years. I suspect any seaweed is good for adding nitrogen, mico nutrients and "fiber".

Subject: Growing figs in ontario canada Replies: 26
Posted By: 1king Views: 8,222
I had a good batch from Dany at last year and have more on the way this year. These people will also ship trees : + another consideration in BC who has has Desert King... Good luck!

Subject: The oldest fig in England? Replies: 8
Posted By: 1king Views: 765
The giant fig was located next to a building on the east side of a large property that once had a vineyard on a south facing hill... Relatives once owned Pilton House and I remember large figs + other fruits tied to a south facing 12' tall brick wall. It was a real paradise for the aristocracy back in the day! I find the idea of people continuously interacting with these ancient fruit bearers for hundreds of years fascinating. Cheers!

Subject: The oldest fig in England? Replies: 8
Posted By: 1king Views: 765
Fantastic. Thanks for sharing. There was a large fig in the village of Pilton (site of the Glastonbury Festival) said to be 500 years old. It is/was at the bottom of the hill below St Johns Baptist Church for any fig tourists in the area...

Subject: alma mater Replies: 14
Posted By: 1king Views: 815
Great topic title and what a nice setup!

Subject: Growing figs in ontario canada Replies: 26
Posted By: 1king Views: 8,222
Hi Melissa,

I'd be happy to provide cuttings once the tree goes dormant in Dec - or better still in March/early April when cuttings seem to be more responsive. I am not sure how well they would take now that they are leafed out. Desert King is a vigorous grower and not the most hardy though my in ground tree got through a low of -15 celcius with little damage. I'm not very experienced with pot culture (ha ha) but suspect the slower growing varieties like Lattarula are better suited because there would be less root pruning required. Dk is a delicious, productive and reliable producer in our cool coastal area though. Be careful with this forum - its addictive!

Subject: Orphan Desert King babies in Vancouver BC seek nice parents Replies: 24
Posted By: 1king Views: 2,942
I googled "figs vancouver nursury" and found Arts Nursery in Surrey has a decent selection and I remember seeing several others also. Might be best to call around. 

Good luck and happy planting. Give it plenty of compost to get it going and it will take off!

Subject: Orphan Desert King babies in Vancouver BC seek nice parents Replies: 24
Posted By: 1king Views: 2,942
Hi there in N. Delta! If you only plan on having one tree then I'd get a Desert King. Lattarula (syn. Italian Honey etc) and Osborne's Prolific are also good.
DK is a vigorous grower - mine reached 20' in 10 years without pruning. Lattarula might be better for a small space and restricted roots like in a pot. I would think the local nursuries would have both of these. Make sure to give them full sun. Consider "pinching buds" before the tree leafs out in April to encourage branching. Lots of good info on this site and very generous people. With our mild climate if you planted a 2+ year old tree now and mulched, it  would survive winter easily. Enjoy!

Subject: Dr. Arnie Powell Figs Replies: 8
Posted By: 1king Views: 744
Thanks for posting this. He said his trees were producing 150 - 250 POUNDS. That must be around 1000 figs on a tree. Is this realistic? If so, perhaps I should move!

Subject: The Ship Inn Dunwich Suffolk Champion Fig tree Replies: 27
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,513
In the village of Pilton, Somerset, UK there is/was a fig tree I visited which the owner said was 500 years old. The tree was huge with its sprawling branches supported by posts. It was just down the hill from the small chapel for anyone looking to do a UK fig pilgrimage. It's said that King Arthur is buried nearby in Glastonbury and there are a few remnants of Roman roads in the area...

Subject: dessert king Replies: 28
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,913
Yes, the breba crop is borne on last year's wood and main crop on current year's wood, so  any pruning will reduce the dk crop. That's why some of the wise members here have suggested "pinching" the buds to increase branching, reduce tree size and put more energy into fruit. Searching under pinching will bring up the info by contributors more experienced than me...

Subject: Pomona onlus - botanical conservatory figs south Italy Replies: 22
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,862

Subject: How long do new trees typically stay in a 1 gallon pot? Replies: 15
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,461
H Frank,

i'm no expert, but last year I transferred about 100 plants up from 1 gallon pots and noticed ones that waited "too long" were slower to adjust and ones that I potted up too soon did not hold the pot soil completely and suffered some root damage as a result of soil not being supported. In our short 4-5 month growing season I repotted most plants 2-3 times - to 2 gallons then 5 up to 10 gallon pots etc... Some of the pampered plants made it to 15 gallon pots in the first year. These are my thoughts....

Subject: I am having problem maintaing inside garage tempertaure above -5C (23F) Replies: 26
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,300
Hi Ottawan,
If your garage is attached  then I'd have the pots touching your house wall and create a room within a room with blankets, barrels of warm water etc + stop as much air infiltration as possible using whatever suitable means possible + using the good ideas from above as well! Those ext cords can melt so be careful not to overload the wires!

Subject: Orphan Desert King babies in Vancouver BC seek nice parents Replies: 24
Posted By: 1king Views: 2,942
Hi Rekelly,

I'm sorry to say that after giving away 40+ plants and a bunch of cuttings I need to keep what I have for now. I noticed someone in Burnaby selling fig trees starting at $10 and if you keep an eye on Craigslist, Kiji and ask around I'm sure you will find some. Local plant sales are also a good bet if you want to avoid retail prices. Unless you have a greenhouse I would avoid Brown Turkey and most main crop figs. Desert King seems to be the winner by a wide margin in our area - but if you have space there are a few others to consider.  A little digging on this site will reap robust growth!

Subject: Sorry Replies: 22
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,207

These dark cold days will pass. I hope you look after yourself and keep the courage to continue asking others for help. 

Best wishes,


Subject: Clay Soil and Figs Replies: 27
Posted By: 1king Views: 6,848
My Desert King is on heavy marine clay about 3 feet above sea level. I planted it on a small compost mound near a south facing  wall. Due to heavy rains here in Vancouver and a high water table the tree has "wet feet" 8 months a year but remains fairly dry during the fruiting season. The tree has only had 15% dieback in one of the past 8 years and drops no fruit. DK seems to thrive here despite the heavy wet clay. Other varieties may drop fruit in these conditions though...

Good luck!

Subject: New Member intro Replies: 21
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,228
Greetings Zach from rainy bc where a handful of varieties do well to remind us how sweet summer can be regardless of duration or intensity. I'm sure you'll find the answers to what does best in your location - on this site!


Subject: Any Canadian menbers willing to trade cuttings Replies: 19
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,130
Thanks Paul! I'm going to crank up the Desert King propagation this winter and would be pleased to offer any of your friend's or "friend's of fig's" plants in 1 gallon pots. I think figs that grow well locally should be as common as apples.

Jose, if you are unable to find DK or BT cuttings in your area I could certainly help. Paul mentioned that success is higher in the late winter/early spring so that might be a consideration for you. The propagating I did earlier this year was great in late January into mid March but it seemed like when the buds first started waking up the success was reduced. Another factor is cost: Canada Post charged me $15 to send Four 8"-10" cuttings by regular mail to Tyler in Ontario! 

Subject: Any Canadian menbers willing to trade cuttings Replies: 19
Posted By: 1king Views: 1,130
Hi Jose,

You produced 300 figs from a fig tree in a pot! Wow. Very impressive. I'd be interested in some Brunswick cuttings and am in Vancouver. I have D King + a mystery fig( probably BT) which produces a bountiful crop( for the tree  rats!) Both my 15 year old trees had less than 10% of branches die back in 2009 when we had minus 15 celcius super wet soils + wind chill. The King produces 200 + tasty fruit every year in a marginal site. I have 10 other one year olds from Dany in Quebec and have more on order + am seeking more locally, so will have some variety to trade...



Subject: Orphan Desert King babies in Vancouver BC seek nice parents Replies: 24
Posted By: 1king Views: 2,942
Hi shootersm,

I would prefer not to stress my babies my mailing them, however, I could certainly supply you with some cuttings this winter. Please remind me in Feb or march when I'll be doing cuttings again...


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