This year I have taken on growing a Brown Turkey Fig in my garden. This is a Fig that is known for its great flavor and golden-brown fruit.
Like my pomegranate it is a smaller tree so it most likely will not have fruit this year, continue to watch as I post updates on the progress of my Fig growing in the Northwest.
I have one fig on my tree, which I have wrapped in tulle to keep the birds and other animals from eating it.
Recommended Figs to Grow
This is an easy fig to grow in cooler climates and can be pruned since they can grow to 20 feet tall if left unpruned. They have brown to purple outer skin and reveal pinkish flesh that is sweet. They can be grown from cuttings and when mature they have a shallow root system that can be seen on the surface of the soil.
This is a medium size fig that has brown to purple skin with pink flesh and is very sweet in flavor. They are disease resistant and very hardy living in cooler climates down to zone 6 and 7. Like all figs, they like a sunny location and tolerate the heat as well as the cold. They do not require much pruning and grow to 6-8 feet tall.
This fig has a very sweet flavor with hints of strawberries. It is from the Greek island of Portugal. It has yellow/green skin with a long neck and interior bright red and very juicy.
This is a very sweet fig that has a thick skin yellow in color and is a good fig to grow in the Northwest. This fig tree is one of the largest commercially grown figs and is used in making fig newton cookies. The fig has few seeds and is a great fig to eat fresh off the tree.
Planting and Care of Figs
Most fig trees need to be planted in full sun and allowed to grow from 6 feet to more than 20 feet tall. They like a well-draining soil that is fertile and they enjoy a top dressing around the tree to protect the shallow roots.
Water consistently and deep watering every 10-14 days is adequate since they do not like a wet soil.
Fertilize them twice a year once in the spring and again in late summer with a 10-10-10 organic fertilizer.
Pruning fig trees depends on the variety, some figs do not require much pruning while others need to be pruned each year. Best to prune trees in March. Figs produce fruit on the last year’s limbs and is best to open up the center of the tree to allow good air flow.
It is good to allow several trunks and not try to grow with one trunk.
Pests that you need to watch for with fig trees. Sucking bugs can attack your fig’s nematodes, aphids, and sucking beetles are the worst pests that you need to avoid. Neem oil is a very good organic way to treat for pests.
Squirrels and birds love to eat ripe figs so you may need to net your tree to keep them away from the fruit. Another option when getting a smaller crop is to wrap the figs in tulle to prevent pests from eating the crop.
Harvesting your Figs
You can usually get two crops of figs each year one in early summer and the other in late summer to early fall. Figs are ripe when they are soft to the touch. Depending on the variety they will turn from green to brown/purple in color when ripe.
Do not pick your figs when green expecting them to ripen, they will not ripen after picking. Allow the figs to ripen fully on the tree to get the sweetest fruit.
Figs will last from 7-10 days after harvesting.
You can wash the figs and dry in a dehydrator before freezing them for use later, they can last 1-2 years in the freezer.
If they are too old to eat the skin will be collapsing and a watery juice will be released with an odor of rotting fruit. Dispose of these as they are not good to eat.
Best use of Figs
Eaten Fresh off the tree
Grilled to add to salads
Grilled to add as a side with Meats
Side with Cheese and Bread
Fig Newton Cookie
Added to Pizza