This covers information on how to get your fig plants to create the largest crop possible.
I grow a variety called Chicago fig that is cold hardy, and the limbs will typically survive the winter in my 7b growing zone.
If not managed my fig will grow over 9 ft tall which makes reaching the fruit a challenge. I recommend that before the plants break dormancy that you trim back all vertical limbs so that they are only 4 feet high.
From these there will be numerous new limbs that will grow from them that will provide your figs for the coming year.
You may have some figs form from on the branches that grew last year. These are called breba fruit.
As the new growth gains in length this is where you plan to increase your yields on this year’s growth.
The stem of this year’s growth will be a green color and be rapid
.You may have new figs begin to form on this new growth but if not do not worry there is a way to get the plant to begin to create flowers that turn into figs
For each of the new branches you want to let them grow until there is at least 5 leaves on the new stem. You can let the branch grow longer but I prefer to keep the plants a manageable size.
For each of these new branches that have reached the size you want you will then pinch out the growth tip of the branch.
Once you take this growth tip out the plant will immediately begin to ooze a white sap from the cut.
It may drip a white sap from the cut end but not to worry it will stop and dry to protect the cut end of the branch
Now that the energy is no longer directed to the continued growth of the branch it will trigger fig flowers to form at each of the leaf nodes.
This young fruit will continue to mature gradually increasing in size.
As they reach maturity they will begin to change from their green color and turn a brown color.
The fruit is ripe once it begins to bend at the stem of the fruit allowing the fruit to droop down. In addition, a light squeeze of the fruit will show that it is beginning to soften. The riper the fruit the sweeter it becomes.
Once the fruit ripens it should easily pull away from the branch.