I have a fig tree in my yard. It has many figs on it, however, summer is almost over and none of the figs have ripened. They are still medium-sized and hard, they would probably need to grow a bit larger, then ripen.
With the end of summer, the cooler weather will be coming in and I'm afraid I will not eat one fig at all! Any suggestions? Also, what do I do with the fig tree after the summer? Do I cut it all the way down and wrap it, or do I just prune it to, say, five feet tall, then wrap it to keep it warm? Thank you!
Hardiness Zone: 7a
Kelly from Long Island, New York
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By Lynda (Guest Post) 09/07/2008
My mother's fig tree was loaded each year AFTER we began to add used coffee grounds and chopped banana peelings to the soil in the spring, and compost all year long for overall health.
(There are several varieties of Fig trees/bushes. Go to the Library and look through gardening encyclopedias to view what sort you may have and what sort does best for your area/zone.)
In the Fall, we pruned many small branches out, leaving it thin enough for birds to fly through. It always lost all leaves, went dormant in winter in Texas, but returned robust in Spring. It requires a lot of water and never got many pests, except squirrels, and a tiny fly that would sometimes bore the fruit. It got morning and noon sun, but shade in the late afternoon.
It appeared that the secret to having ripe fruit was to keep the numbers of branches to a minimum, and to keep evenly watered, not picking the fruit until it LOOKED and tasted ripe. We never pruned anytime other than Fall.
Just want to say that I'm in Arkansas, and my figs are not ripe yet either. Last year, we ate them by now. My tomatoes are 1-1 1/2 months behind their usual ripening schedule too. My corn matured early and my green peppers set earlier than usual. Everything seems out of sorts this year.
By floppy4me (Guest Post) 09/01/2008
I live in Tennessee about two miles from the Alabama border. My figs are maturing slowly as well. My tomatoes however took off so fast that my freezer and cabinets are full of canned and frozen tomato products.
By JOANNE (Guest Post) 09/06/2008
i am also a Long Islander and our fig tree is huge this year and loaded with medium sized figs that are not ripening. I am also looking for a reason why this happened. I feel like buying figs in the grocery store and pretending they came off my tree. I do know some people who are picking ripe fruit though.
By Billy (Guest Post) 09/11/2008
Another Long Islander here. I have two fig trees, one white figs and one purple. I've been experiencing the same thing for the last 3 years. My white tree is 15 feet high and I've been training it from a bush into a tree for the last 3 years. I've gone from a dozen trunks down to 4. I thought the bad fruit production was from the heavy cutting the last 3 fall pruning.
I'm finished with the heavy pruning and have high hopes for next year. From info I've gathered, you should try to pick branches that point outward and keep the center open like an umbrella.
The purple tree is only three years old and 8 feet tall with less fruit, that's smaller, but ripens a lot faster. I left 70% of the fruit unripe and on the tree last year and look to do the same this year. I'm hoping for better production as the trees get older.
You don't want to hear about my peach tree.
By colorfulveggies (Guest Post) 09/24/2008
I'm in Oregon and I'm experiencing the same thing. This is the first year my huge fig trees have not been loaded with ripe fruit this time of year. I'm sure the problem has little to do with pruning or fertilizing or even watering, as I never do anything special to the trees. I'm looking for answers but guessing it has to do with the weather.
By Lou (Guest Post) 10/17/2008
Same here. I'm in North-Central AR, have 2 fig trees. Have been getting a very few good ones off my Brown Turkey, but the Celeste's are all green. All the top ones of the Brown Turkey are not ripening, and now are turning dark and falling off hard and discolored.
Although I have mulched them heavily in years past, I have not fertilized them recently except with some dilute urine earlier in the year. I gave them a bit of rock phosphate for the first time last winter.