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Subject: Mongolian Fig from Ty Ty Replies: 9
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 255
As for the name, mistaking Magnolia for Mongolia certainly sounds logical.  But being from where it was obtained, Ty Ty, the name could mean nothing. When Ty Ty wrote back, they said Mongolia, they did not correct the name to Magnolia.  Of course, since I wrote them saying I bought it from one of their customers, maybe they were just giving me the quick brush off.  It is also true that the leaves are wrong.  The proof of its value to make it a keeper will be in the taste of the fig.  After all, we don't eat names, we eat figs.

A few weeks ago we went to an authentic Italian restaurant run by people from the old country.  Since I got into figs, I have been asking a simple question in such places to get the ball rolling on the subject.  I usually say, "Excuse me, can I ask you a question?  By any chance do you raise or have fig trees"?  I've done this at two places so far and in both cases the response was yes and from there we get into the discussion.  In both cases I will be getting cuttings, if I want.  As my figs become ripe, I will be taking some into them to share.  Besides getting a sample of their fig trees, we also would like to stay in good standing with them as their restaurants are outstanding.  Anyway, the point of this is that I seen the tree at one of the places and they did not know the variety.  The leaf had 5 long skinny nodes with two small lobes hanging off the bottom of the leaf.  According to what I seen listed online, that is exactly what a Brunswick or Magnolia fig leaf looks like.  Stupid me, this tree was planted right aside the restaurant.  I never saw it as we drove in.  In my defense, it did blend in with the other bushes that were all along the building tight against each other.     

Subject: Mongolian Fig from Ty Ty Replies: 9
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 255
I agree that a good tasting fig makes any tree all worth it regardless of variety whether known or unknown.  I bought a group of five trees in order to get the Peter's Honey which was in that collection and I wanted that one because of the great reviews for it's taste.  Although I truly believe the seller was sincere, I now have some question about the PH.  If I ever move any of my trees or cuttings on, I want to make sure what I say a variety is, that it is, in fact, what it is.  I have already discounted the idea that the Mongolian is a legitimate name and possibly a renaming of another known variety.  Until then, if the true name is never know, I will continue calling it the Mongolian with a big question mark and a story to go with it.  And if it turns out to be a great fig, then the story will be even better.  My goal is to build a collection of great tasting figs of varied tastes.  If that ends up being only a half dozen or dozen varieties, then so be it.  I really enjoyed fig newtons before I tasted my first fresh fig (Thanks, Bill),  But now after having many fresh off-the-tree figs, fig newtons will never hold the same appeal.

Subject: Mongolian Fig from Ty Ty Replies: 9
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 255
hahaha   Thank you for your responses.  I've read many comments on this forum on many other subjects where the nursery in question was mentioned and I am not surprised what was said so far.  That is why I had to post this question, just to confirm.  I guess the next step is to see what variety this fig tree is closest to.  I really need a fig to have a better chance of that so I guess I have almost a year to wait for that.  

Subject: Mongolian Fig from Ty Ty Replies: 9
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 255
Hello all,

I recently bought a fig tree from a nearby person and he said the variety was Mongolian Fig. I never heard of such a variety but it was a nice 4 footer and it came as a group with a few others included a Peter's Honey.  I wrote to Ty Ty asking for information on this variety and searched the fig forums and internet in general and found nothing.  I figured there was a possibility that the tree might have come from Mongolia and had another, known name.  Ty Ty wrote back and simply said, "Yes, we sold the Mongolian fig some time back but no longer do".  

I would like to ask anyone that sees this if you have ever heard of this variety?  I have included a few pics with closeups of two leaves.  It seems as though these two examples are most prevalent although there are some others that have variations of both like two lobes on one side and three on the other.  Is it at all possible this is another variety altogether?  I'd included fig photos but there are none on it, not even baby figs.

I'd appreciate any help or thoughts.

Mongolian 493.JPG 

Mon Leaf1 494.JPG 

Mon Leaf2 495.JPG 

Subject: First Black Mission figs from a Lowes tree Replies: 5
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 178
I felt the same way when a fig from a tree labeled 'Brown' Turkey looks and tastes exactly like a fig from a tree labeled 'Black' Mission, I drew a quick conclusion that something was NOT right.  THEN to be informed that BOTH are, more that likely, wrong or mislabeled, well, you start to doubt anything you bought from those sources.  Of course, being new to all this and having no experience to the looks, tastes and characteristics of figs, how would I ever know if I had no contact with other fig savoy people.  When I go to the store, I certainly can tell the difference between a Granny Smith and a Fiji apple because I have experience and a Granny is all green where as the Fiji is not.  

We do like the tastes of these figs but I would like to experience others.  In time we will.  I also know there are a wide variety of fig tastes as BigBadBill gave us a few different ones to sample when we stopped by.  

When I said, 'I have no need to scrounge around for mislabeled fig trees any more if I don't desire', the fact is, I DO desire to do it yet.  If I see a 4, 5 or 6 foot unknown tree for $10 to $20, I figure I bought a lot of tree growing time for a reasonable rate and you never know what you may get.  Those trees from Lowes on sale were that way, 5 and 6 feet tall for $13 each.  Those 5 trees will yield well over 100 figs (total) this year.  The 56 I'm growing from scratch; yield will be zero and next year would also be questionable for any samples.  At 72, if I can buy some time, then that is what I will have to do.  When I started a small vineyard a little over 20 year ago, I was willing to wait 3 or 4 years for a crop sampling.  Today, not so much.  BTW, the vineyard is going at the end of this season.  It has run its course with me.  Figs will replace them.  To do grapes properly is way more time consuming with far more problems and I still have around 100 gallons to bottle that has been sitting for over 5 years.  Figs, blueberries, plumeria, banana trees, elephant ears and other different and/or unusual plants have my attention now.  I want to cram as much interest and excitement in doing what I like over the (hopefully) next many several years as possible.

Subject: First Black Mission figs from a Lowes tree Replies: 5
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 178
Figgysid1, I appreciate the comment as I am coming to the same conclusion very quickly myself.  Last year a couple of months before this time I was just getting my foot in the door of fig growing.  Lowes had a 50% off sale on their fruit trees and I picked up six to give them a try.  What I'm showing is what I'm getting this year from them.  The one thing I can say is all the trees had nice size and I figured I have a little head start in actually raising a fresh fig to eat right outside our door.  Fortunately, BigBadBill lives close by and I got a lot of very good information and I owe him for giving me knowledge and instruction in growing figs from cuttings.  Growing cuttings gave a lot of pleasure in getting through this past winter.  (I'm not a great fan of winter) I now have 56 rooted, growing and doing very well.  I have no need to scrounge around for mislabeled fig trees any more if I don't desire.  I also found many sources for resources to get what I need to do things right thanks to so many and all of you.  

I really would like to truly have correctly labeled and positively known varieties of fig trees so if I pass them on, the new owner is getting exactly what the label says.  It appears that the best I can do with these on-sale-specials is to put a U in front of the variety name for 'UNSURE'.  Does that sound like a reasonable way of doing it? 

Subject: First Black Mission figs from a Lowes tree Replies: 5
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 178
I just picked the first ripe figs from a tree labeled Black Mission that I bought last year from Lowes.  What is interesting is the looks, size and taste is very similar to the figs I picked last week from another tree I bought from Lowes labeled as a Brown Turkey.  I have posted five photos.  Four of the photos are of the Black Mission and one of the Brown Turkey for comparison.

The taste was very similar to a peach without any of the tartness that peaches can have.





Here is the image of the Brown Turkey which the general consensus it was a Celeste.

Any thoughts?  Thank you.    

Subject: My first ripened fig - EVER - I think Replies: 31
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 385
Picked the second fig today off of the same tree.  I also seen that many more are now entering the final ripening stage.  We should be getting another half dozen or so within the next 4 days.  Photos of this fig included plus a photo of the rearranged figs on the wagon.  Since I now posted my first two figs of the year, I'll start another thread if a new variety emerges to the picking stage.  I will also start a new thread if there is a newsworthy update on the watering situation regarding the fig tree rearrangements and a new thread regarding the powered Swifter Sifter outcome.

I appreciate the information contributed in trying to get me on the right track.  Thank you.




Subject: Deanna fig Replies: 25
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 612
Well, after reading and seeing this, I'm sold.  Found one on Ebay and bought it.   Although the seller is only around 2 hours away, I'll opt for it to be shipped.  I'll be looking forward to the day when I can get a super sized fig like that.

Subject: My first ripened fig - EVER - I think Replies: 31
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 385
Tomorrow I expect to pick that 2nd one.  It really looks ready now but I'd rather wait till morning in order to start the day off on a positive note.

I took action tonight and ALL pots have saucers and I watered everyone until the saucers were filled.  I moved 31 of the small pots to a table then I rearranged the rest on the wagon by putting the largest right down the center then the next highest on each side and so on with the rest.  Hopefully this will give all plants an equal shot at the sun and rain.  I think the tall plants might have been shielding the smaller ones from getting their fair share of the rain.  I will be closely monitoring the saucers from now on regarding the need for watering.

When I built this wagon, even though I did take care into making it as durable as possible meaning not only did I use all pressure treated wood but stainless steel deck screws and hardware.  I did think about putting sides on but I needed to get it into service in the hope to grab as much of any nice day as I could early in the season.  When temps dipped at night, I moved them into a heated building.  Now that I have more time to plan this next one, I'll still make the bed the same way with the same materials but I can plan the addition of sides.  I like that idea about making the wagon a large mobile planter.  The thought I have is to use the wagon for pots that are 5 gal or less.  Anything larger will be set on the walk or driveway with a suitable saucer.  I really enjoy going around and watering the larger trees as I look over the new crop popping up and seeing their growth as time moves along.  That is one of the main reasons I got into figs.  I'll lighten up on the strawberries and blueberries before I cut back on the figs.

Subject: My first ripened fig - EVER - I think Replies: 31
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 385
The heat and lack of plates causing a less than adequate amount of water going to the figs makes perfect sense to me.  All the pots have good drainage as I had put an inch or more or course pine nuggets on the bottom of all pots so the medium would not pack around the drainage holes.  It also makes sense that the small pots would dry out faster.  I will be making some temporary changes immediately.  I will take the smaller pots and place them on elevated benches with saucers so I can isolate them and concentrate on making sure they are adequately watered daily.

I have a second farm wagon kit that I still have to assemble.  By having another it will allow me to spread out the pots AND put plates under all of them.  The tightly packed together pots is the only reason I do not have saucers under them now.  By having the second wagon, I will also be able to pot up the smaller ones into the more preferred larger pots.  None have reservoirs as of yet.  That is something I'm kicking around on how I want to go about it.  With so many fig trees needing attention at one time is like the spinning plate on a dowel rod act I remember seeing on the Ed Sullivan show.  It's easy getting several going but at a certain point the entertainer had to turn back to the first plate and spin it up again and at some point it becomes overwhelming in order to give each one the attention that is needed.  Now I know there are many of you that have far more plates spinning then me, but until it becomes second nature, I may lag a bit behind now and then, but I try to get there.

I appreciate the help and I will act on it today.  Thank you.


Subject: My first ripened fig - EVER - I think Replies: 31
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 385
My routine with first potting is basically starting with Al Tapla's 5-1-1 mix although I generally do a 4-1-1 (approximate) mix.  I then sprinkle a tsp of azomite, ground cotton seed, worm castings each on top.  I then prepare the water in a sprinkling can with the recommended ratio of BioAg by SCD and Organic Neptune's Harvest of Fish & Seaweed fertilizer.  After watering I put about 1/2" of soil conditioner (Ground up Pine Bark) on top as a mulch.  From that point on I have just watered with a hose or left the rain do that part.  

Some leaves may appear to be yellow or at least yellowish.  There is no question some are very light green and even a yellowish green tint to them.  I thought it was more from the hot, direct sun.  With the wagon, I do pull them into the shade on extreme high temperature days.  

If there are any suggestions or advice on potential problems, I'd very much like to hear what may need to be done.  Thank you. 

Subject: My first ripened fig - EVER - I think Replies: 31
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 385
Looks like the second fig is getting ready.  This one is much nicer than the first.  I also included a couple of pictures of the new. over winter started fig trees I'm nursing along for more production volume.  

2nd Fig.JPG 

It just started to droop yesterday.  The anticipation of waiting to actually harvest a fig for the second time is delightful.  This is what I was looking forward to for the last year since I got into this.

8-17 Cart Figs.JPG 
I counted 70 on this wagon.  All the short ones are from over winter cuttings.  The larger were bought from Bigbadbill, Lowes, Homedepot and a person from Leesport Farmer's Market.

Here is another shot of the wagon.  This is one of those Northern Tools farm wagon kits where you design the top and supply the wood.  It is great for moving them around which I did when the temperature dipped into frost a couple of times.  I was able to move them under cover and out of harms way.
8-17 Figs Cart.JPG 

The fig tree that is producing is seen in the background and to the left by the house on the walk.  The house is patrolled by (hungry) outside barn cats which helps in keeping the birds at bay.

Subject: My first ripened fig - EVER - I think Replies: 31
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 385

That will work as my brother is currently is using an old cement mixer with a 5hp engine at idle.  He uses it for breaking down old plant pot root clumps and mixing horse manure with soil, among other things.  


Subject: My first ripened fig - EVER - I think Replies: 31
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 385
Thank you, all.

Lowes sold Brown Turkey, Celeste, Black Mission and Chicago Hardy.  I think they also had a White Kadota at one time    It does not appear the labels were mixed up at Lowes as there are 2 labels on every tree.  That does not mean they were correct when sold as the supplier is the controlling party with the labels.  I do have a few others labeled as Brown Turkey from Lowes, so we shall see how they turn out.

Those plates with the green flowers are Corelle dishes.  Had them for decades.  We prefer them since they are fairly break resistant and they clean so easy and when I have to clean them, I especially like that.

I was born and raised in West Lebanon, you know, I came from the other side of the tracks; literally.  Haha   My wife, on the other hand, was born and raised in South Lebanon and except for the 24 years we lived in Harrisburg, we now have lived here in South Lebanon for the last 25 years in the home she lived in when we dated.  They were the manufacturers of Bomberger's Lebanon Bologna right next door from our place.  For us, this has been a great place to be.

There WILL be a video of the Swifter Sifter in action.   I sure hope it is the very first test as opposed to several modifications later.  Right now I estimate up to one more month until test.

Subject: My first ripened fig - EVER - I think Replies: 31
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 385

Last night I checked on my ripened fig with the anticipation of tomorrows breakfast appetizer and everything looked good.

This morning I went out to the to retrieve my very first ripened fig and NO FIG.   After my initial WHAT THE….. and before I got to the third word, I looked on the ground.   YES! There it was.  Undamaged with only 3 or 4 very tiny ants scurrying about, I quickly picked it up and brushed them off.  Everything was good again.  World order had been restored.

I took it inside and did a weight check; 12 grams.  Kind of puny but I wasn’t going to complain.  After all, just a minute or two before, the only thing I thought I was going to weigh was air.  I took a few pictures plus, what appears to be, the next ripening fig, which sat right aside of the one I picked.

As to taste; it was not sweet-sweet but there was a slight sweetness with, what I can only describe as, a slight hint of peachiness flavor.  I split it with my wife so 6 grams is not a lot to sample but she concurred in the flavor.  The point is; it was GOOD.  As I said before, this tree came from Lowes and was labeled Brown Turkey.  With the description and pictures, does this sound right or is there a possible mislabeling?

12 grams

Slight sweetness with a hint of peach flavor.


This appears to be the next fig to be harvested.  It just started to droop this morning.

Subject: My first ripened fig - EVER - I think Replies: 31
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 385
I am proud of the Dirt "Swifter Sifter" so far and if it works was well as I envision it, I'll be ecstatic.  But, and here is the big BUT, I will not know until I crank this thing up and throw the first load of dirt on it for the test to see how well it works.  I've seen similar units on youtube but none were very clear on the details of the mechanics.  The thing I gathered from those videos is the need for great shaking action of the screen.  

This is all my design with a 2" square tube frame bolted together with 5/16" hex bolts using 3/16" flat iron plate gussets.  Originally I had planned to weld the frame together but the people who are laser cutting my parts suggested it be modified to take apart for transportation and/or storage.  Fortunately the design modification did not change the specifications of any of the previously cut pieces.  Many of the parts are off the shelf like the engine, pulleys, bearings, belts and miscellaneous hardware.  A spec sheet is being drawn up for every single part in order to produce a manual at the end.

This whole project came about because we had a huge mound of mixed top soil, compost, chunks of wood, stones, metal debris from burned wood items.  This mound sits out back and has accumulated over the last 10 to 15 years.  It is approximately 30' long, 6' to 8' wide and 3' to 4' high.  A great place for groundhogs to burro and is right along side the garden that my brother takes care of.  I suggested we just bring in a trash container, load it all up and haul it away.  He said there is a lot of good composted soil in there and it would be a shame to lose it.  I checked around to try and rent a large sifter as doing it by hand with a wheelbarrow and shaker frame was a little insane, given the amount we had.  There is none to rent nor is there any to buy (at a reasonable price).  The lowest cost one I found was about that size for around $9,000 at was a stationary unit moved with a skid loader.  SO, this is where I'm at now.  The screen is 4' by 6' with overall frame dimensions to accommodate the front end bucket on our small tractor.

I can tell you this; the cost of bringing in that trash container and hauling it all away is going to look like a bargain once I get done with this project.  BUT, I'm retired and I'm always looking for something interesting to do.  

I sure hope my Social Security checks don't stop!

Subject: My first ripened fig - EVER - I think Replies: 31
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 385
Thanks, Bill.

I plan to do that tomorrow and I have the gram scale, quarter, sharp knife and camera.  I also plan to keep a log on recording on what fig trees do what, when and how many.  I guess this might be a little over-the-top micro managing by a newbe and maybe this will fade in time when it becomes routine getting figs on a daily basis when they're in season, but for now, I find it interesting to gather such information.  

I was hoping to stop around this summer but there are a lot of irons in the fire right now.  Still working on my powered dirt sifter.  I'm probably 90% done but that last 10% (tensioner mechanisms for the drive belts) is going a little slow since the design could not truly begin until I got to the 90% stage.  Actually I'm currently sitting at the laptop working on a design layout in the CAD program.  I hope to take the part specs to my laser fabrication shop that is doing that work for me.  Attached is a pic at the 90% stage.

I'll be forwarding the fig pics and info tomorrow.  Take care, Bill.


Subject: My first ripened fig - EVER - I think Replies: 31
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 385
I got into figs almost 1 year ago exactly.  Bought some nicely grown trees and propagated many, many others.  Some of the nicely grown ones had many potential figs popping out here and there.  Here we are in the middle of August and until today, they all looked so, so far away from beginning to ripen that I was wondering when and if it will happen.  Being in 6a I knew I was in an area that many fig varieties did well.  I walked out side this morning and I could not believe one would turn this quick, but there it was; at least I think it is ripening and not rotting.  I took a couple of pictures to get an opinion if picking time has come to it.  

Now here is the bad news, at least I feel some of you will feel this way as this variety does not appear to be held in high regard.  As for me, at least at this stage, I'm not too picky as I've been waiting a year for this moment.  It's a BROWN TURKEY from an end of year sale at Lowes last year.  

Attached is the pics I took.  The pics show a few other figs that are no whee close to any kind of color change of softness.  Besides, I remember that they first show signs of ripening when they droop severely, which is what I see in the pic.  I think I remember being told that they are ready for picking when a little goo droplet appears at the bottom. One pic shows the bottom and no droplet.  So, what you think?  Thanks

1st FIG- BT.JPG 

1st Fig-BT.JPG 

Subject: Re Kadota Fig Tree Replies: 24
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 625
I found this topic extremely interesting.  I bought several White Kadota cuttings this past winter with many rooted and growing strongly.  Since my biggest ones are only around a foot tall, I will have none his year and I don't expect any next year either but I do look forward to the day that I will have my own figs to enjoy.  

I have to say, the main reason I was attracted to this variety was the twisty, knurly and undisciplined branches it appears to have.  I think it is going to make a great looking tree on a front porch, patio or deck.  One of the cuttings looked like a seven fingered hand which had to be rooted in a little bit of an unconventional way.  But it did root and so far three of the fingers have nice healthy potential main trunks shooting upward with several nice leaves.  I put it in a 5 gal. wide pot right from the start so I would not have to disturb it for hopefully the first 2 full years.  Most of my new rooted cuttings get the 1 gal or 2 gal treatment but I give some the 5w if I plan to make them one of my mother trees.

I hope I did not get too far off the subject but I hope to post a pic or two later on of them and look forward to more comments on fig tastes and observations.

Pennsylvania 6b 

Subject: De-Bagging Cuttings - I just had to know Replies: 13
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 518
Thanks, Sas  I started into figs only about 10 months ago so this was my first winter working with cuttings.  I did this in order to have something very interesting to do over winter, which it did.  But what I think I found out and you helped confirm, I should have kept all the cuttings in the frig and waited until this spring before I started to try to root.  I did get many to root but they really did not take to the basement environment.  Next year I will not get carried away with winter rooting and I will not get nearly as many cuttings.  I wanted to learn and I did learn a lot......a lot of what NOT to do.  I did learn that some varieties had roots popping in just 10 days and other varieties (White Kadota comes to mind) took a minimum of 6 weeks for me and mostly more.  I was only miffed because so many went straight from fresh cutting to flat-out rot.  As to the 6 that are getting another chance, after I cut 1/2" to 1" off the bottom end to remove the rot, the cutting still looked fantastic.  I do have 50 to 60 out of about 270 cuttings growing strong, so it was not a complete wash but the percentages are terrible.  My lack of patience and over managing may very well contributed to much of the failure rate.  I do have 7 trees that are above 4' (bought last year mostly from Lowes at their 1/2 price sale) with a few figs.  So if we get a couple to eat, that will be reward enough this time.  Thanks again.       

Subject: De-Bagging Cuttings - I just had to know Replies: 13
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 518
Update: Since I started this post a little over 2 months back, I potted around 8 of the bagged cuttings seen in the photos.  Of the rest, NONE have show green or roots.  I decided to check ALL remaining bagged cuttings, after all, it has been over 3 months since I started the rooting process with them.  I figured at this point I do not have much to loose.  6 of the cuttings are going to get a reprieve so I trimmed about an inch off the bottom and potted them in a cup.  All the rest are totally gone.  I would like to further note that not one that I threw out had a hint of green or one single root or even a bump.  Not one even tried to root.  To say I'm a little dejected would be an understatement.  This was just a quick recap of what I seen today.  I plan to go into further detail later on because it is now late and I'm tired and I'm calling it a day.  Not all is lost as I do have around 60 very healthy, growing figs to play with.  Quite frankly, if the great majority had made it, I'm not sure what I would have done with them, but I still would have liked to try.  I would have taken pictures but I'm sure many of you have seen dried up and rotted cuttings; it's not a pretty picture.  Next post will show the successes. Take care.

Subject: Honeyberry YES or NO? Replies: 26
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 818
I was looking for something new and these Honeyberry bushes popped up.  I have 3 each of Blue Moon, Blue Velvet, Honey Bee, Borealis and Tundra plus 5 Sugar Mountain.  I'm in zone 6b but for now I have them all potted and will move them to a protected site for over winter.  They are quite young and I see no berries on any so far.  Right now my main goal is to see that they survive and increase in size.  I will update at the end of the season unless there is something notable before then.

Subject: De-Bagging Cuttings - I just had to know Replies: 13
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 518

I appreciate all the responses.   There is a lot of good information in them and I believe I have come to some conclusions that will be of a great help for next winter.  Thank you.

I believe the most valuable conclusion I’ve come to is NOT to start cuttings until a few months into the new year.  Even though I was able to root the cuttings, keeping them alive in a basement environment until spring was almost a complete failure.  I thought I had a good setup with an area that would average 70 degrees +/- 3 degrees.  I had grow lights, heat mats and all the good stuff as far as potting medium.  But about 3 months into the rooting process, I was in a constant battle fighting off spider mites and gnats.   I did learn a lot and I did not go crazy with cabin fever this year.  Maybe next year I’ll build model airplanes.  At least I will not have to be concerned about keeping the kit alive or fighting mites and gnats.

All the mature trees (anything that grew over the previous season – there were 10) got through winter in great shape.   They are leafing out as I write this.   I expect to go into winter with well above 50.   For the months of November thru February, I’ll gather, mark and store all the cuttings I plan to propagate for next year with rooting attempts to start around mid March.  I bought a lot of unknown cuttings this past year to experiment with and keep the costs reasonable.  I may get a little more selective next year, but first things first and that is looking forward to this years growing season.

As to the method, I have not ruled out using the baggie method altogether.  I also like plastic cups and then there are the occasional unusual cuttings; like ones with several fingers or endings.  They will not fit the traditional method of baggie or cup.  For the latest odd cutting I used a flat rectangular Chinese take out container.  (Pics included)  The point is, depending on the cutting variety, shape and value; I’ll try to adapt the best method to prevent failure as best I can.  I’m sure as time continues; I’ll favor one over the other, but I like to keep the options open.   For sure, those here that have outstanding success rates and share their advice are the ones to closely listen to and learn from.  To keep from forgetting about the many points, I will go back and read the post again from time to time.

Well, we just had a 3” to 4” wet snowfall around here but should quickly be gone in 3 or 4 days as the temps start closing in on the 60s to 70s with in the week.  Then it will be time to get my last set of cuttings out into the greenhouse for a little regular springtime temperature and natural light swings.  I’ll keep the cuttings under a workbench so as to not fry them in the sun.    So, Happy growing season, everyone.           

Weird Cutting 1.jpg 
I forgot the shape of this cutting but it just fit in this container.

Weird Cutting 2.jpg 
It is a 5 gallon squat.

Weird Cutting 3.jpg 

Weird Cutting 4.jpg 

Subject: De-Bagging Cuttings - I just had to know Replies: 13
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 518
Thanks, Mike.

Anytime someone gives me advise on anything and has a proven record or skill set that exceeds and especially when it far exceeds mine, I listen.  I hope I did not make it seem as thou I handle the cuttings willy nilly and without much regard as I do take care with them and I try my best to not mess with them once I settle them in.  I do like the idea of going directly to pots, as you mention, for the sake of having them left alone and undisturbed until they reached a reasonable point where they are not sensitive.  At the point where I must disturb them, it will be because they've out grown the pot they're in.  A few cuttings that I plan to make my personal keepers have been put directly into 5 gallon pots from the start.  All others will be in either 1, 2 or 3 gallon pots, depending on the variety, root ball and quality of the newly rooted cutting     Once set in pots, I will not go digging or 'rooting around', so to speak, until they are a size where they have to be repotted into a larger one.  My plan in potting up will be a 7 or 10 gallon pot for the 1 to 3 gallon pot trees and a 15 gallon pot for the 5 gallon trees.  But THAT is well into the future.  My immediate desire is to experience the crisp mornings and the smell and sight of the freshness of new growth that comes when spring arrives here in the northeast.     Again, Thanks, Mike    

Subject: De-Bagging Cuttings - I just had to know Replies: 13
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 518

Figtrees, I greatly appreciate the response. 

I read it three times to make sure I did not overlook a single point.  The one point I find the most interesting and more than likely one of my problems, especially after it appears I had a very successful rooting, is the pot planting survival.  My 1st set of consisted of 68 cuttings and most began the rooting process the last week in November of last year.  About half root and about half of them looked strong.   But I think the unnatural environment of the basement in trying to keep the potted figs healthy was a huge issue as most seemed to fade away with leaves losing their greenness, turning brown and finally dropping off.  I’m going to give them a chance when spring finally breaks and hope the sun and natural heat of the sun will bring them back, but I have my doubts.  The point is I started the rooting process way too soon but it was a way for me to endure the winter gloom.  Being stuck inside can be a real drag.  Anyway, it was a great learning experience and with this activity, it made this winter endurable. 

Now that I will have some fig trees to work with, I will be able to not be chomping at the bit to try and hurry the process next year.  In a few weeks spring will arriving and just at the right time for this last set of cuttings to experience a natural setting.  I do have a small greenhouse that my brother uses to start his tomatoes.  I can sit them under the work tables also.  

As I said, I appreciate the information and I will be incorporating what you passed along to me. 

Thank you.     

Subject: De-Bagging Cuttings - I just had to know Replies: 13
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 518

About a month ago I received cuttings from several sources.  This was my 3rd  set, and I planned it to be my last, for this 2015-16 winter propagation season.  As with all sets, my goal is 100 % success but so far my last set (2nd) was only around 60%.  Using school grades that might be a D minus at best.  This time I used the baggie method, with NO heating mat, keeping the potting medium just damp enough to say it wasn’t dry and placed them in a plastic storage container in the relative dark basement furnace room where the temperature is a fairly constant 70 degrees.  Two weeks in, I had two with roots hitting the sides of the baggie.  Yesterday I potted them. 

About a week ago I received another set of cuttings; so much for ending at 3 sets.  Anyway, I spoke with BIGBADBILL and made another change in my propagation process.  Instead of giving new cuttings a 4 to 20 hour soak, I decided to use his method of soaking until at least root bumps protrude.   A week later 10 out of the 23 had significant root bumps.  Those I placed in baggies.

All this got me thinking about the 3rd set.  Out of 45 cuttings, only 4 shown roots to the sides that included the 2 I mentioned earlier.  Now I was told that rooting would be slower, but after a month I just had to know whether I had roots, not or rot.  So today I decided to de-baggie every cutting that had NO signs of rooting.  Of the 41 that I removed from their baggies, 4 more had very small roots.  Those 4 went into cups and the other 37 went into a wide mouthed plastic container of water with a very mild addition of liquid rooting hormone.   They will be inspected daily as I change their water and will be placed back into their baggies once roots or significant root bumps are seen.  I should mention that only 1 cutting appears to be rotted, all the rest still look great.  I credit that to the very, very low amount of water in the potting medium and relatively lower temperature.

Was this the right thing to do?  Should I be messing with the cuttings this much?  Is there a better way?  I believe after reading and doing what I have done so far, even though my experience with cuttings only started November 4th of last year, this is right for me.  I normally soaked my cuttings from 4 to 20 hours but it seems as though leaving them soak until root bumps should give more guarantee that roots will actually develop and it should prevent any drying out.  Changing water every day allows close, detailed inspection of every cutting, which will permit intervention if needed.    This whole process is a learning experience.  Many on this forum have shared some really great information but I do believe we all have to find our own method and what works for each of us.  When I see something that does not appear to be going according to plan, I have to know why.  If I make things worse, then so be it as long as I learn from it, although failing is NEVER the plan.  Personally, I feel very good about these moves as I sense I will have a better chance to have more control over process now rather than leaving a lot to chance.  I have included few pictures to go with this information to help clear up anything that may be fuzzy from my writing.   I hope this is a worthwhile post.
     Cuttings awaiting their turn to shed their baggie.

     One of the cuttings with a very small root.

     This cutting had the largest root.  It was cupped to just above the dark bark.

    2 potted and two cupped so far.  The other cups hold Plumria cuttings.

Cutting Soak.jpg 
    The de-bagged cuttings in their soaking container.  It sits on top of the insulated furnace cabinet.  No, the water is not boiling, it's just slightly cloudy fom the rooting hormone.  Temperature is around 75 to 80 degrees.

Subject: How to plant cuttings? Replies: 4
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 194
I believe the great majority of cuttings are rooted vertically since it is the way most cuttings lend themselves to.  But occasionally a cutting will be unusual and a more imaginary method may have to be applied in the rooting process.  I'm not exactly sure if this example is what your question was asking but I have a photo of a cutting I received that I found quite exciting.  This cutting was not going to lend itself to the cup method I was using at the time and I did not want to trim anything from it to do so.  I ended up using a small plastic storage container as a humidity chamber and laid the cutting in a potting soil mix just as if you would lay a hand with the ends protruding upward.  Once green started to protrude from the tips, I carefully transplanted everything into a 5 gallon squat pot as its final home (at least for the next year or two) so as to not disturb it for a long time.  I hope to show 2 photos showing this.
White Kadota Cutting at 19 days.jpg  WhiteKadoto1moJPEG.jpg 

Subject: Rare Galicia Negra and others found at Wal-Mart Replies: 30
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 1,128
Ah!  April 1st!  Glad I only made a call to the local WM.  I asked if they had any fig trees and they basically went, "What?"  Just in case a WM in your southern areas do carry figs. here in Lebanon, PA., they don't.

Subject: Starting my cuttings Replies: 17
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 551
I wish I could give you some great advice but I don't really know either.   I do think you are asking some great questions and I look forward to all responses you get.  I did remove the wax from the rooting end and in other cases I cut a very thin sliver off to make the end fresh only because I thought it was logical.  I look forward to see if I was logically right or way off base.  

Subject: Anyone interested in some Unknown cuttings? CB2 Unk Replies: 10
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 335
Thanks, Lou.  They arrived today and they look great.  I just got done with my marking pens placing an ID on each one and slipped them into my soaking solution.  If I'm up to it, I may place them into their baggies later tonight after about an 8 or 9 hour soak.  If not, I'll do it tomorrow morning after about a 20 hour soak.  I have to say, I expect some of them to really POP quickly.  Again, thank you.

Subject: Bag Rooting Techniques Replies: 115
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 6,441
I would like to amend my post above to make sure I give credit where credit is due.

I stated above that a local contact was a great help in getting me started and in fact is the key person who introduced figs by way of a local craigslist ad for his figs.  I did not say who that person was because I did not know his handle on this forum and I could not say just Bill since there are several here.

I want it known that the reason I got into figs and the reason I'm on this forum is credited to BIGBADBILL.  I just received a message from Bill today, thus, I learned is forum name.  

My first figs were some of Bill's potted varieties.  He gave us a sample of a couple ripe figs which my wife and I never had before.  My thought of figs was in a Newton, and I like them.  But now they have real competition for my eating pleasures.  Bill spent quite a bit of time showing us his operation, explaining various varieties and flavor differences and propagation via rooting.  Loaded with that information, We went home and I surfed the web reading about figs, rooting and even growing in zone 6b.  I was always under the impression that figs came from the arid desert regions and especially NOT from areas that had SNOW.  I also learned that the chances were great that I would not have to wait many, many years to harvest figs as my long term projects are not more than a year or two out anymore.   So, as they say, the rest is history.

Again, Thanks Bill - BIGBADBILL.  I'm glad to be here and it made winter much more tolerable this year.   


Subject: DO I THROW THESE AWAY? Replies: 16
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 470
Personally, I try to root anything I get my hands on.  I'm quite new to this (less than 1 yr) and I'm still trying to hone my rooting skills.  If things work out, they can always be gifts to friends and relatives since I do not have friends or relatives into figs..........yet.

Subject: Anyone interested in some Unknown cuttings? CB2 Unk Replies: 10
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 335
I'm in.  I'll take a 10 pack.  My Paypal account is: 115foxron    Oh! how about that.  The same as here.  :) 

Subject: Who is Ebay seller valarie1582? Replies: 25
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 686
I've bought White Kadota cuttings from this person two different times and I've been thrilled with what I received.  From my experience, the White Kadota cuttings have taken me a good month to root as I believe that is just the nature of this particular variety.  Of all the varieties I have, this variety has the most interesting limb features.  The surface bark has an almost light, silvery sheen and they are very knurly and twisty.  I think it is going to be an outstandingly interesting looking tree.  I'm sure the fig will taste just fine, but this one I'm more interested in the tree shape.   

Subject: growing in cups Replies: 10
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 400
When I was propagating using cups, I only had a few that came close to the thickness and quantity of roots that you have with yours.  I would call them very strong and health examples.  I am very new to this also and I've read all I can to see how different methods work.  The reason mine never got much more dense was because I transferred them into pots as soon as I felt the roots were being constrained.  Now I'll be the first to tell everyone that what I do is no endorsement of what to do.  I'm feeling my way through this process also.  I have even went to the extreme of transferring directly into 5 gallon pots in some circumstances.  I'm using 1, 3 and 5 gallon pots right out of the cups depending on the variety and vigor of the rooted cutting.  I'm trying to see for myself how fast similar varieties grow side by side in the different sized pots.  I heard that growth can increase 50% to 100% in larger pots rather than potting up as needed.  The issues with going to such large pots right from the start is the cost, space requirements, amount of potting medium required and (arrgh!) weight.  I add this post just as a bit of information on another way of thinking of the various methods used and tried.  I hope to add to this at the end of the season to see just what kind of difference pot size really makes.   

Again, those are some really great rooted cuttings.  Happy rooting and growing everyone.      

Subject: Bag Rooting Techniques Replies: 115
Posted By: 115foxron Views: 6,441

Greetings To All,

I've been a member since 12/8/15, started to try and root cuttings on 11/5/15.  My first introduction into adding figs to my summer gardening and planting hobby began a few months earlier when I bought some locally grown figs from a fellow member I meet through craigslist.  Through our discussions and his guidance, I decided to enter into propagation in order to take away some cabin fever I develop over the winter months.  My first attempts at rooting were using the damp moss technique back in October.  I cut off about a half dozen cuttings from my potted figs (Brown Turkey, Black Mission and Bensonhurst - 2 each). Over the course of 2 to 3 weeks, they all rotted.  Starting on 11/5/15 I placed 15 cuttings in clear plastic cups using a 50/50 mixture of vermiculite and perlite.   Eight rooted and seven rotted.  I potted the eight but because they rooted so early, it is a huge question what if any have survived a basement confinement even though I tried to do all the right things with lights and all, but that's another story.  Starting 11/23/15 through 11/30/15 I cupped 50 more cuttings but this time used ProMix as a rooting medium.  This time I had 31 root and the rest rotted.  Again, I question how many will survived the winter basement confinement.

Both times I analyzed what went wrong and what changes needed to be made.  I talked some more to my local contact and a great piece of advice was to join this forum.  I have to say, this has been the biggest help in getting me get up to speed.  So I read the threads carefully to see what was tried, what did not work and what had good results.  After another month and getting through the holidays, I had gathered another 85 cuttings.  Most were low cost Ebay specials of mostly unknown varieties.  My goal was to figure out rooting techniques, not necessarily acquiring specific varieties and especially not anything rare.  Until my skill set at rooting gets better and by a lot, it would be foolish to waste money as a gamble.  Out of the 85, over 50 rooted and have been potted.   Most of them are flourishing strongly which was due to uncovering them from their storage containers for several hours each day.  The one thing I did this time was to un-cup any cutting that did not show roots in 2 weeks after cupping.  I cleaned the cuttings, inspected them and re cupped in new and less moist soil.  I think that helped a lot although the information I gained from inspecting gave me a huge insight to what was happening and to see if rotting was a big issue; which in a lot of cases, still was.  This was going to be my last cutting group for this winter but the failure rate just gnawed at me.  In this forum I finally came across Mai's article on the plastic bagging technique.  A lot of things I learned from my failures, posts on this forum and especially Mai's take on her rooting method made a light bulb go off in my head.

I believe the reason for so many failures and especially rotting failures came from three specific things: humidity too high, temperature too high and medium too wet; everything rot loves.  I believe Mai's method will address all those issues.  On 3/4/15 I took the 45 new cuttings a received over the prior month and did the plastic bag method.  This time I made the potting medium just damp enough that one could tell it was not dry.  Compared to how moist I had my medium before, I would have considered this medium dry, but it isn't.  Although I did place the bags in a covered container, this time NO heat mats were used.  Another thing I like about this method was the saving of space and potting medium.  I can easily place ALL 45 bags in one storage container whereas before, with cups, only 19 could be placed in the storage container.  The clear plastic cover has a small 2" computer fan mounted on top that runs every 4 hours for 15 minutes to keep air flowing and humidity down.  The DC voltage has been lowered to keep the rpm down.  I have a wireless temperature/humidity unit in the container so I can constantly monitor the numbers.  The humidity hovers between 50% to 80% depending on the fan running, whereas it was not uncommon to hit 100%, the temperature hangs round 68 to 73 degrees whereas it use to be around 80 to 85 degrees and the moisture in the form of dew or water droplets is virtually non-existent.  Roots and I mean strong roots have form on 2 cuttings so far.  This is far less than before but that was expected since I have reduced humidity and temperature.   This is fine as long as rotting is eliminated and besides, time is not a priority.  A day ago I took half the cuttings out of their bags (I know that is a no-no, but I had to see for myself) to inspect them.  The main thing I was checking for was rot development.  I am very happy to say there was NONE.  Nubs were forming but no roots so far.  I will now leave them alone.  I am writing this at this time because I have a very high degree of confidence that everything is going great and according to plan.  One final thing, no rooting hormone was used.  I have not seen any difference using it in my previous tests. 

This is my first post and I know I’m a newbee to this figs thing but I find them so fascinating.  Then I was treated to a right off the tree ripe fig and I was hooked.  WOW!  What a flavor treat, and I thought Fig Newtons were good.  Anyway, I, in no way, am making a point that this is what anyone should follow.  I post this as information only and anyone can take what he or she wants out of it or not.  I only hope that it may give some insight and helpfulness to someone.  I certainly want to thank everyone on this forum as I have found so much helpful information from everyone posting.  There is no doubt my skill set increased greatly because of all of you.  Thank you.     


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