The cultivation of the fig tree

The fig tree is a typical Mediterranean plant, found growing wild in hot and arid areas, thanks to its remarkable adaptability. It even manages to exploit the little earth between the cracks of the dry stone walls, where it is often seen growing to challenge the stones with its invasive and tenacious roots. It can make us understand that under the right climatic conditions, it is an easy-to-manage fruit tree.

The fig is a fruit that ripens from summer to early fall, depending on the variety, and usually has a very sweet flavor. It does not stay as it is for long but fortunately it lends itself very well to drying and also to transformation into excellent jams to be enjoyed all year round. Figs should be eaten in moderation as they are very sweet and somewhat laxative, but in the right doses they are particularly healthy as they contain vitamins and minerals such as potassium, iron and calcium.

The fig tree belongs to the Moraceae family like the mulberry, and is therefore not related to other common fruit trees of the Rosaceae family. This plant, which can become very widespread, is easily cultivated with the organic method, since it is a hardy and very adaptable species that requires little fertilization and little care, rarely falling ill.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Suitable climate and soil

  • How to Plant a Fig Tree

  • The harvest in detail

  • Growing figs in pots

  • How and when to prune the fig

  • plant diseases

  • insects and pests

  • picking fruits

  • variety of figs


Adapted climate and terrain

Weather . The fig tree is a species typical of warm southern environments, where it produces all year round if the temperature is constantly above 15°C. However, it can also be found all over central and northern Italy, but in these environments during the winter it loses the leaves and receptacles from which the figs grow, remaining inert until spring. However, the plant is able to withstand even intense winter cold, especially if the wood is well lignified. This condition is achieved by avoiding excess nitrogen in fertilization, limiting it to the reintegration of organic matter with natural soil amendments such as compost or mature manure. In case of extreme cold, as if to kill the plant, new shoots can be generated from the base which will later replenish it. The fig tree is also a species typical of coastal environments and resists very well to saline winds.

ideal ground . The fig tree is a species very adaptable also to different types of soil, provided they are sufficiently drained, since it does not tolerate water stagnation.

How to Plant a Fig Tree

The proper time to transplant the fig tree is from fall to late winter, excluding particularly cold days when the ground freezes. For each plant, a large hole should be dug about 60-70 cm deep and about the same length and width. Fertilization of the bottom is carried out by adding mature manure or compost to the surface layers of the soil, that is, those included in the first 30 cm at the maximum depth.

Transplant . The plant is inserted directly into the hole, with the neck outside the soil surface. Loose soil is gently pressed and finally watered to promote rooting. If the seedlings are bare-rooted before transplanting, it is possible to do embossing, that is, immersing the root system for at least a quarter of an hour in an aqueous solution containing manure, sand and earth. This practice promotes rooting.

Cuttings and rootstocks . Unlike other fruit species, the fig tree is rarely grafted, usually when you want to change variety. In fact, the plants to be transplanted are generally reproduced by cuttings, a vegetative method which makes it possible to obtain individuals with the same genetic characteristics as the mother plant from which the branch to be rooted was taken.

Pollination. The pollination of figs is entomophilous, that is to say, it is carried out with the help of specific pollinating insects. However, the species is able to produce fruits also by parthenocarpy, that is, without fertilization.

system six. Due to its ability to spread greatly in width and height, it is advisable to maintain at least 6 meters between the different fig trees, and the same distance must be respected in a mixed orchard between the fig tree and other species. The fig tree is also an excellent tree to place in the garden, in this case it must always be kept 5/6 meters from the walls. trees or hedges.

detailed cropping

Irrigation. The fig tree, being an aridity-resistant species, does not need a lot of irrigation water. However, in the case of small plants, in the first years after planting, it is advisable to provide emergency irrigation, especially in particularly dry summers. For adult plants in production, on the other hand, it would be good if it did not rain heavily in the two weeks preceding the ripening of the fruits, this to the benefit of their palatability and quality. Too much water at this stage could cause them to rot.

Padded Although a drought-tolerant species, in the first few years after planting, young fig seedlings can be affected by water competition from wild grass, so a good mulch is always beneficial. A circular layer of straw or cut, wilted grass can be spread around each plant, or alternatively black or biodegradable plastic sheets can be used. These solutions are good for blocking weeds and keeping the soil moist longer.

Growing figs in pots

The fig tree, although it is equipped with a rooting device that wants to spread as much as possible, is also grown in pots or in large planters. The size that the plant can reach under these conditions obviously depends on the soil available and therefore on the volume of the container. Naturally, if grown in a pot, it needs regular watering and more fertilizer or manure, but always without overdoing it.

How and when to prune the fig tree

plant shape The most recommended form of cultivation for the fig tree is the pot with a relatively low scaffolding (about 50 to 80 cm from the ground), which allows a good lateral expansion of the plant and, therefore, the collection of the earth without the need of stairs.

Cut . The fig tree is a very easy tree to prune, but in adult plants you can limit yourself to removing the dry branches and removing the foliage if it is too thick. Over the years the cuts can also have the objective of containing the development of the plant in height, but the important thing is to completely eliminate the branches. Shortening them makes no sense because the figs are produced at the top of the branches, which must therefore be intact.

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