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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. 



       
Dried out dead root (left)                      Cuttings developing winter roots (right)
 



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.

 


  Illustrations:
Above left.  The Panache in March 2015
Above right. The Panache in May 2015
Left.  The top of the plant chopped off in February and used as a cutting.  Early May 2015. 


 

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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