Grow your own – Figs


One of our favourite trees here at Tullamore Farm are figs. 

We grow two varieties – Brown Turkey and Black Genoa and both do well in our local climate. 

Most people have had little to do with fresh figs and the only experience for many is purchasing them heavily preserved and packaged in some type of plastic or cellophane.  It was only when we started harvesting our own that we appreciated the flavour and texture of freshly picked figs.

If you consider where they originate, you will appreciate they like the sun.  We have ours set up in areas that catch the water, but allow for the soil to drain.  They do not like wet feet and once established they are very hardy.  The bounty can then arrive quite quickly. 

At present all of our figs are heavily laden with fruit.  Even the youngest tree (under two years old) has a nice crop.  

They are deciduous so they lose their leaves in winter and at this time when they are largely dormant we give ours a good prune.  We remove any dead or diseased branches and open up the centre to allow airflow. 

We remove between a third and a half of the branches to keep them below about two metres in height. This keeps the trees to a size where they are easy to harvest and maintain. 

Most fig trees provide two crops per year.  

Come early spring, new buds start to emerge and so does the first crop of fruit.  The first crop actually appears on the branches and is called the wood crop.  The second crop comes early in the new year and forms on the new growth branches. 

We don’t seem to have any problem with fruit fly but the wildlife like the taste (who wouldn’t) so generally we net them when fruiting. 

Doing a good yearly prune and keeping the tree to a reasonable size allows for easy netting. 

Figs are incredibly versatile in the kitchen.  Enjoy them fresh, dried, or in a variety of dishes, such as salads, jams, and desserts.  Our local nurseries generally have them in stock.

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