More Figs for Me


Kelly and Linda, who painted my downstairs, sent me a fig tree! Linda brought me figs from her own back yard when they came, and I was completely enamored with them. Now I can grow my own! I think! Can I grow a fig tree here? I guess I’m about to find out!

I have a fig tree!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on September 22, 2011  

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23 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 9-22

    They grow here in Oregon so SURELY they grow in West Virginia!

  2. 9-22

    Probably will need some winter protection in WV.

  3. 9-22

    If it does well, I surely want to know the variety. I miss having fresh figs sooooo much!

  4. 9-22

    If they grow well in Oregon, I wonder if they’d grow well in Western Washington… This topic demands further research.

  5. 9-22

    My Dad has a fig tree in southern NJ. He’s never done anything with it (like winter protection or anything) and his tree is huge and very productive. Now, I’m not suggesting that your tree won’t need some winter protection…I’m just saying that there’s no reason it won’t grow here.

  6. 9-22

    “They” say figs should be grown in well drained fertile soil. It’s hard to grow figs in a climate that has ever changing temps in the winter. If it warms up and the tree starts to bud and then a cold snap comes along there could be damage (as is the case with a lot of fruit trees). Here in Missouri figs can be grown but sometimes they have to be babied a little…that is covered up or protected.What variety is your tree? Some are more hardy than others.

  7. 9-22

    I have a fig tree too… it is a special one for my growing zone (5) and so far it seems happy enough… we will see how it survives this first winter!

  8. 9-22

    Suzanne, I planted two figs last spring. They are “Chicago Hardy”, and I figure they are going to need some special care here atop Flat Top Mountain. I plan to build a wind barrier (fancy word for a tarp bungeed to the fence) and burrow them in for the winter with lots of hay. I’ll report back next spring. Figs will give you multiple crops in a year in most places (probably not here!). I read an article that said a fig plant was a farmwife’s best friend. Now why didn’t I ever try to plant figs when I lived in Miami?????

    Billie in Almost Heaven, West Virginia

  9. 9-22

    We have 3 Italian Figs over here in our chilly valley in eastern Roane Co. I’d plant them in a sheltered area where they can warm up early in the spring because they need a pretty long growing season. We cut ours back in late fall because there is usually winter kill on the current year’s growth. We have tried covering them but didn’t do it last year. A friend in Speed has an established tree that we took cuttings from that they protect in winter and also cut back to 18 inches or so. I think they mulch the shortened branches with leaves and cover everything with a tarp. It grows about 10 to 15 feet tall. It is next to their house. So far ours haven’t grown that tall out in the open. They do come back from the roots every year and they have a few green figs on them now.

  10. 9-22

    It is a Chicago Hardy. I’m glad to hear they can be grown in WV! I love figs!

  11. 9-22

    I know of 2 near me in central VA…”Turkey??…” is the variety and they are both planted on the sunny side of a house where they get lots of warm sunshine in the winter and are protected from the winter wind. The figs they produce are wonderful.

  12. 9-22

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned this, but you need to plant it so it has full Southern exposure. That’s what I was told when I got mine. I got one last year and it is already taller than me. I got 2 more this spring and they all have figs on them now. I have goats that I milk and when I rinse the milk buckets or the milk jars, I throw that milky water on them. They have thrived. I live in N. Ga. It got really cold last winter with several snows and lots of frosts. And the first one did great. I thought it was dead this spring but they are just real slow to come out. I think yours should be fine. Just mulch it really heavy. Enjoy!

  13. 9-23

    I can’t speak to growing them in WV, but I’ve grown them in SoCal and can offer some general guidelines. After the 2nd year, figs like to be pruned back heavily every year. You can take it back to 3 or 4 main branches, and it will grow back nicely. You probably won’t get any fruit for the first 3 or 4 years, so be patient. Figs don’t usually require fertilizer, but they do like to be heavily mulched.

    There’s a fig forum on GardenWeb where you can post questions and get answers from experienced fig fanciers.

    Gee, I miss growing figs, but my DH gets a reaction to the milky sap, so he doesn’t want to have one (and I can’t blame him). My mom used to make pickled figs from the overflow. Yum.

  14. 9-23

    How cool is that! Figs!
    Talk about some very cool new friends as well as wonderful artists!
    Hugs Granny Trace

  15. 9-23

    Also, as I recall it was fairly easy to root cuttings. We did it in the fall after we pruned. It has been a few years since we did it but as I recall, they just need to be in a pot in a warm place for the winter. We put ours in our small heated greenhouse.

  16. 9-23

    THAT is the coolest!

  17. 9-23

    Yummy..We had a fig tree when I was a kid. Mother made fig preserves every year. They were so sweet and sticky, just like candy. She didn’t use pectin just a lemon to give it the acidity. I always look farward to eating the candied lemon.

  18. 9-23

    I have had a love affair with figs since a child eating them in my Grandfathers back yard. I planted 2 figs this year.A brown turkey and a kadota. I have had Celeste in times past. Water them well..and mulch it heavily for the winter. You can wrap the canes too to give it more protection. They will come back from the roots if killed to the ground. WOO HOOO! We got figs! :snoopy:

  19. 9-23

    This is so cool, I have wanted a fig tree for years :hissyfit: . When I lived in California a friend had one and I made pickled figs for my (then) father-in-law and myself. They were wonderful and I would like to make them again. I followed the Ball Canning recipe.
    I discovered that when I picked them I had to be covered completely to avoid the sap from getting on my skin as it hurt like a cut. Am I the only one or is that normal for everyone?
    Congrats Suzanne :shimmy:

  20. 9-23

    I have one like that too. It produced 6 yummy figs this summer. You Can Do It Suzanne! Id like to plant more, I LOVE, LOVE Fig Preserves on fresh biscuits….yummmmmm! :chef:

  21. 9-24

    Figs are easily grown in southern West Virginia. You see them all over the place here in the yards of Charleston. We started one from just a stick from my husband’s family tree in Whitesville many years ago. His mother always said to place some stones in the planting hole when transplanting. It took 2-3 years for the stick to finally sprout, but it was very hardy and bore fruit. I would suggest planting several plants in open spaces with good sun exposure. Figs branch out well and are easily separated to transplant.

  22. 9-25

    Suzanne, just so you will know, our little Italian figs are starting to ripen now. They aren’t totally brown but they are soft and taste great. They are a little pear shaped and are about an inch or so around.

  23. 9-25

    I bought 2 fig trees this year. I wanted the Turkey fig, but ended up with mission figs. I am not a fig expert, so had to go by the tag and it said the turkey fig would need winter protection with temps below 30 degrees. Well, it is not often during the winter we have below 30, but there are a couple of weeks in winter were the temps dip into the teens. So, I went with the mission since it said that it was more winter hardy. My step-mom said phooy on that..she told me she has the turkey fig and it does quiet well thank you! :) I guess I will find out, LOL!! But I do have blueberries and they did exceptionally well this year…yum yum!! :)

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