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  • What if I can STILL grow only N figs in the Northeast -- Which should I choose?"

    ccTwo years ago, I started the new topic titled, "What if I can grow only N figs in the Northeast -- Which should I choose?"

    https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...hould-i-choose

    Over the past two years, I added some notes and comments. But now it's time for a serious update.

    The original list looked like this, not necessarily in this order. Specific picks by any grower depend on goals and space:

    1. Ronde de Bordeaux
    2. Florea (probably synonym Michurinska 10)

    3. Improved Celeste
    4. Smith (probable synonym Texas BA-1)

    5. Violet Sepor (probable synonyms Bourjasotte Grise, Soccoro Black)
    6. Iranian Candy
    7. De Tres Esplets
    8. Green Michurinska
    9. Mt Etna 1 - Salem Dark
    10. Mt Etna 2 - Malta Black
    11. Mt Etna 3 - Red Leb BV
    12. Mt Etna 4 - Norella (or Natalina or similar)
    13. Nordland (probable synonym Longue d'Aout, among many others)
    14. Moscatel Preto
    15. Pastiliere (provisional)

    Since then, I've made these further notes:

    15. Pastiliere has proved its worth, though it is not trouble-free.

    16. Hâtive d'Argenteuil is a stellar fig, very tasty and trouble-free.
    17. Teramo Unk turns out to be a definite keeper, sweet, crunchy, uncomplicated.

    18. Jason’s Unk Black Ischia (probable synonym Negretta) is a trouble-free variety, sweet and crunchy.
    19. Nero 600M produces delicious figs, but is borderline late-ripening here. It would be untenable much further north. But it’s definitely worth growing if you can ripen it.
    So, Pastiliere has earned its space on the list. HdA, Teramo, and JUBI/Negretta have demonstrated that they deserve a place. Finally Nero 600M (VdB) has justified a provisional spot.

    ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

    As popular as it was, I don't think the structure of the prior post would work best anymore. In the prior post, I picked 1 or 3 or 5 (etc) varieties based on my own unarticulated priorities and trade-offs.


    Here I’m going to take a different approach. I’m going to pick varieties to solve specific stated problems.

    Problem #1: A Short Growing Season.

    Solution #1: Varieties that Ripen in a Short Growing Season.

    What if a northern grower wants the earliest-ripening good varieties so that she can be assured of a tasty crop, subordinating other goals?

    Then choose any of these (not necessarily in this order):
    1. Florea
    2. Improved Celeste
    3. Ronde de Bordeaux
    4. Iranian Candy
    5. De Tres Esplets
    6. Teramo Unknown
    7. Salem Dark (Mt Etna)
    You could certainly add or substitute other Mt Etna names.

    Pastiliere is reported to be early but hasn’t proven especially so here yet. That may be an option too.

    ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

    Problem #2: Splitting in Humid Weather

    Solution #2(A): Varieties that Immune to Splitting.

    What if a northern grower wants varieties that are nearly immune to splitting in wet, cool and/or humid weather?

    Then choose these:
    1. Improved Celeste
    2. Teramo Unknown
    3. Hative d’Argenteuil
    4. Pastiliere
    5. Negretta (aka JUBI)
    6. Nero 600M (or Valle Negra or other VdB type)
    7. Green Michurinska
    OK, I admit that I have seen minor splitting in Nero 600M and some other growers report splitting in Green Michurinska but I have found it very well behaved.

    ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

    Solution #2(B): Varieties that are Resistant (not Immune) to Splitting.

    What if a northern grower if willing to add varieties that merely resist splitting in humid weather but are not immune? For these varieties, splitting is generally acceptably low, but careful water management may be required to avoid splitting entirely.

    Then add these:
    1. Smith
    2. Salem Dark (or other Mt Etna type)
    3. Violet Sepor
    4. De Tres Esplets
    5. Nordland
    These varieties do split in persistent wet, humid weather. But the splitting seems episodic rather than rampant.

    ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

    To my frustration, I must admit that I have found it very difficult to manage splitting on some of the originally recommended varieties. Specifically, I can suffer rampant splitting on:

    - Ronde de Bordeaux
    - Iranian Candy
    - Moscatel Preto


    I really need to devote some attention to strategies for managing this problem because a well-ripened Ronde de Bordeaux is exquisite. I would note that my in-ground Ronde de Bordeaux does not split nearly as much as my potted tree.

    Finally, I suspect that Iranian Candy can perform well with less water than other varieties. I hope to try it on reduced water.

    ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

    Problem #3: Optimizing Flavor.

    Solution #3: Varieties that Satisfy a Demand for Flavor.

    What if a northern grower prioritizes premium flavor in his early / mid-season varieties?

    Then she should choose:
    1. Smith
    2. Violet Sepor
    3. Hative d’Argenteuil
    4. Nero 600 (or other VdB)
    5. Green Michurinska
    6. Salem Dark (or other Mt Etna)
    7. Ronde de Bordeaux, if you can manage the splitting.
    There are tons of other tasty varieties, but not all will ripen well here. In general, the Adriatic types, European Brown Turkey types, Palermo Red types, and Black Madeira types (among others) all ripen too late to be worth the work. The varieties listed seem to be the most flavorful subset of the best varieties for the north.

    ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

    Problem #4: Gimme Something Sweet!

    Solution #4: Varieties that Satisfy a Demand for Sweet

    What if a northern grower prioritizes sweetness in her early / mid-season varieties? Then he should choose:
    1. Improved Celeste
    2. Florea
    3. Teramo Unk
    4. Nordland
    Admittedly these are not the most flavorful varieties suitable for the north, or at least there is no prominent "berry" flavor, but they are all very sweet with some modest fruitiness. A grower could be very happy with just these.

    Note that I did not include any pure honey figs in this list. In general, none of them has performed very well here. And they tend to taste merely sweet with no complexity at all.

    ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

    Now of course, the normal grower will want to solve more than one problem simultaneously. That requires setting priorities and making trade-offs.

    For example, if you want the best tasting variety that ripens really early, IMO that is still Ronde de Bordeaux. But you have to be prepared to manage the splitting.

    Or if you want the best tasting variety that is resistant to splitting but ripens somewhat late, then the best choice might be Violet Sepor or Hative d’Argenteuil. But you have to be willing to risk a poor crop if autumn comes early.

    Hopefully the lists above will help inform your decisions.
    Last edited by jrdewhirst; 10-12-2022, 09:05 PM.
    Joe, Z6B, RI.

  • #2
    You have me anxiously awaiting the maturity of my HdA. In this (its first year) it was a pretty slow grower. It produced a bunch of figs that didn't ripen.....

    jrdewhirst - Did you find it took a long time to reach fruiting maturity?
    Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

    Comment


    • jrdewhirst
      jrdewhirst commented
      Editing a comment
      TorontoJoe -- My HdAs are only a 3-4 years old. As I recall, 2 years ago the 2nd year tree set a decent crop, started ripening in mid-Sept, and managed to ripen ~2/3 of it before serious cold weather. This year, the variety started on 9/3, which is still a bit on the late side relative to my other varieties, in between the VdB types Nero 600M and Valle Negra. The difference is that HdA proceeds to ripen fruit like rolling widgets off an assembly line. The transition from green to ripe is very quick. The VdB fruits take their own sweet time. Consequently, my HdAs have ripened almost all of the fruit that they had set by August; the VdB types still hold roughly 1/3.

    • TorontoJoe
      TorontoJoe commented
      Editing a comment
      I can’t wait to get my assembly line up to full production. Thanks Joe

    • Clarktj2
      Clarktj2 commented
      Editing a comment
      My hda dropped its figs year 1. Year 2 was this year and man was it amazing! Delicious figs and like joe said- no splitting or spoiling! A slow grower but productive fruit producer at the nodes

  • #3
    Great info, as usual!

    My experience with RdB and splitting (which I see a lot of) is that if I can keep bugs out by tossing an organza bag over them, they will usually ripen to peak perfection despite the splits.

    One area not covered is the ability to still ripen good figs when temps turn cooler. I'm personally finding Smith, Nordland, and Teramo Unk can still ripen a respectably sweet and even syrupy fig even after overnights drop into the 40s and 50s and days barely make it above 65F. The Mt Etnas tend to get more "raisiny" in this weather, which is okay, but not something I find appealing. There's not much else ripening here at the moment, so can't say if how others in my collection would behave.

    Any observations you can share on varieties you have as to how they ripen in cooler weather?
    “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Source Unknown MA 5b/6a
    Part Owner at Catskill Mountain Lavender

    Comment


    • slowpoke
      slowpoke commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello ginamcd, in your experience/zone, if you had to pick between Smith and Bourjasotte Grise (not sure if you have this), which one would you take? Is there a non-Mt. Etna, berry taste fig you would choose over those 2?

      I am trying to see what might work in Denver (5b/6a, ~150 grow days from start of May to start of October). Already thinking RLBV and trying to find a greenish/berry type fig in addition.

      Thank you.

    • ginamcd
      ginamcd commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi slowpoke I culled my BG after it went three years with no production. I'm dealing with a space issue and decided to stick with tried and true for my zone. Smith, on the other hand, has been one of my top producers the last few years. It always manages to ripen its entire crop before the really cool weather arrives.

    • slowpoke
      slowpoke commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you! Smith it is.

  • #4
    This is a good list and a lot of nice analysis.

    I care more on the early season and cracking/splitting. I care less about "flavor" and the "premium" thing. So you think Black Celeste is a "premium" fig just because the price is sky high? If properly and fully ripe, some common figs are as flavorful as those "premium" figs. At least to me.

    I know you get a short list. I'd like to add a honey or sugar figs. There are many to choose. Also another true "Adriatic" figs. Green Michurinska is good, but not a true "Adriatic" fig. Some "Adriatic" figs are relatively early, about one week behind most Mt. Etna figs.

    I'd also add a mid season BT or Mission type of fig. I have the Easton Purple that a friend in Chicago raves about. I also get the YangZhou that is a mid season heavy producer.

    Sure like to hear more varieties suitable for our cold climate.
    Princeton, New Jersey, 6B
    flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/red-sun/albums
    My FigBid: https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=RedSun

    Comment


    • Nickd
      Nickd commented
      Editing a comment
      jrdewhirst - what was your reason for getting rid of LSU Gold and Champagne? They're on my "maybe worth trying" list.

    • Paul G.
      Paul G. commented
      Editing a comment
      jrdewhirst when/how do you start your AJH?

    • jrdewhirst
      jrdewhirst commented
      Editing a comment
      Nickd -- They just didn't perform that well. I tried them both in pots and in the ground. Champagne never produced well. LSU Gold produced well enough but the fruit tended to get bloated and watery. Both were sweet but I don't really like figs that are just sweet without nuance. IMO, neither one can hold. candle to Florea or any Mt Etna much less Smith or Violet Sepor or Hative d'Argenteuil.

      Paul G -- My one remaining AJH goes into my basement in mid-March. In winter it's warm there, 70-75 F. I constructed some LED grow lights which suppliy a good facsimile of sunshine.

  • #5
    What a wonderful lot of information for the northern fig grower and the friends wanting to help them out, Thank you for sharing all of that hard but very rewarding work! I am more informed and can better help some northern friends with some cuttings, really appreciate this!
    Ellen
    Valley Center, Ca 9b
    Rancho Los Serranos Organic Farm

    Comment


    • #6
      Great resource, thank you for essentially, laying out the groundwork for fig enthusiasts hoping to find "the perfect fig" variety for their region. The most common variety fig on your list are the Mt Etna's. The other varieties are wonderful add on's to a collection. Thanks again for your effort.
      Guy A
      St Augustine Fl.
      Zone 9A.

      Comment


      • #7
        Great update Joe, thanks as always for sharing your experience growing figs in the Northeast. I have most of the varieties you mention and concur with you on your points. One variety I’ve found that produces quality figs which ripen early enough for my short season location is Verdolino, a medium small sized green skinned Adriatic type with an interesting elongated shape. It’s done well for me and ripens with earliest Mt Etna types. Let me know if you’d like some cuttings in a month or so when I prune my plant. My provisional list would also include Campaniere, since my second year plants ripened a few it seems promising. I can set you up with that too if you want.
        Jesse in western Maine, zone 4/5
        Wishlist- earliest maincrop varieties

        Comment


        • jrdewhirst
          jrdewhirst commented
          Editing a comment
          Jesse -- Thanks. I've got Campaniere both in the ground and in a pot but the trees are young. The in-ground tree proved a favorite of deer so it has suffered from some browsing. I expect that it'll make the list once I have a chance to really complete an evaluation.

          I'd like to try Verdolino but I promised my wife no cuttings this year so we could travel a little. At the moment we're visiting grandsons in Hawaii. . Maybe next year. Thanks!

        • ginamcd
          ginamcd commented
          Editing a comment
          I was wondering if you were traveling or, based on the time stamp of your recent posts, had developed a severe case of insomnia... Happy New Year!

        • jrdewhirst
          jrdewhirst commented
          Editing a comment
          Haha! Yes, we're visiting our 2 grandsons in Hawaii. Getting to eat tropical fruit. Not many figs here but my 8-year old took me into the woods to pick some feral passionfruit and guava. I really like the passionfruit ("lilikoi"). We also picked avocado and coconuts off trees at school. Too bad that mangos are out of season. Papayas are abundant but I find them bland. Of course, we're DIYers so I bought them a dwarf mango and a guava. The 5-year old also wants a banana.

      • #8
        Joe ~ Thank you for taking the time and effort to share this with us... helps immensely with selecting which few "cuttings" I'll attempt this winter.

        Comment


        • ginamcd
          ginamcd commented
          Editing a comment
          Use Joe's lists as your guide and assuming your trees are well cared for, you're pretty much guaranteed to get lots of good figs before the season ends. At this point I've whittled down my own collection to where the majority of it is varieties he recommends in his Northeast lists.

      • #9
        I like the way you've provided the information, Joe. If one is from the NE and takes this information and plugs it into a weighted decision making process like that used by Benjamin Franklin, a very satisfying and rewarding adventurer in figs awaits.


        John - NC/SC Border, Zone 8A
        WL: Any great Mario fig, Calderona
        Planting Log: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...Zx6CJShEpG5UEg

        Comment


        • #10
          Thanks Joe for another great reference thread. I tried rooting 3 HDA this past winter. None made it. I wasn't planning on rooting anything this winter, because I'm fairly content with the varieties that I already have. However, if I can get my hands on HDA, I'll give it another whirl. Your list is gold for anyone starting to grow in our neck of the woods.
          Marco - MA zone 6b
          Marco’s 1st Cuttings Sale Ending February 3, 2023: http://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=MARCO

          Comment


          • #11
            @jrdewhirst

            Here is a YouTube video from Harvey on the Easton Purple. It is from another forum member, Brent. You should be able to find quite some info. Some people say it is early. I hope to find out next season. It seems it is better than Teramo and Florea flavor-wise.



            Princeton, New Jersey, 6B
            flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/red-sun/albums
            My FigBid: https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=RedSun

            Comment


            • #12
              Great post Joe and I'll add a couple of thoughts.

              If Norland is a synonym for LdA, it's a heavy splitter and attracts bugs which spread to the other trees. Just my experience though. I also don't think it's an early ripener but maybe Norland and LdA have some differences? Truth be told, I'm giving some serious thought to culling LdA and Niagara Black (another supposed synonym).

              RdB is soooo good and one of the firsts to ripen for me in 6b. One of my family favorites. It does tend to split a bit but by the time the heavy rains come in September, you've already gotten a ton of ripe fruit. It's a fair giveaway and trade for a great and early fig variety.

              Pastiliere definitely deserves some love that you're giving. All my figs from this variety have either ripened or some birds/bugs got to them but there's very little fruit left to ripen on the tree, if any.

              You're spot on that VdB types stall in cooler weather. I was able to ick some ripe fruit this year and VdB was a great fig. But get them while you can.

              I recently picked a Smith and was shocked at the excellent flavor even after a cold night and some rains. It's definitely a fig that has earned it's reputation.

              Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania / Zone 6b

              Comment


              • jrdewhirst
                jrdewhirst commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks, Dennis.

                Yes, Nordland is a synonym for LdA. It's not an early ripener but not late either; it started for me here this year in a pot on 8/27. I know that it can split but I also know that it doesn't have to. This year for whatever reason, I got zero splitting either in a pot or in the ground. Also, my memory from past years is that it splits less in the ground than in a pot. So I'm thinking that there is a way to manage the risk by managing the water. This year, I watered every day and Nordland did fine, even in humid weather. Given the same treatment, RdB and Moscatel Preto split during humid weather. Next year I'm going to try watering consistently through July / early August, then cutting back somewhat.

                Yes, I really do love RdB. I'm hoping that some root pruning and water management reduce the proportion that split. Also I think Gina is right that the fruit can ripen even after splitting. I've had OK success just bringing the split fruit indoors for 1-2 days.

                Pastiliere performed well for me this season until I skipped watering for a day or two. Then figs started to drop.

            • #13
              Originally posted by jrdewhirst View Post
              Problem #4: Gimme Something Sweet!

              Solution #4: Varieties that Satisfy a Demand for Sweet

              What if a northern grower prioritizes sweetness in her early / mid-season varieties? Then he should choose:
              1. Improved Celeste
              2. Florea
              3. Teramo Unk
              4. Nordland
              Admittedly these are not the most flavorful varieties suitable for the north, or at least there is no prominent "berry" flavor, but they are all very sweet with some modest fruitiness. A grower could be very happy with just these.
              I'm not the biggest fan of pure sweet flavors but I can't deny the importance of earliness in my short growing season. If you had to pick only 1 or 2 from this list, how would you rank them?
              Ottawa, ON 🇨🇦 — USDA Zone 4a

              Comment


              • VentSolaire
                VentSolaire commented
                Editing a comment
                jrdewhirst This is exactly the level of detail I was looking for. Thank you so much for the in-depth reply.

              • Britt
                Britt commented
                Editing a comment
                Hello,
                I am new here. I started growing figs two years ago so I don't have a lot of experience...I live in Belgium, zone 7b.
                I would just like to ask if Florea is the same as Michurinska 10.
                I want to add that I like the fig 'Dalmatie' a lot. It has a good splitresistance and I like the flavour (even when it is still a young fig: 3 years old). For me, Pastilière is a very good one too, it gave me a nice crop, but it tends to split in my rainy climate.

                Britt, Belgium, USDA Zone 7b

              • TNJed
                TNJed commented
                Editing a comment
                Britt I think you are correct Michurinska 10= Florea. Do you remember when your Pastilliere and Dalmatie ripened this year?

            • #14
              jrdewhirst - I've noticed that you over complicate everything but I never mention it because I really appreciate you keeping such great records then sharing them.... thus saving me from having to to do it. Thank you sir!
              Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

              Comment


              • goodfriendmike
                goodfriendmike commented
                Editing a comment
                Seems everyone has there place on here. The more jrdewhirst over complicates things the more we learn from him and simplify things.

              • TorontoJoe
                TorontoJoe commented
                Editing a comment
                Mike... I couldn't agree more! I've learned so much on this forum and appreciate everyone who shares their wisdom

            • #15
              This is such a great post for new growers in cold environments. Thank you so much!
              SW Ohio - Zone 6a - Anything cold hardy that can be grown in ground. Iranian Candy

              Comment


              • #16
                Thank you for the valuable information Joe!
                Novice fig grower in The Netherlands (Oceanic climate, Zone 7b)

                Comment


                • #17
                  I have been wanting to ask about I258 in the northeast, and this is as good of a place to do it as any.

                  I am curious about it.. it does not seem recommended (at least from what I have seen) for the northeast yet TorontoJoe seem to have a beautiful inground tree that produces a bounty of fruit? What gives?

                  These are the things you think about while stuck in a house with relatives for 4 days.
                  Zone 6A Framingham, MA
                  WL: Smith

                  Comment


                  • ginamcd
                    ginamcd commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I'm putting the work into Figo Preto and, for another year at least, Unk Prosciutto.

                  • jrdewhirst
                    jrdewhirst commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I have a 2nd year I-258. Given its reputation for lateness, I wouldn't have selected it on my own but someone gave me a cutting so I figured I'd test it. At this point I can't say that I've been able to evaluate it properly. I'll know a lot more this year.

                  • MAfig
                    MAfig commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Interesting. I try to read lots of posts from experienced northeast growers and I got the sense that I258 was maybe not quite as late and possibly seemed to ripen well in cooler fall weather.

                    Regardless, I wanted to try one of the bigger more highly recommended varieties to see what it actually tastes like. If it turns out to be too late to be practical, I want to at least keep a small tree that I can head start indoors and get a small harvest just for the experience of trying it out.

                • #18
                  Have you tried any of the following? I've read they may do well in shorter/cooler seasons and wondering if I should try them.

                  Campaniere
                  LSU O'Rourke
                  LSU Tiger
                  Peter's Honey

                  Is Celeste a poor choice for growing in containers due to the watering needs?

                  It sounds like I'll have to put Florea, Improved Celeste, Smith and Iranian Candy on my WL.

                  When does Violet Sepor ripen compared to the very early varieties, Smith and Mt Etnas?
                  Ontario Zone 6b - moving to 5b in 2023

                  Comment


                  • jrdewhirst
                    jrdewhirst commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Nickd -- I'ver tried Common fg varieties for brebas, such as the VdB, European Brown Turkey, and Adriatic types. It was frustrating. You have to prune to maintain a fig tree in a pot or to fit it under a winter cover, and that removes much of the breba wood. Plus breba yields are low and quality seems inferior.

                    On the other hand, I do grow some San Pedro types for brebas. i'ver gotten huge crops from a Desert King type named Zumwalt. Also decent crops from a similar fig named Filacciano Bianco. But quality has been mediocre. I have sone young Lamperira Preta trees that produced small crops and tasted better. HOWEVER, it seems critical that you keep San Pedro trees in striate until spring temperatures are reliably >50 F. Variable temps (not cold per se) cause them to drop the fruit.

                  • Nickd
                    Nickd commented
                    Editing a comment
                    What does "striate" mean?

                  • jrdewhirst
                    jrdewhirst commented
                    Editing a comment
                    "Striate" -- it's either part of a secret recipe or it's a typo. .

                    I meant to type "in storage."

                • #19
                  Joe... You make my life so easy! Top 5 are going in ground next year and maybe a few more to experiment. Have I told you yet how thankful I feel that you're here?

                  Has this been stickied yet?
                  Marco - MA zone 6b
                  Marco’s 1st Cuttings Sale Ending February 3, 2023: http://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=MARCO

                  Comment


                  • MASS FIGS
                    MASS FIGS commented
                    Editing a comment
                    If all of Joes great posts were stickied we would have run out of space years ago, so he was disqualified.

                • #20
                  Joe, thank you for the great information regarding the Northeast, I am in New Jersey and I appreciate your detailed notes.
                  Zone 7A--Brick, New Jersey--WL: Black Jack, Black Genoa, Smith, LSU Red, Golden Rainbow, BNR, LSU Strawberry, Unk Burgan, LSU Black, Mutante DC-7, Col. Littman's Black Cross, Eastchester Black Unk., Cavaliere, Texas Strawberry, White Marsielles

                  Comment


                  • #21
                    I am a new member and fig grower in Zone 6A . This list and all the contributions are invaluable to someone starting out. Its fig cutting season and every day presents a host of new offerings to tempt. Thanks for keeping me grounded. Thanks Joe.
                    Zone 6a New York State. WL Short or early seasoned figs.

                    Comment


                    • #22
                      My inground RdBs seem to split less than the potted trees, same with those grown as pot-in-ground.

                      My assumption is that stable moisture coming from having in ground roots reduces splitting.

                      The inground RdBs produce a really terrific flavor—like .5 above a potted tree. I had many I would confidently rate a 9/10 compared to the very best figs I grow. My wife said several times that the inground RdBs were her favorite variety and we don’t need the rest…I conveniently tuned out the second part

                      Comment


                      • #23
                        Originally posted by MASS FIGS View Post
                        My assumption is that stable moisture coming from having in ground roots reduces splitting.
                        I think this is right. The challenge for me is getting moisture stable in a pot, especially in humid weather.
                        Joe, Z6B, RI.

                        Comment


                        • Nickd
                          Nickd commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Could you move them under cover (or pull up a cover over them) if there's rain coming? I guess that's work but probably not more work than starting later maturing but less split prone varieties indoors, or overwintering in-ground trees and waking them up early.

                        • ginamcd
                          ginamcd commented
                          Editing a comment
                          For me, the only tomatoes I get little to no splitting from are the pastes. The ones I grow are so dry to start with, even heavy rains don't seem to bother them. Anything in the slicer/fresh eating (cherry varieties included) can and will split with heavy rain. I water regularly which gets them through lower rainfall amounts better. I will also go out before any heavy rain and pick anything that has started to blush. They ripen beautifully inside with zero splitting!

                        • Nickd
                          Nickd commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I concur that tomatoes ripen well inside. Especially if picked with some blush, in that case they'll taste almost as good as picked fully ripe. Even picked green and undersized they'll ripen to a quality that's on par with store-bought. I'm just now finishing off eating the tomatoes I picked 7 weeks ago and ripened indoors.

                      • #24
                        Great post as usual Joe, thank you for putting the effort and work and sharing all your experience with all of us. Your recommendations have changed my fig life with more ripe fruits and less frustration. I has decided to to add more but now I have to add the HDA and green Michurinska . Maybe after culling some of the useless varieties I collected before your recommendation.

                        Comment


                        • ginamcd
                          ginamcd commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I did the same over the past couple of years -- made sure I had most from the list then started pitching the "useless varieties." Hopefully Joe's posts help other cold zone/shorter season new growers avoid our mis-steps, but too often they get wrapped up in hype around the late "exotics" to pay attention...
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