Fig Tree Maintenance – How To Grow Figs

fig
Image by Axel Rouvin

By Kathleen Mierzejewski

Many people wonder how to grow figs. These fruit trees are among the easiest of the fruit trees that can be grown. They grow happily in both the ground or containers, making them perfect for all kinds of gardeners. Let’s take a look at when to plant fig tree and how to care for your fig tree.

How to Grow Figs

When it comes to fig tree care, you should know that growing fig trees requires well-drained and fertile soil. The best soil for growing fig trees would be loamy soil that has plenty of organic matter cut through it. Also, be sure the area gets plenty of moisture. The perfect pH for growing fig trees is a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5.

When thinking about how to grow figs, you should know that they should be protected from cold winter winds and direct winter sunlight. Unseasonably warm temperatures can cause your fig trees to grow. If this happens too early in the season, and then another freeze sneaks in, your growing fig trees will be damaged.

When to Plant Fig Trees

For good fig tree care, remember that a northern exposure keeps your fig trees dormant until the time comes that they should be blooming. You can set your dormant, bare-rooted trees out in late fall to early spring. For easy fig tree maintenance, you should choose fig trees that are free of root-knot nematodes.

Fig tree maintenance is not a lot of work. Fig trees like full sunlight and adequate room for growth. You can plant your growing fig trees about 15 to 20 feet apart. If you are going to train your trees to be bushes instead, plant them 10 feet apart. Either way, there is little fig tree care you will have to administer.

Fig Tree Care

Be careful not to have too much nitrogen in the soil. You can fertilize the soil at a rate of one pound of 8-8-8 each year of age of the tree, or each foot tall the tree is. This is to a maximum of 12 pounds and then you would maintain the same rate each year.

With regard to fig tree maintenance, you should fertilize your trees annually. If you have heavy soil, fertilize the tree when the buds swell. If you have loamy soil, you can fertilize with half the amount required when the buds swell and the other half can go down in late May.

Good fig tree care requires some pruning. However, fig trees don’t require much. You should prune in late winter just before growth begins so you don’t injure the plant.

Harvesting your figs can be done as soon as the fruit is softening. Figs are not tasty until they are ripe, so you will need to let them stay on the tree until fully ripe.  Figs will stop ripening once they are removed from the tree. You can store them in the refrigerator for a week or two until you are ready to use them in recipes or eat them.

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