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  • A beautiful Black Madeira

    One of the bottom 3 this and last year.
    When the skin looks good , the inside is still green. When the inside is ripe, the outside is as hard as a walnut. Or it just splits ...
    I think this fig is good for a cooler or more humid climate, in my super dry SoCal it is a looser.
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
    USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

  • #2
    That is really a shame. I am hoping to grow Black Madeira eventually. And my climate is similar to yours. The tree that the picture was taken of looks pretty small. Do you think this might be a case of juvenile fruit maturation behavior? I wonder if given some more size of the underlying tree it might ripen fruits more efficiently / evenly (keeping fig skin hydrated while insides develop sugar, which requires a lot of energy and a bigger tree can supply that energy better, especially give how long it take a Black Madeira fig to fully ripen).
    Location: USDA Zone 9b / Sunset 13. Chandler, AZ

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    • #3
      I have the other BM that is in the ground. The fruit quality is similar to this one, and when I described the weirdness of the ripening, that was about the ground tree.
      Good luck with yours!
      I also have a F. Preto. Many say it is like a BM, I think it is actually better for me, or for my climate. It ripens in a shorter time and more evenly.
      USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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      • #4
        I'm surprised you're having trouble...was there change in moisture availability?
        https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
        SE PA
        Zone 6

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        • #5
          No, all the same throughout the summer. What changed was the night temperature, it is getting quite cold at night (by the SoCal standards). I think this made the figs unhappy. I was very disappointed because I have a few more other varieties in the same size pots getting ripe and none split. The good guys are the Lampeira Preta, Zingarella, Dan's Favorite, Unk. Pastilliere.
          USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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          • #6
            Does it get afternoon shade?
            Bob C.
            Kansas City, MO Z6

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            • #7
              After 5 pm
              USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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              • #8
                I wouldn't say it is a looser just yet - I think immature trees don't tend to ripen figs properly sometimes. I am in Florida and my young BM did the same thing (skin was very hard) - you can be sure that lack of humidity is not a problem here. Did it take forever to ripen?

                Of course, as sick and as slow of a grower as BM is, your tree could be 3 years old

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                • #9
                  I'm in SoCal too! Where about last are ya? I was hoping to get a Black Madeira but your post makes me think twice.

                  How old is the tree?

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                  • #10
                    Yes, it has taken forever to ripen and that is a problem. In a dry climate the skin dries up and becomes inedible. The little tree is about 1 year old, it has grown as fast as any others I have, it has no visible FMV and is quite productive.
                    In the same category, the i258 is a much better choice or even an F. Preto.

                    Silver, my zip is 91106
                    USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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                    • #11
                      The figs on it look pretty awesome, hopefully next year they turn out better for you.
                      Wish List : Cold Hardy/Prolific bearers - Letizia , Florea, G. Paradiso, Lattarula, any Sals varieties, Negronne, Navid's Unk. Dark Greek, Bass' Fav.

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                      • #12
                        Igor i think you might have jumped the gun.
                        so many growers only have nice things to say...
                        did you try getting past the dry skin problem
                        by doing the european thing and... not eat the skin?
                        i hope you get a few more to try and truely hope it gets better for you.
                        andreas-patras Peloponnisos Greece zone 9a

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                        • #13
                          Igor, you seem to be having problems with some very good figs, for some reason. I think you need to quit blaming the figs and look at what you might be doing wrong.

                          My area is hot and arid. Black Madeira is great here. I ate at least a dozen off of the tree at Wolfskill in August 2014 and they were fantastic. Jon has referred to it as a top fig. I don't think everybody else is wrong about this fig.
                          My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                          • greenfig
                            greenfig commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Harvey , only two so far , the Black Madeira and Melissi. Both are in the ground and that is how they would all grow. I am comparing them to the other 50 or so figs and write my observations. I do not sell them and have nothing to loose, I say what I see.

                          • HarveyC
                            HarveyC commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Oh, so those that sell don't speak the truth? Dennis has eaten many of BM at Wolfskill and has spoken highly of it and I don't think he's ever sold one. I sell all of my cuttings easily whether the fig performs for you well or not so I have nothing to lose either. I tasted about 170 figs from my orchard this year and Black Madeira was one of the top 2-3 figs so I find your comments very surprising.

                        • #14
                          Oh, and the skin on mine have never become hard. I've eaten dozens of these. The only ones that disappoint are ones I pick too early.
                          My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                          • greenfig
                            greenfig commented
                            Editing a comment
                            That might a difference between your and my climate. You are further north and Jon is by the ocean. When the fig hangs for too long under the super dry conditions, it naturally dries up.

                          • HarveyC
                            HarveyC commented
                            Editing a comment
                            We have several days over 100F here and most days between 85-95 with humidity below 20%. Wolfskill is similar. I've never hesitated to eat the skin of one Black Madeira fruit.

                        • #15
                          Andreas, believe me I have tried really hard for two seasons. As I mentioned, I think this fig is not good for my climate. I have never said it was a bad fig, just that it is not for my location.
                          It is not going anywhere though, this summer was weird, maybe the next season will awesome for the BM!
                          USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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                          • #16
                            dont feel bad... ill take it off your hands and see how it does in greek soil. lol
                            i am sure if i treat it the way i treat my others...(get root bound and stay unwatered with very little soil) it will get nice and full of jam like my others
                            andreas-patras Peloponnisos Greece zone 9a

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                            • greenfig
                              greenfig commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Cool! I will keep this in mind

                          • #17
                            Here are fruit photos taken at Wolfskill on August 18, 2014. As you know, USDA gives away cuttings so I'm not making any money talking about how good these figs were. Jon and Dennis were there this day also (and the following) and I ate about a dozen and left more for them. Also attached is the weather record for the airport at UCD, the nearest station used by Weather Underground.

                            These fruits were extremely delicious and the skins were no obstacle whatsoever, though I'm sure Andreas would have peeled them.
                            You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 3 photos.
                            My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                            • #18
                              Harvey ,
                              Thanks for the photos, the figs look delisheous . When I say the skin is hard, I mean really hard, like almost dry leaf. You can chew on it but you wouldn't want to. When you bite a hole fig, your teeth wouldn't get through, unless you are a super human

                              Unless I eat a BM from my tree that tastes good, I stand behind of what I said before, this fig is not in the top half at my location.
                              USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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                              • HarveyC
                                HarveyC commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Okay, but I'm still puzzled why you have the results you do. Days are longer here during the summer. My water quality is likely better than yours and I have had a well-monitored fertilizer program in use (monthly leaf and soil solution samples), but Wolfskill's orchard has usually had pretty low care with often no money in the budget for any fertilizer. Our nights are cooler here and that helps with sugar development according to John Preece at USDA (came up when I talked to him about white sapote either last year or the year prior).

                                Figs certainly perform differently in different climates but I thought ours were pretty similar (other than evening temps). My Lebanese Red don't look anything like what Bass grows, for instance.

                            • #19
                              Like I said, I am in Florida, and I had the same exact thing happen with my BM this year. So your climate is not the problem. One of my Battaglias did the same thing - the skin was hard.

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                              • #20
                                Igor,

                                Just a couple of observations.Any fig I plant out into native soil that has not been root bound in a #15 pot
                                sits and sulks the first year.Any fig it attempts to set are culled.Variety doesn't matter,they'll all be sub par.

                                Your potted plants are a different beast all together.The photo you posted would call into question your watering
                                habits/potting media.

                                It'll get better,be patient.
                                Paul Robert,Simi Valley,Ca. 9b

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                                • #21
                                  I also have Black Madeira, and am relatively close to the coast in SoCal. My 2 trees are about 2 years old and small, but both produced a nice amount of figs. I did not notice hard skins because I tend to just eat the soft insides. But they were extremely good.

                                  I did have a couple that split, but with the drought, watering had to be more uneven than I would have liked. We have had an extremely warm, dry summer with many weeks of above average temperatures. I thought that may have helped the flavor develop. Too bad the critters got some.
                                  SoCal, zone 10.
                                  www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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                                  • #22
                                    Can you guys please stop posting good things about black madeira?
                                    Igor is close to letting me have it.
                                    andreas-patras Peloponnisos Greece zone 9a

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                                    • #23
                                      Thank you for your feedback !
                                      I am glad to hear that the BM is not a disappointment for some of you.
                                      USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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                                      • #24
                                        While my Black Madeira has never bothered gracing me with fruit I've had a lot of figs produce an odd, hard skin that I've never seen before.
                                        Bob C.
                                        Kansas City, MO Z6

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