We have a couple of fig trees that need to be looked at before they start to take off, so while I have it in mind, I might as well write a little about them.
Originating in the Mediterranean, they have become very popular in Australia’s ever increasing warm and sunny climate. And why not, the fruit is luscious and delicious, especially with blue cheese!
You can grow them in various soils, but they prefer it to be well-drained and fertile, as you can imagine from their origin.
It is important to know what kind of fig tree you have as there are 2 types. The majority are trees that bear fruit on the current year's growth, a tip bearer, fruiting in late summer and autumn. The other type bears fruit on last year’s old wood, bottom bearers, and often provides an early harvest. This information is vital to know before your start to prune the tree.
It is also worth remembering that what you see above ground is also happening below and figs can spread their roots far and wide. If you are planning on planting one, try to keep it away from your veggies, as it will take a lot of water and nutrients away from them.
It’s getting a little late, but my trees are still dormant, so I had better get out and prune. These trees can get huge, and I want to be able to easily net and harvest them, so I will trim them back significantly to keep everything manageable.
I will be removing suckers, long leaders, dead and diseased wood, any branches that are inward facing or crossing over. I will be looking at its shape and how to improve airflow. In the end, I want to have fewer branches with better fruit on them, than lots of branches with small fruit.
Keep in mind that figs produce a lot of milky white sap that can be very sticky and irritating, and you don’t want to get it on your skin or in your eye, so wear gloves and wash hands afterwards.
Once done, give it some compost and review as it grows.