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  • Ripe Fig Season Length

    Last year, I picked ripe figs over the span of 2.3 months, August 20th through October 31st.

    This year, I hope to pick ripe figs over the span of about 4 months, July through October.

    In the future, I hope to pick ripe figs over the span of 6 months, June through November (or mid-May through mid-November). Here in zone 6.

    I'm curious to hear of the documented, approximate, or anticipated ripe fig span of others, wherever you might be in the US or beyond.

    Last year, I picked the first ripe fig on August 20th (Mount Etna Unknown) and the last ripe fig on October 31st (Calverte, which I was surprised to find ripened in garage after storage for winter). Both the first and last fig tasted very, very good, as I recall.

    This year, both LSU Champagne and Ronde de Bordeaux may ripen main crop here in late June, or early July, because I woke them early indoors. A few cultivars may ripen breba figs that early too.

    Waking fast-ripening fig cultivars early indoors (or in greenhouse) seems the key for producing early in the season. Lacking a greenhouse, it seems less clear how I might extend the season into and through November. The cool, dim garage can only do so much, and there is only so much light and space indoors by windows. Maybe some supplemental light and heat can be arranged for a couple trees of cultivars that are known to ripen well during late cool conditions.

    Celeste main crop figlets have begun to take distinct shape, on potted trees here. Apart from the Celestes, which have no breba crop, distinct main crop figlets appear to be forming first on trees with the most advanced breba crops.
    Tony WV 6b
    https://mountainfigs.net/

  • #2
    You need a desert king to get any earlier. If you can set up a grow room you can grow figs or citrus all winter or pull a few out early and let a few ripen their last figs before going dormant. A 1000W HID lamp works the best in my experience. I lay tarps on the floor with up turned edges to keep water from escaping. Here are the cheapest HID set ups I've found. Mine's been going strong for 2 cold seasons.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...pollo+hid+1000
    Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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    • #3
      I have a sizable Desert King, 2 years old, that has never set any breba. Maybe as it ages it will produce.

      Thanks for the information on the light system. I'm looking to go a more low tech and more inexpensive route. Just as I aim to not cover in-ground figs with anything more involved than mulch, I'm looking for the most simple and low-to-no cost indoor season extenders too.
      Tony WV 6b
      https://mountainfigs.net/

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      • Kelby
        Kelby commented
        Editing a comment
        I may be totally wrong, but I feel I've read Desert King can take a few years to get going. Pump it with some bloom booster and hope for next year!

    • #4
      Tony, I too have a 2nd yr Desert King, and NADA. I am hoping for Breba in the third year! As for early starts, I open my greenhouse on March 1st, I notice that Adriatic JH, Battaglia, Improved Celeste, and Panachee are well on their way to forming main crop over a month ago. But not every variety has responded to the early wakeup. The Col de Dames are just now beginning to set main crop, and Smith has been puzzlingly slow to set. Hardy Chicago, Pajarera and some unknowns have also set. Paradiso Gene has been quite slow as well. Very odd mixture. And some have basically stopped their growth for the season already, like Panachee and Battaglia. And we are not even at the solstice yet!
      Rafael
      Zone 10b, Miami, FL

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      • mountainfigs
        mountainfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        Adriatic JH, Battaglia, Improved Celeste - those are three robust varieties in my experience, moreso than Panachee, Hardy Chicago, and Smith. (No experience with Pajarera or any Col de Dames.) I'm sure that Panachee, HC, and Smith are plenty vigorous for others. Much seems to vary year to year and place to place. That's why finding cultivars that are robust year in and year out is to be treasured. An in-ground Binello here stopped growth very early last year, but set a lot of fruit for its size.

    • #5
      I've had 6 month long harvest from Strawberry Verte in a greenhouse in west Texas. I have enough sun in winter that I might stretch that to 9-12 months if I got chilling outdoors and kept the greenhouse warmer in winter. That would require several potted plants with different schedules for bearing and dormancy. It also requires that one keep the plants growing. SV and everything else, I think, has to keep growing in order to keep setting main crop. Water and fertilizer are all that's needed to keep the plant growing.

      Some of my SV have quit growing others not so. But I could force more growth on those that have quit if I wanted.
      Alpine, Texas 4500ft elevation Zone 7
      http://growingfruit.org/

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      • mountainfigs
        mountainfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        Fresh ripe figs - using minimal and inexpensive resources - 6 months per year in zone 6, and 7 months per year in zone 7, and 5 months per year in zone 5, and 8 months per year in zone 8, and so on, seem like interesting targets.

      • Rafaelissimmo
        Rafaelissimmo commented
        Editing a comment
        What kind of fertilizer would you use to promote continual growth on your SV?? Thx.

    • #6
      May be a good time to bring this Fig Season Length thread up to date though still picking a few figs. This year with an exceptionally warm fall I might be pushing the limits of a zone 6 fig harvest span. With no special measures, not even shuffling, and first fig picked July 4th, the season is 4 months and counting. This is an exceptionally warm fall, but it leads me to think that in cooler falls fig shuffling (to and from garage) of five to ten loaded trees could replicate such a fall. In fact, if I had shuffled some fruiting trees to protect from leaf drop, I wonder if I wouldn't be looking at a ripe fig season extending into December (with fig shuffling in the latter half of November). I protected some non-fruiting young fig trees in garage and they still have their leaves.

      So let's say, best possible scenario in a typical year: ever older trees ripen breba by June 23 and select fall shuffling ripens figs to November 23. That's 5 months.

      So how to gain an extra month to meet this goal?:
      Fresh ripe figs - using minimal and inexpensive resources - 6 months per year in zone 6, and 7 months per year in zone 7, and 5 months per year in zone 5, and 8 months per year in zone 8, and so on, seem like interesting targets.

      I can see the possibility of milking trees through the fall to keep ripening an extra two weeks until December 7. Maybe a portable greenframe would need to be used. With a handful of loaded late trees, seems feasible. So that's 5.5 months potentially.

      But ripening figs by June 9 seems a much taller order. Maybe though headstart a few early breba trees inside, or heat and light them in a portable greenframe in garage. That could be 6 months of ripe figs in zone 6: June 9th to December 7.

      So much for the range of production, over 4 months this year. Meanwhile effective production was about 2.5 months (August through mid-October). A more rewarding goal probably would be to intensify production: 4 months of intense production (July-October) would best 2 intense months or 6 months of irregular harvests.
      Tony WV 6b
      https://mountainfigs.net/

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