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  • How to Have a Full Fig Season

    I recently came across this blurb on planetfig.com: "In the family yard, when Pastilière is associated with other fig trees that produce breba fruits (Valleiry, Desert King or Grise de St-Jean) and main crop fruits (Dalmatie or Vallecalda ), it almost guarantees a continuous production between the last breba and the first main crop fruit."

    Hey, that sounds like just what I'm trying to do! Figs for as long as possible with no interruption between breba and main crops. In theory I should be able to get figs from early-mid July through October or even November in a mild year. In this example start with San Pedro or two cropping varieties, add some early main crop varieties, and finish with regular main crop varieties.

    Given that some of this varieties are scarce or frequently mislabeled in the US, let's do a little substitution:
    - Pastiliere is an early main crop fig, so in it's place could be Florea, RdB and/or Improved Celeste. My recent post on selection figs by Baud highlights the gap in early August between breba and main crop production.
    - Valleiry is likely an English Brown Turkey variant (producing breba and main crops), so in it's place could be Nexoe, LaRadek's EBT, or Sweet George.
    - Other breba producers could include San Pedro varieties such as Fioroni di Ruvo, Filacciano Bianco, and Grantham's Royal. Other productive 2 crop varieties include Atreano and Lattarula.
    - Main crop figs are easy, just pick your favorite 2 or 3 (or 30 or 40).
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

  • #2
    How to Have a Full Fig Season
    ...and add a Greenhouse
    Ed
    SW PA zone 6a

    Comment


    • HarveyC
      HarveyC commented
      Editing a comment
      That's being resourceful!

    • COGardener
      COGardener commented
      Editing a comment
      Or moving to SoCal

    • DylanWhitehill
      DylanWhitehill commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm considering so cal ❤️ Not only for figs

  • #3
    one can dream
    Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra

    Comment


    • #4
      Really, you could probably do that in my location with just a few of those varieties and have the "early" ones both in pots (for the fig shuffle) and protected in ground, which would spread out the production, and have a few breba producers in pots and a few mid - season producers in pots. The late varieties are gonna be hard here with no greenhouse.

      Of course, we are not satisfied with just a few...
      Ed
      SW PA zone 6a

      Comment


      • #5
        This is a great topic.

        4 cultivars this year are keeping us in a near continuous supply of figs for at least 3 months, from July 10 to frost or beyond (mid to late October, if not November).

        That's not 4 trees but 4 cultivars: several 3 year old trees of 4 cultivars each.

        Those cultivars (listed in order of overall production):

        1. Mt Etna (August 18 to frost, main)
        2. Late Bordeaux (July 10 to 27, breba; Aug 21 to frost, main):
        3. Ronde de Bordeaux (August 4-24, main; pending additional crop, main)
        4. Brooklyn White (July 25 to Aug 5 breba; Aug 25 to frost, main)

        Chronologically, the cultivars ripened in this order:

        1. Late Bordeaux (July 10 to July 27, breba)
        2. Brooklyn White (July 25 to Aug 6, breba)
        3. Ronde de Bordeaux (August 4 to Aug 24, main)
        4. Mt Etna (August 18 to frost, main)
        5. Late Bordeaux (August 21 to frost, main)
        6. Brooklyn White (August 25 to frost, main)
        7. Ronde de Bordeaux (pending Sept/Oct, main additional)

        Palermo Red (aka, Aldo's) was the only other especially tasty breba cultivar this year (July 21 to July 31), though I have high hopes for Grantham's Royal next year.

        Improved Celeste and Latarulla ripened, though not abundantly, during the earliest main crop slot simultaneous with Ronde de Bordeaux. I expect Florea will ripen at the same time next year also. (Improved Celeste will have a much better year next year, I expect, when I put the trees in much better positions than I did this past year. Several Improved Celeste trees produced many figs that have not ripened because I put them in too shady spots. I figured that Improved Celeste's very short ripening timeframe could overcome the shade but figured wrong.)

        To keep better pace with the Mt Etnas and Late Bordeauxs next year, I'll be looking especially to several LSU cultivars like O'Rourke, Purple, and Hollier (though young), among others, including non-LSUs.

        The Mt Etnas and Late Bordeauxs ripened till frost last year and look to easily do so again this year.

        Brooklyn White also looks like it will easily ripen till frost this year.

        Ronde de Bordeaux looks poised to ripen another smaller round of main crop in late September or October.
        Tony WV 6b
        https://mountainfigs.net/

        Comment


        • hambone
          hambone commented
          Editing a comment
          deleted; found answer in the thread
          Last edited by hambone; 12-31-2018, 12:55 PM.

      • #6
        The Lebanese Shtawi seems to be the latest variety for me, even later than Natalina. I hope to have some ripe fruit by November! My first breba from some other varieties were around 6/20, I believe. I think in most years we can have some ripe figs for 5 months of the year but many varieties are definitely winding down now.
        My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

        Comment


        • Altadena Mara
          Altadena Mara commented
          Editing a comment
          Which early brebas were good enough tasting in your area to earn their ground space? I've read that most brebas are disappointing, with a few exceptions, but there seems to be wide opinion on the exceptions, especially in the North East.

        • HarveyC
          HarveyC commented
          Editing a comment
          The brebas of Jurupa have been good every year, IMO. Most years my Black Mission breba are also pretty good. I had quite a few Mega Celeste breba but I hadn't discovered them until the birds really tore them up so I never tasted those. I tasted Gros Monstreuse breba last year and those were downright bad, LOL. For some reason, many breba dropped from my trees in late spring. I don't believe I've ever picked a breba of LDA, for some reason.

        • Altadena Mara
          Altadena Mara commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the info. A number of my trees are supposed to have brebas, but my Jurupa might not be big enough to produce so soon.

      • #7
        thanks for another great topic to consider when adding new fig varieties.

        I'll have to do some research and figure out the ripening schedule and see where I'm lacking and add a variety or two in the weak ripening areas.
        Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

        Comment


        • #8
          This has been my mission for the past few years since moving to Colorado. When I started, I thought I would have room for about 20(ish) full-sized trees. That meant about 12 figs and 8 pomegranates. I think I've done pretty well with spanning the mid to late season. So I have been focusing on the early season (adding Pastiliere-Baud and Florea this year) and adding some redundancy. If I can find space for winter storage, I think I can end up with 40 trees. I'll know next year if I have any gaps.
          Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
          N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

          Comment


          • #9
            Best of luck Bijan! My ultimate goal is to have mostly in-ground plants, with some (3-5) breba producers in pots (San Pedro and/or 2 croppers), and maybe a few high quality/less hardy plants in pots. The risk in my situation is winter injury delaying main crop ripening, especially for early varieties like Imp Celeste, RdB, and Florea. Case in point, RdB is just starting to ripen now after getting knocked back while Sal's has been going for a couple weeks now.

            We'll see how it all works out!
            Last edited by Kelby; 09-12-2015, 04:50 AM.
            https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
            SE PA
            Zone 6

            Comment


            • #10
              Unless we get more land that I can dig a trench on, I'm not going into the ground. We hit -8F last November. My trees were still green and suffered cold damage while in an attached garage. I tried to keep my trees dormant as late as possible since all of them needed to be transplanted. Consequently, I still have not had ripe figs. It looks like F. Preto might beat out all the "early" figs.

              Anyway, I can't really say any information I gathered this year is really applicable for the future. Rest assured all the information that is coming from growers in cooler climates is being put to good use.
              Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
              N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

              Comment


              • #11
                Kelby - do you have your varieties already selected to get a full season of figs? Which ones have you decided on?
                Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

                Comment


                • #12
                  Not quite yet Don, I'm trialling a lot of varieties at the moment to get me to that point.
                  https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
                  SE PA
                  Zone 6

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Kelby,
                    Thanks for starting this topic.

                    Its been one of the criteria (early, middle, late ripening or everbearing) that I've used for choosing cultivars since joining the fig forums and reading the recommendations of veteran fig growers. The "ripening dates" are misleading, but with the added info of the actual bud break and possibly the average daily temperatures a compilation of suitable fig varieties for production over the entire season can be made for any location and zone.

                    My zone 6 growing season is only 5 months long, May to September, the last frost is late May, first frost is early October. Knowing that it may take 3-1/2 months for the first breba figs of a specific cultivar to grow and ripen or 4-1/2 months for the main crop figs can mean the difference between a good harvest or lots of green figs at first frost. For the "early ripening" breba crop warmer ambient temperatures during the dormant season are needed for survival of last season's branches and undeveloped figs, because exposure to zone 6 winter temperatures would eliminate that supply of figs. Continuous exposure to colder winter temperatures can delay bud break in the spring which will lengthen the ripening times for many cultivars.

                    IMO, Planning for ripe figs over the "full season" takes a little planning (knowing the length of time between bud break and ripe figs) and some compromise on specific cultivars, whether you're in Zone 6 or Zone 10 with or without season extending practices and structures like shuffling and greenhouses.
                    Last edited by AscPete; 09-15-2015, 04:24 PM. Reason: typos
                    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

                    Comment


                    • don_sanders
                      don_sanders commented
                      Editing a comment
                      What varieties are you focusing on for your full season of figs, Pete?

                    • AscPete
                      AscPete commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Don,
                      Just the readily available varieties. Italian Honey types, Mt Etna Types, Celeste and Celeste Hybrids, English and Southern Brown Turkeys, Bordeaux types, Verte, Conadria and Several Found Unknowns.

                    • Kelby
                      Kelby commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I don't keep very good records, but I'm pretty sure buds were swelling/opening on potted plants early to mid April no shuffle except for one night of freeze warning. In ground figs budded end of April. I can dig a little more for exact dates, I take a lot of pictures. It was a late spring here by a week or two.

                  • #14
                    Based on the past couple of years of observation, I can take my trees out of the garage in March if I shuffle them in two or three times. This year the buds were greening up early, but I waited until mid-late May to take them out so I could root-prune the trees. Between the wait and whacking the roots, I still do not have ripe figs. Next year should be better. Having said that, our weather patterns are supposed to be different this year due to El Nino.
                    Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
                    N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Felt like bumping this post. I was staring at it thinking of what to trial now that I thinned the herd, I figure someone else could benefit too!
                      https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
                      SE PA
                      Zone 6

                      Comment


                      • #16
                        The way I think of reliable, flavorful fruit production here now, I target:
                        • main crop core: Many Mt Etna(s) (50 percent or more of production)
                        • main crop early: Multiples each of Ronde de Bordeaux, Improved Celeste, and Florea (and probably others going forward, TBD)
                        • main crop timely: Brooklyn White, LSU Tiger, and Long Yellow (and surely others going forward, TBD)
                        • breba crop token: Violette de Bordeaux(s) and Lattarula(s) (among others)
                        I look to these varieties first (followed by Violet Sepor, Nordland, and other LSUs) for reliable production and reliable flavor both, in a short season. All these have proven themselves here over the last 2-5 years. Others have succeeded as well, or look very promising after a year, but these are the most proven leaders here over multiple years.

                        After those, I look to the perhaps more finicky types, or the longer season types, or the lesser known or less available types of which a lot remain to explore and to meet most any preference.
                        Last edited by mountainfigs; 08-19-2017, 01:12 PM.
                        Tony WV 6b
                        https://mountainfigs.net/

                        Comment


                        • #17
                          Tony -- What is the "Late Bordeaux" to which you referred in the earlier posts?
                          Joe, Z6B, RI.

                          Comment


                          • mountainfigs
                            mountainfigs commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Just a catch-all term for the Violette de Bordeauxs: Negronne, Petite Negri, etc... As distinct from the early ripening Bordeauxs: Ronde and Rouge.

                          • jrdewhirst
                            jrdewhirst commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Thx. Figured that was probably it.

                        • #18
                          This year was not a typical year. Spring seemed a month early.... That being said the red Lebanese Bekaa valley was very good and I picked that on July 24th. Sister Madeline Green greek I cant remember when I first started eating them but it was at least as early as June and yesterday I picked the 2nd to last one on my trees. I started smgg last fall indoors and grew them over the winter though. The red Lebanese is 3 years old.
                          Jeff in 6a

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                          • #19
                            brebas are not possible here.
                            no matter how i wrap, i get 10-20% die back.
                            never seen a breba inground.
                            i extend mt season with mt etnas.
                            they start early n continue til frost.
                            susie,
                            burner of trees
                            high plains, maybe zone 7.

                            Comment


                            • #20
                              I have brebas on two in ground trees. I attribute this to serious winter protection. I go to some extremes. I visited one of our friends in Niagara today who has many brebas on trees with pretty standard winter protection.

                              I think you can do it. IMO its a matter of the right protection.... on a tree that is agreeable... Never surrender!
                              Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

                              Comment


                              • #21
                                joe, have you posted this manner of protection?
                                right now, i wrap in fiber glass insulation, the cover with huge black plastic bags.
                                they never die to the ground but do get hurt.
                                susie,
                                burner of trees
                                high plains, maybe zone 7.

                                Comment


                                • #22
                                  Oh, I have. It's pretty extreme but very effective. This year in Canada... Zero die back.. But this is what I had to do:

                                  https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-home/153645-fig-lectrification

                                  Of course you can't do this to an entire orchard.. But it works and you keep all last years wood..

                                  I've been really hoping someone else would try this. It's not that hard on just a few trees and with the rig I set up no more than $2 or so a month on the electric bill.

                                  It really wasn't hard to do. Burlap. Wrap cable. Insulation. Tarp.... 20 min per tree. If you decide to do this let me know and I'll let you know what I did wrong....
                                  Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

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                                  • #23
                                    thanks, joe.
                                    right now, i keep getting a SERVER NOT FOUND msg.
                                    makes no sense, since it''s the same server i'm using to type this.
                                    i'll keep trying.
                                    susie,
                                    burner of trees
                                    high plains, maybe zone 7.

                                    Comment


                                  • #24
                                    thanks, kel. that worked.
                                    joe, that's my method, except for the heating cable.
                                    i do have one tree that got hurt bad when i tried to use leaves instead of fiber glass.
                                    i could try the heating on that one.
                                    the rest are too big.
                                    my best trees are 5' high by 5' wide.
                                    i don't get all that many figs but i have big, pretty trees.
                                    susie,
                                    burner of trees
                                    high plains, maybe zone 7.

                                    Comment


                                    • TorontoJoe
                                      TorontoJoe commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      The cable is pretty key. It doesnt get hot... to the touch its hard to even tell its on. It just takes a bit of the edge off those super low temp nights

                                  • #25
                                    Great topic!
                                    I like Tony's strategy!
                                    For me though the actual varieties chosen can be a personal choice within the fig groups since there is no magic wonder fig. Its just as much about how you care for them and location.
                                    Also most breba producers tend to be unpredictable from season to season. Maybe its just me and my pruning methods but I think its better to have multiples for breba insurance and so I am weighted heavy with San Pedros and bifarous figs with good reputations.
                                    Pino, Niagara, Zone 6, WL; variegated figs, breba producers & suggestions welcome
                                    Breba photos / Main crop fig photos
                                    Canada Fig Growers

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