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  • Earliest variety in Zone 6b

    I am curious what would be the earliest dark fig for zone 6b?
    Wish List -

  • #2
    Main crop-probably Florea?
    Can't speak for brebas
    SW PA zone 6a


    • #3
      So far, HC was my earliest. That may change this year.
      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


      • #4
        I have Florea and Hardy Chicago in Zone 6B/borderline 7 (RI) in very similar locations on a west-facing slope. These are mature plants, but they have been in the ground only 1-2 years.

        Last summer, both plants produced ~115 figs. Florea produced its first ripe fig on 8/17, HC on 9/4. Honestly, I might have picked both a couple of days early. Measured by running 7-day total production, Florea peaked at 36 on 9/11-12, HC also at 36 on 10/1.
        Joe, Z6B, RI.


        • #5
          Florea, Ronde de Bordeaux, and Improved Celeste seem to first ripen together about 2 weeks before the Mt Etna type. Supposedly, Pastiliere (Rouge de Bordeaux) ripens even slightly earlier than those three but haven't seen much evidence for that yet other than what Baud states. Marseilles (aka Lattarula, Italian Honey) ripens with those early ones as a light fig. Pons has some early ripening varieties too but how they compare to these it's hard to say without any side by side ripening reports.
          Tony WV 6b


          • Dave
            Dave commented
            Editing a comment
            I have some Ronde de Bordeaux, cuttings going right now Good to know it ripens early

        • #6
          Originally posted by mountainfigs View Post
          . Pons has some early ripening varieties too but how they compare to these it's hard to say without any side by side ripening reports.
          Do you know which ones?


          • #7
            Florea, Imp Celeste, RdB, Malta Black, and Black Bethlehem. Roughly that order.
            SE PA
            Zone 6


            • Dave
              Dave commented
              Editing a comment
              The only one I have on this list is the RDB I'll have to get some of the other ones all the figs in my collection seem to be late ripeners

          • #8
            Thanks Kelby! I'm still a newbie for sure! A friend here in Michigan has Florea and he says it's the easiest one to grow here, so they do work well here.
            jrdewhirst so how did Florea and Hardy Chicago do in ground for you so far? How much dieback? I'm still growing out some trees to put in ground. I was thinking of trying Florea and Danny's Delight in ground here. it will be a bit for Danny's Delight, the tree isn't even here yet! My Flores will be 2nd leaf, so maybe put it in next year. Plus I want some cuttings as backup.
            I have Hardy Chicago but I think I;'ll leave it in a container for now. I only have room for two in ground. Very good locations though! South facing next to house protected from north winds, will have the heat of the house, and a southern exposure, etc.


            • #9
              Andrew, I posted a list of three dozen of Pons' earliest ripening figs, some of them at least, at my site: https://mountainfigs.net/2016/02/05/...ripening-figs/

              As point of comparison I listed his CDDN also, which first ripens a month after his earliest fig.

              This is not a comprehensive list of Pons' earliest ripening figs. I tried to not overlook and to include all of the very earliest main crop figs. However, I may have missed some in flipping through the 400+ page book. Also, as I recall going further down the list chronologically toward the less early figs I omitted some figs based on appearance or apparent (not actual) duplication. In particular I seem to recall many seemingly very similar green skin / red pulp figs, and if they were not very early, I don't think I listed them all. I'll leave a fuller graphing to someone else. Perhaps Mr. Pons has it already.

              His earliest fig that I saw is De Tres Esplets (of three seasons or of three "bumper harvests"). The fruit looks a lot like Ronde de Bordeaux, and may well be, though I don't know. The leaves are not photographed clearly enough to get a read on.

              Below are the earliest 7 Pons figs I could find. Another 30 of his early ones I list at my site.
              Early Pons figs first dates of ripening
              June / August
              breba / main CULTIVARS
              1. 05 / 02 De Tres Esplets
              2. — / 05 Porquenca Negra
              3. — / 06 Planera
              4. 20 / 06 Verdal Siciliana
              5. — / 08 Negra Primerenca
              6. 04 / 10 Manressa
              7. 10 / 10 Alenyana

              Tony WV 6b


            • #10
              Andrew --

              I planted Florea and Gene's Paradiso in the spring of 2013. Winter of 2013-14 got to -5 F, based on records from a nearby airport. Paradiso had minor damage, maybe 10-15%, at tips of late-season growth. Florea suffered severe damage, maybe 70%, but I think the problem was mold rather than cold. More on this later. I planted HC in the spring of 2014. Winter of 2014-15 got to -3 F. All three plants survived with very minor damage -- 0-5%. Finally, I planted MBvs, RdB, and Lattarula in spring of 2015. So now all six are going through what has been a very mild winter.

              My site is very windy, especially in winter. It is also exposed to winter sun. I wanted good protection against wind, sun, and cold. I'm guessing that cold may be the least of my potential problems. All three years, I've covered the figs with a double layer of foil-covered bubble wrap. This is expensive but seems (so far!) effective. I am sure that this cover blocks wind and winter sun; it may only slightly modulate temperature.

              The first year I made the mistake of including additional blankets and bubble wrap inside the protective structure, which retained moisture and (I think) contributed to mold on Florea. Now I have only the protective structure, which hardly makes contact with the branches. Note that to keep out cold air, the structure is not well ventilated. I think it is important for me to open it, probably on the north side away from the sun, once the most severe winter weather has passed (e.g., late March). That's what I did last year and there was no mold at all.

              Hope this helps.

              Joe, Z6B, RI.


              • #11
                p.s. Andrew -- With your south-facing site, I'd worry most about mid-winter thaws tricking the plants into beginning to come out of dormancy. So I'd try to cover with a opaque material that reflects rather than absorbs infrared light. The last thing you'd want is 70-80 temps under a mini-greenhouse in February.
                Joe, Z6B, RI.


                • #12
                  Thanks guys that info is extremely useful! Thanks too for that pons list awesome! Yes I worry about a heat up too. i was thinking maybe in that location to go for the burying technique. I need to try all methods. The wrapping worked well with the temps you experienced. Here though it can get colder. In the winter of 2014-2015 it made it down to -16F one night. Only if buried would they make it. That is the coldest in 59 years that i remember though!