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  • Ripening Record 2021

    As in past years, I'm going to try to record the dates of the 1st serious color on a fig and the 1st actual ripening of a fig for each variety.

    Today, we start off the 2021 season with Florea. Once again, Florea takes the prize here. Coincidentally, I reported color on Florea on the exact same calendar day last year -- 8/13/20.

    Last year also I measured the number of days to (a) color and (b) ripeness, starting on the last day with a temperature low below 40 F. Last year, that was 05/14/20, so Florea showed color at 91 days and was ripe (four days later) at 95 days.

    Of course, that designation of 5/14 for the start of the season was arbitrary -- it just looked like the last seriously cold day. This year the last day below 40 F was April 23 but 6 of the first 13 days in May were below 45. So I'm arbitrarily going to say that the season started on 05/13/21, the last day below 45 F. So with that starting date, Florea showed color at 92 days.


    ...............................................Col or.............................Ripe............... ....Total
    Variety............................Date..........D ays ..........Date..........Days..........Days

    Florea.........................08/13/21.........92..........08/15/21..........2................94
    RLBV..........................08/15/21.........94..........08/17/21..........2................96
    Improved Celeste........................................... 08/18/21............................97
    Natalina.......................................... .................08/18/21............................97
    Ronde de Bordeaux...08/17/21.........96...........08/19/21..........2...............98
    St Rita........................08/18/21.........97...............
    Salem Dark................08/19/21.........98..............
    Smith..........................08/19/21.........98..............

    More to follow . . . .
    Last edited by jrdewhirst; 08-19-2021, 01:36 PM.
    Joe, Z6B, RI.

  • #2
    I was hoping you were going to do a 2021 record. They are my 14 day ripening forecast!
    “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
    – Source Unknown
    MA 5b/6a

    Comment


    • KDAD
      KDAD commented
      Editing a comment
      Why am I not -14 day ripening? Trying to figure that one out. (A lot of first year and in-grounds)

    • Noah Mercy
      Noah Mercy commented
      Editing a comment
      I think she means hers ripen fourteen days after Joe's, on average.
      Last edited by Noah Mercy; 08-16-2021, 11:48 AM.

  • #3
    I joined the forum as you were wrapping up the 2020 thread. Records like these have been very helpful and I was looking forward to reading your 2021 edition. Thanks for doing this.
    Ottawa, ON 🇨🇦 — USDA Zone 4a

    Comment


    • #4
      Thanks Joe for doing this. We need a sticky for the compiled data from yourself and eboone

      This is the exact type of information we need and especially for shorter season growers to help get the right varieties. Anyone new to figs should look at your previous year's data to see if your varieties would ripen in their growing area.

      Its a lot to ask but if the long season growers could also keep track this way it would provide the data that would benefit us all in the shorter seasons for some of the new finds that are coming to the forefront.
      Tony, Toronto Canada USDA 4B now 5B apparently!!
      Wishlist:
      Yellow Neches, St Martain, Texas Peach.

      Comment


      • #5
        Glad to see you’ll be doing a record again Joe. Your notes are always helpful and specific for picking varieties for our area.
        Mike, MA Zone 6a
        wishlist: Angelito!
        A good tree clearing service for central Massachusetts...

        Comment


        • #6
          I am also glad to see this, Joe! I keep less detailed records than you.

          I am trying to decide whether to do a regular update as you do or post a year end record as I have the past few years. I am retired now and should have the time…yeah, right 😂
          Ed
          SW PA zone 6a

          Comment


          • jrdewhirst
            jrdewhirst commented
            Editing a comment
            End of season is easier. I like the drama.

        • #7
          Was starting to think ripening was just a photoperiod thing, and as daytime shrinks, figs ripen. The same reason that hops don’t grow well in the south the same reason that figs Do ripen early in the south, the day length. The long summer day length is very different in northern Latitudes than the south or toward equator. Once dsylight dropped below 14 hours here the maincrop began to ripen.
          wnc Z7a Hominy Valley
          wish list: a world without Invasive Pests

          Comment


          • Red_Sun
            Red_Sun commented
            Editing a comment
            I know some people Amen'd my thoughts on late season fig ripening last year and this year again. Nothing is new here trying to silence people with different thoughts and ideas.... Not really healthy IMO.

          • jrdewhirst
            jrdewhirst commented
            Editing a comment
            Red_Sun -- Welcome back to the forum. May I suggest that if you have a beef with me, we take it up via PM?

          • Red_Sun
            Red_Sun commented
            Editing a comment
            @jrdewhirst

            I do not get "beef" with anyone. I enjoy peaceful life unhindered.

            I hope we all respect each other. Respect all members here, the same way other members respect you, respect me and respect jessup42. Certainly it is not happening here....

            I hope we all show some restraints here. Have a peaceful day!

        • #8
          jrdewhirst did you happen to take note of when Florea started setting figs this year? I see from last year's records you reported it started setting on 6/15.

          Mine started setting figs on 6/22 last year, but this year it started on 6/5. The first ones started swelling this past week, but did not go back and check for coloring before we left today.
          “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
          – Source Unknown
          MA 5b/6a

          Comment


          • jake44141
            jake44141 commented
            Editing a comment
            jrdewhirst, I am just too lazy to keep records, so I take lots of pictures. I routinely look through the pictures to find ways to optimize my cultural practices.

          • Noah Mercy
            Noah Mercy commented
            Editing a comment
            jake44141 great tip!

          • cvarcher
            cvarcher commented
            Editing a comment
            YEah it seems easier for me to record when the little figlets magically appear. About 75% of all my varieties set figlets in the month of June here on Long Island NY Zone 7a. I put all my plants outside the last week of March since any deep cold is pretty much over .They leafed out fine and by June figlets formed.So now Im waiting to see just when my Red LEb BV starts swelling and coloring up. Thats one of my early ones. I already ate the Olympian Brebas few weeks ago. A few so called late varieties formed figlets in June, one being Figo Preto and the other being Noir de Barbentane.

        • #9
          Joe, thanks. Your annual lists have helped me a lot.
          Cleveland South - Zone 5B.

          Comment


          • #10
            I love threads like this!
            Eric - Seattle / Sunset Zone 5 - W/L: Granato - Now offering fig-pops, my rooting mix, and gritty potting mix! https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Brows...er=pacnorwreck

            Comment


            • #11
              2nd place goes not to one of the crowd favorites among early-ripening figs (e.g. RdB, ICON) but to a dark horse, literally -- Red Lebanese Bekaa Valley.

              RLBV has given hints of earliness in past years, but never like this. Last year, for example, the first color came 2 weeks later. But the writing was on the wall this year in early June, when RLBV set fruit early. Don't ask me why.

              p.s. I picked Florea. It was excellent.

              Edit: p.p.s. I picked this RLBV 2 days later. Great.


              Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_4062.jpg Views:	0 Size:	427.1 KB ID:	1034029
              Last edited by jrdewhirst; 08-17-2021, 09:02 AM.
              Joe, Z6B, RI.

              Comment


              • jrdewhirst
                jrdewhirst commented
                Editing a comment
                blaze -- No, potted. If I don't specify in-ground, you can assume potted.

                If you've been eating potted Mt Etnas for 3 weeks, that implies roughly a 4-wk advantage vs here. Did you do anything to jump start them?

              • blaze
                blaze commented
                Editing a comment
                jrdewhirst
                Generally I start my plants under lights in the garage. My potted etnas and other early varieties get the least light because they don’t generally need as much of a head start. So they get lesser spots under the lights.

                That means I have to be more careful acclimating them after I move them outside. That extra transition costs me a week or two as I move them out of the shade slowly in Late April and early May. So they probably have about a 2 week total head start. I think my climate is milder than yours which probably accounts for the other week.

              • jrdewhirst
                jrdewhirst commented
                Editing a comment
                blaze — That sounds about right. I would have guessed that your weather alone creates a 2 week advantage.

                You should remind readers of the head start when you discuss ripening. Otherwise they might get unrealistic expectations then wonder what they’re doing wrong.

            • #12
              Originally posted by jrdewhirst View Post
              2nd place goes not to one of the crowd favorites among early-ripening figs (e.g. RdB, ICON) but to a dark horse, literally -- Red Lebanese Bekaa Valley.

              RLBV has given hints of earliness in past years, but never like this. Last year, for example, the first color came 2 weeks later. But the writing was on the wall this year in early June, when RLBV set fruit early. Don't ask me why.

              p.s. I picked Florea. It was excellent.
              Joe, thanks for doing this again this year. It's great for the fig community and I know posts like these helped me decide which varieties I should target for my colder zone (6b).

              I'll add that, like you, RLBV was one of the first to ripen this year and almost the same time as Smith and just a week or so after RdB. Another thing that struck me about RLBV is that the figs are noticeably larger this year. This variety gets better with age and mine are still young, having sourced a tree on 6/18/19 and the second on 4/10/20. I'm kicking myself for not keeping more in my collection but I gave a bunch of cuttings and trees away to friends and family which is a great thing; it's a great variety to gift to people. I'm adding more of these....it's a great variety and a top notch fig for the Northeast.
              Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania / Zone 6b

              Comment


              • BlueEagle1967
                BlueEagle1967 commented
                Editing a comment
                jrdewhirst Joe, I was thinking the same exact thing the other day. RLBV is definitely going into larger pots next year. I have them in 10 gallon pots now and might get around 75 figs from each. They deserve bigger and better........

              • schampag
                schampag commented
                Editing a comment
                jrdewhirst What are the 10 lucky trees?

              • jrdewhirst
                jrdewhirst commented
                Editing a comment
                @sxhampag — I’m out of the house so I’ll try this from memory. Smith, Violet Sepor, RdB, Florea, Moscatel Preto, Nordland, Salem Dark, Natalina, Nero 600 m, Pastiliere.

                Given 5 more pots I’d probably pick RLBV, HdA, Green Mich, Malta Black or similar, and maybe Iranian Candy. There are other great late figs but I can’t devote that much attention to a variety that may not ripen.

            • #13
              Joe , thank you very much for doing this . It has been the best source for me to choose varieties that work for our climate. Before I was just buying online and collected few that may never work for our climate. It’s great to share your experience and save us years of frustration and trial and error.

              Comment


              • #14
                My RLBV is ripening several now. It’s only about two weeks after Florea and IC and a week after RdB. It’s also no slouch in fruit quality and taste, and productivity. A keeper for sure

                Comment


                • #15
                  Im south of Mass. and mine are still green. ??

                  Comment


                  • jrdewhirst
                    jrdewhirst commented
                    Editing a comment
                    DK. RLBV is usually not this early here, so it might just be normal variation. My tree could be the odd ball.

                    Maybe sun? My tree gets probably 10+ hours.

                    @MASSFIGS is on the Cape, I believe, so climate very similar to yours.

                  • cvarcher
                    cvarcher commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Makes sense. I just noticed I finally got a few tiny figlets on my Planera and IZbat an Naj!! I doubt they will make it to ripening but this is a good sign for next year. Should fall into the better time frame.

                • #16
                  I like to compare your annual list to ours for fun. Right now we got Smith ripening, but not RLBV, funny how they can be a little different in order sometimes.
                  WV Harpers Ferry Zone 6b

                  Comment


                  • jrdewhirst
                    jrdewhirst commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Sure, go for it.

                • #17
                  Let me know if I should create my own thread but two year old RLBV and one year old Kes haven’t been especially early for me yet. Fort Mill Park has been a little early this year and I believe last too. Takoma Violet very early this year ripening with RDB on the 1st. Everything has been pretty early this year in general.

                  07/26 Iranian Candy /Florea
                  07/29 Pastiliere
                  07/30 JFE Improved Celeste
                  07/31 De Tres Esplets
                  08/01 Takoma Violet / RDB
                  08/07 UNK Celeste
                  08/09 Smith / Fort Mill Park
                  08/10 Peter’s Honey / Green Michurinska
                  08/11 Golden Celeste / In ground Improved Celeste (guessing not JFE because it’s always horrible)
                  08/12 Black Greek / Salem Dark / RLBV / Kes / HdA
                  08/13 Brogiotto Bianco / Scott’s Black
                  08/14 Black Ischia UCD / UNK Negretta / Malta Black and Nyack Purple in some shade
                  08/16 VDB in some shade

                  Socorro Black and Rosa Esmerelda (long hang time last year) are coloring up.

                  All of the rain in the last week or so is causing all kinds of issues. Hoping we get back to a normal dry summer.

                  Updates:
                  08/19 Socorro Black (probably a little late from brutal pruning)
                  08/20 Moscatel Preto/Rosa Esmeralda/Lampeira Prusch
                  08/22 Atreano some shade/Negronne/I-258/Sucrette MP
                  08/23 Nero 600M/UNK Yellow Lebanese/Salem Dark in ground
                  08/24 AJH/LSU Purple
                  08/26 Brogiotto Nero/Emalyns Purple/LDA
                  08/28 Raspberry Latte/BMKK/Alma/Flanders(could have used 2 days)



                  Updates 2:

                  ------ Black Beauty 10 - Never set a fig...That's a first on a mature tree for me. Definitely going to the burn pile.
                  08/29 Lattarula (weeks delayed by brutal pruning)
                  08/30 Hollier in ground
                  09/01 Thermalito (2nd year)/Galicia Negra
                  09/02 Aphahn CDDG Not (delayed by brutal pruning)/Kathleen's Black/Violette Soilles/Preto/Planera
                  09/04 Noire de Barbentane
                  09/05 Yellow Long Neck
                  09/10 Vasilika Sika Round Leaf (delayed from brutal pruning/ripens with AJH)
                  09/11 Maltese Beauty (shaded)
                  09/12 DSJG (2nd year)/Genovese Nero(delayed by brutal pruning/ripens with I-258)
                  09/13 White Madeira #1 (2nd year,tiny tree)/Marylane Seedless(delayed by brutal pruning)/CDDG
                  09/17 Bourjasotte Gris (3rd year)
                  09/18 Ponte Tresa (3rd year)/Nordland (delayed from brutal pruning)
                  09/19 CLBC (3rd year)
                  TBD White Marseilles (delayed by brutal pruning)
                  Last edited by don_sanders; 09-20-2021, 12:34 AM.
                  Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Verdolino, Black Celeste

                  Comment


                • #18
                  I got distracted yesterday and never checked the figs closely, so today I have catching up to do . . .

                  1. Improved Celeste has 10 figs with color, 1 ripe. I have to assume that the initial color showed up ~2 days ago, but I really don't know so I'm leaving the entry empty.

                  2. Natalina has 1 ripe fig that was hiding under a big leaf. Ditto re color.

                  3. Ronde de Bordeaux has a few figs with some color, one deep. I'm going to assume that this fig showed initial color yesterday but it could have been the day before.

                  4. St Rita is showing some color.

                  So I've seen color on the early Three Musketeers (Florea, Improved Celeste, RdB) and also on three Mt Etnas (RLBV, Natalina, St Rita).

                  The table above has been updated. Pictures below.

                  Improved Celeste

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_4072.jpg Views:	2 Size:	617.2 KB ID:	1035827
                  Natalina

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_4074.jpg Views:	2 Size:	498.1 KB ID:	1035828

                  RdB

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_4071.jpg Views:	2 Size:	665.0 KB ID:	1035829
                  St Rita

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_4073.jpg Views:	2 Size:	451.0 KB ID:	1035830
                  Joe, Z6B, RI.

                  Comment


                  • ginamcd
                    ginamcd commented
                    Editing a comment
                    My Improved Celeste is following along right on schedule - about two weeks behind your. One fig is showing color as of yesterday and has started to droop.

                    RdB may be later than usual this year as while they are swelling, nothing is showing any color yet. The tree really didn't seem to like the root pruning and up potting I subjected it to this year.

                • #19
                  Looking great .. I can’t wait till next year when I have these early trees hopefully producing for me.

                  Comment


                  • #20
                    Two more today -- Salem Dark and Smith.

                    Salem Dark has proven itself to be an early Mt Etna. Last year, SD showed color on 8/23.

                    Smith is not usually this early. Last year, Smith showed color on 09/04. This is a nice surprise.

                    SD:

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_4076.jpg Views:	0 Size:	574.1 KB ID:	1036341

                    Smith:

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_4077.jpg Views:	0 Size:	677.3 KB ID:	1036342
                    Joe, Z6B, RI.

                    Comment


                    • ginamcd
                      ginamcd commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I was wondering when Salem Dark was going to show up! And for the sake of your ripening figs, I hope the bulk of today's rain misses your area.

                  • #21
                    I had Nero 600m on my cull list without even giving it a chance due to poor past reviews but having seen some positive ones I pulled one back and kept it. I have a second one that may have to become a keeper also as it makes the top 10 list.
                    NNJ 6B
                    Wishlist: Colar d'Albatera, Mary Magdalene's and the Virgin Mary's Fig, Red Lebanese BV

                    Comment


                    • jrdewhirst
                      jrdewhirst commented
                      Editing a comment
                      It all depends on whether you can ripen it. It may be a little borderline in northern NJ -- you'll probably ripen some but maybe not enough.

                      FWIW, I have it here in the ground but will probably remove it. I have two in pots. The one that I head-started has already been ripening figs. So here, that's the way to go. The other ripened roughly 2/3 of the fruit set by early August..

                    • KDAD
                      KDAD commented
                      Editing a comment
                      For reference, my potted Mt. Etnas have been coloring up and ripening since 8/14 and my in ground Mt. Etna started showing color yesterday so if I do likewise with some kind of head start on the Nero it should be a keeper.

                    • ncdabbler
                      ncdabbler commented
                      Editing a comment
                      KDAD, even for me here in Z7b North Carolina, I've been disappointed with VdB types like Nero 600m for in-ground performance. They're among my favorites in pots because they have a high quality breba crop. But in the ground without any protection, they seem to be some of the most susceptible to early and late frosts. Even in relatively mild winters for me here when my unprotected in-ground Mt Etnas had no damage at all, my VdB types have had significant dieback and only produce a handful of figs at best. In pots stored in an unheated shed, they consistently churn out delicious figs like few others. The main crop isn't early, but it isn't that late either. They also split quite a bit, but still keepers for me.

                  • #22
                    Joe, thanks for the list. It's vital for a newbie like me to be aware of maturing dates. My first fig tree is a Chicago Hardy, which was a Father's Day present of 2021. It's presently in a flower pot in full sun outside. It is growing, the leaves show some signs of distress, but it is putting on more growth and I think I see a few double bumps.
                    thanks again.
                    GuyA
                    St. Augustine Fl.
                    Zone 9A
                    Guy A
                    St Augustine Fl.
                    Zone 9A.

                    Comment


                    • #23
                      As last year, I will periodically refresh the table and bump the thread.

                      FWIW, I picked St. Rita, Salem Dark, and Smith today. Salem Dark was ripe but could have benefitted from one more day, so I'm going to use tomorrow as the ripe date. St Rita and Smith were fully ripe.

                      [Edit p.s. The next day, after the worst of the storm, I picked additional RLBV, St Rita, Natalina, RdB, Florea, IC. There are also colored figs on SD and Smith. So none of the ripening are flukes.

                      Also, the Smith fig is on a different tree than the one pictured above and reported here. So the earliness of Smith this year is not limited to one fig or even one tree. ]




                      ...............................................Col or.............................Ripe............... ....Total
                      Variety............................Date..........D ays ..........Date..........Days..........Days

                      Florea.........................08/13/21.........92..........08/15/21..........2................94
                      RLBV..........................08/15/21.........94..........08/17/21..........2................96
                      Improved Celeste........................................... 08/18/21............................97
                      Natalina.......................................... .................08/18/21............................97
                      Ronde de Bordeaux...08/17/21.........96..........08/19/21..........2................98
                      St Rita........................08/18/21.........97..........08/21/21..........3...............100
                      Smith..........................08/19/21........ 98..........08/21/21..........2...............100
                      Salem Dark................08/19/21.........98..........08/22/21..........3................101
                      Iranian Candy............................................. ......08/22/21............................101
                      De Tres Esplets.........08/23/21........102..........08/26/21..........3.................105
                      Black Greek............................................. ........08/26/21.............................105
                      Hative d'Argenteuil...................................... .....08/27/21.............................106
                      Moscatel Preto...........08/26/21........105...........08/28/21.........2..................107
                      Malta Black.................08/26/21........105..........08/28/21.........2...................107
                      LSU Purple.................08/28/21........107..........
                      Last edited by jrdewhirst; 08-28-2021, 10:58 AM.
                      Joe, Z6B, RI.

                      Comment


                      • #24
                        This is great work Joe and I think it helps quite a bit knowing that a Florea will take approx 90 days to ripen and still be early for the northeast. 👍
                        Joe - Rhode Island Zone 7a

                        Comment


                        • #25
                          I noticed two tiny ripe figs on Iranian Candy, yesterday and today. I didn't report yesterday because the fig looked almost abnormal. But today's fig was normal, ripe, tasty -- just small. Other fruits on the tree look normal, so this may simply be the tree getting started. Table is updated but without a date for color. With this variety, it's hard to tell.
                          Joe, Z6B, RI.

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