Art & Music
I brought three Brown Turkey figs in pots with us from Surrey when we moved to Wales in 2011. They had not had a greatly caring early life, but set against our south facing wall in Monmouthshire they purked up. In 2014 they were joined by a first year Brunswick (a 'stick' of about twelve inches) and a further Brown Turkey. I learnt that it was worth trying other species of figs, so in 2015 the following were added to the collection: White Marseille, Dorée, Madeleine de Deux Saisons, Panache, Jerusalem, Babits, Angelique, Dalmatie, Rouge de Bordeaux, and Sucre Verte. I then wanted to grow figs from scratch.
In early October I planted my first cuttings taken from a friend's fig tree in Berkshire, assumed to be Brown Turkey. Here is the result after a few winter months, and I strongly recommend others to try it. It's extremely satisfying.
I placed them in a 50/50 mix of perlite and vermiculite in Waitrose plastic soup containers so that I could watch root development. I drilled many ventilation holes into the bottom and sides of the containers before use and put a layer of small pebbles in the bottom. When planted I poured water over them over the sink as clearly illustrated in a YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXJIDtffrNw allowing excess water to drain out before putting them near a large north facing window. I sprayed them with water mist once or twice a day (when I could!). They have been joined by cuttings from the other varieties of fig I had bought more recently. Some failed, I think because I gave them insufficient water when the roots were developing (see image below). The roots turned dark, thin and sadly lifeless. This was an important lesson learnt.
LEFT: the line of figs in pots with fleece ready to pull down when frost is forecast on 22 April 2015, and ...
RIGHT: the figs at harvest time 11 August 2015.
I find now that an efficient way of giving the cuttings a good start is to place them in a plastic container and embed the cuttings in damp moss. I have found the results excellent. I took some cuttings from trees during the winter and kept them in the fridge for a couple of months until I was ready to plant them. They were fine to use after an 'enforced winter' in the fridge!
Fig plants I now (April 2015) have are: Brown Turkey, Brunswick, Dalmatie, Sucre Vert, Dorée, Madeleine de Deux Saisons, White Marseilles, Angelique, Babits, Rouge de Bordeaux, Jerusalem, and Panache. I look forward to their development and tasting fruit after their first year. I allow no fruit on them until well established.
The Panache developed fast
The Panache has been a fascinating fig to watch. It arrived as a long stick. I cut off the top six of seven inches, putting the top cutting into a Waitrose soup pot of 50/50 Perlite and Vermiculite. By May of the same year both plant and cutting were developing fast.
Left: A mature fig 17 May 2015
Right: The fig nursery in May 2015. More to come from the house.
AND ... here they are, below, on 11 August 2015 - 16 cuttings.
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