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  • How many of each variety do you keep?

    I was lucky enough to get a bounty of cuttings for my trades this year. I'm trying different rooting methods, so have 1-3 cuttings of each type going. I have plenty of space, but was just wondering, how do other people decide how many figs to keep and grow throughout the year? I have 20 varieties now, so 60 trees would be a bit much for me (we have 1/3 of an acre in the suburbs). Luckily, I have lots of gardening cousins and friends so nothing will go to waste.
    Zone 7a in Virginia

  • #2
    Right now I have a few duplicates by accident or from different sources that I want to compare. I do also try to make sure I have duplicates with friends in the event the worst happens.

    Now, as I get deeper into keeping figs, and get to try more of the varieties I have I am sure I will start to develop favorites or at least preferred cultivars. Those are the ones I plan to keep 2 or 3 of, not as a safe guard from loosing them, but to increase the yield of those types.
    Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

    “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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    • SarinaP
      SarinaP commented
      Editing a comment
      Ah, good point! I'm sure I'll like everything, but will have to keep notes of what I really love. From what I can see from the forum, the fruit can improve over the years so I imagine you have to really keep a good log.

    • COGardener
      COGardener commented
      Editing a comment
      Good records is a good idea regardless. For example, I keep an excel spread sheet with total count, count of age (second leaf, third leaf, TC or from cutting), obviously cultivar including any synonymous names I can find, where I got them from (the person or nursery's name), Description of the skin color and pulp when ripe, type of crop (san Pedro, biferour, monferour), the date that figs first appear and the ripening time. As the years go by I might add or remove columns, either way it will be fun to see how things change from year to year.

  • #3
    You only add, sorry it's an addiction.

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    • SarinaP
      SarinaP commented
      Editing a comment
      Haha--my poor husband just caught on that allllll the little cups are going to end up like the fig tree in the front yard eventually. I have a feeling I'm going to create quite a little potted fig orchard in the backyard.

  • #4
    I have 6 trees in the ground in my backyard and several dozen different varieties sitting in pots. Most will find their way to my other wildlife property where I intend to plant them in a row around the edge of the property . There are always delays and setbacks. It is not fun to lose a variety that you really like especially if it is hard to replace. This year I've decided not to add to my varieties and to try and maintain what I already have. This led me to try and root a couple duplicates of my two most preferred and rare varieties. There's never enough room to duplicate everything.
    Sas North Austin, TX Zone 8B

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    • #5
      With so many varieties out there my intentions are to have one of a given variety and to have it in ground. I've give away plants to several neighbors. Some varieties of xtras can be sold on ebay once proven to be true to name. I have 29 acres so there is always a spot for the more desirable variety.
      Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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      • #6
        For the most part my plan is to keep one plant of each variety except for the trees that I really love... then I'll hold on to a few extra.

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        • #7
          I keep one of each variety as a rule unless it is really a variety that is in demand. That does bite me in the butt on occasion as then you have to re-source a plant that croaks.
          Last edited by WillsC; 12-14-2015, 10:43 AM. Reason: edited for lack of coffee
          Cutting sales start Nov 1 at 9PM eastern time as always at willsfigs.com

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          • #8
            Only starting my third season of fig growing and only have one season of fruiting under my belt, with about 70 plants in pots and one Sals inground. I got fruit from my 2 two yo Bryant Darks and Chicago Hardys, one of each to go inground. I traded or gave away all my other extras except I kept 2 Adriatic(JH) and made an extra RdB based on their reputations and made an extra Brooklyn Dark because it was so good.

            This rooting season I realize I'm filling up available space too fast and plan to gift or trade extra cuttings if I have rooted the first of a cultivar, till I have tested them myself in my location.
            Ed
            SW PA zone 6a

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            • #9
              I had the same problem when i just started out with figs. Figs usually always come 3-5 cuttings at a time....if you're lucky and get them all to root and grow, you'll have way too many. I try to strategically "gift" two trees to each friend and "suggest" they plant it in ground. As of now...my friends have 20 trees planted in ground at various homes in Southern California!(endless supply of back up cuttings) I just finished my first year of growing figs and was able to taste 15 varieties. Some you're going to find taste very similar. I've noticed that the Mt. Etna figs taste very similar....Nero 600m, Vista, and VDB are similar in flavor also....the subtleties in flavor are like wine. Some people live in weathers that risk having their plants die of cold...some dont run that risk so they dont have back ups. (luckily i dont run that risk so i've realized now that i dont need back ups) For me my goal in the next year or two is to narrow down to 10 varieties and have doubles or triples of the ones i like so i can have lots of yummy figs! So far JH Adriatic, Vista, and Panache make the list.....7 more to go!
              Quy
              SoCal, Zone 9b

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              • SarinaP
                SarinaP commented
                Editing a comment
                That's a great point... I'll keep a list of where my gift trees go, just in case I ever lose something. I love the thought that I'm sending my fig all over!

            • #10
              I'm just keeping one of each variety now until I determine the ones that I really like and want to keep permanently. After that, I was thinking of keeping 2-3 of each depending on how many I end up keeping in the end.
              Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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              • COGardener
                COGardener commented
                Editing a comment
                So, 1000 cultivars at 3 each..... NICE DON!!!!

              • don_sanders
                don_sanders commented
                Editing a comment
                Hah, I wish! Maybe one day when I can get 10 acres in warmer zone that doesn't require protection.

              • COGardener
                COGardener commented
                Editing a comment
                Just stack them!!!

            • #11
              With next year being my first full season of growing from cuttings, my goal is to do at least 2 of each variety until i determine which are my favorites and begin the culling. I know there are some that people drool over and those are the ones i hope to have at least 2-3 of, like smith and JH Adriatic. As long as my rooting % is high, i should have a bunch of duplicates. I will probably have 15+ of my unknown sheepshead i hope to give out as gifts for the inexperienced growers in my circle of friends/family.
              May the Figs be with you!
              ​​​​​

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              • #12
                I try to keep a couple of small cuttings of each variety in pots, in case something goes wrong with the main plant. When the cuttings get large, I start a couple new ones, and sell or trade the bigger cuttings. Other than that, most of my varieties are to young to get a true flavor to see if they are a keeper yet.
                Hi my name is Art. I buy fig cuttings-so I can grow more figs-so I can sell more figs-so I can buy more fig cuttings-so I can grow more figs....

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                • #13
                  If I successfully root at least one of every cultivar I have represented in cuttings, I'll have over 50 varieties. This can potentially pose a big logistics exercise.....

                  Luckily, I have lots of room for eventual putting those suitable to my climate zone in the ground. I think once I figure out which figs I like the most, I will keep multiples.
                  Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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                  • #14
                    I have limited space and many varieties to test, so keeping one of everything I collect for at least a couple years until I decide it's good enough to keep or de-prioritized in favor of tastier figs. So far I have a great many varieties, but haven't had any long enough to definitely give the axe yet. There are several that have been outstanding even when very young age that I know I will keep, and probably in multiples: Adriatic JH, RdB, VdB, Panache, and Strawberry Verte in particular.
                    Sarah
                    Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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                    • SarinaP
                      SarinaP commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I hate that when I try to explain fresh figs to someone, they always ask, "Oh, like Fig Newtons?"

                    • COGardener
                      COGardener commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I always tell them that if think a fig tastes like a newton.... then they have never had a fig!!!!

                    • Sarahkt
                      Sarahkt commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Ugh, fig newtons. I had exactly one fig newton as a kid. Then avoided all things fig until a trip to Jerusalem, where fresh figs at the market looked just too interesting to not try.

                      The whole fig craze for me started as an attempt to track down and grow that one variety I tasted there. Though I got distracted by Panache from the farmer's market as a variety to grow. This was back when I thought I'd "just grow one."

                      I haven't liked fig newtons, definitely not frozen figs (gross! TJ's should be ashamed), haven't tried dried figs yet. Fresh figs, or grilled in a salad, or roasted on a pizza... those are FIGS.

                  • #15
                    I'm now keeping at least 2 of each cultivar... one for backup. After losing most of my fig trees during the "Winter of Polar Vortex" 2013-2014, I've learned my lesson and store the usually smaller (1 gallon) plants in a separate location.Usually by the 3rd year you can tell which cultivar is a keeper. Good Luck
                    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                    • SarinaP
                      SarinaP commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thank you! I think I'm definitely going to keep at least 2 of each for 3 years... If I can put up with my husband's guitars, he can put up with my figs!
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