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  • Newbie Help and Questions

    Hi everyone,

    We inherited this fig tree in our property, and I nee a bit of help in 2 aspects.

    1. Identifying what fig variety I have.
    2. Solving insect problem I think.

    I attach photos of my figs on tree in various states / stages. When fully ripe / over ripe it is yellow on the outside, a pic of the inside after "bird strike" also attached.
    Then on the pics you will also see marks / blemishes of my figs. is this insects ? (pic of fruit fly ?)
    What should I do to protect my small green ones. (keeping in mind it is now mid summer in South Africa)

    I am very new to this, but must say my Fig tree is currently my pride an joy. The Preserves we make from them is awesome in taste and textrue. (still need to learn about dehydrating them)

    Regards

    Wilhelm

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum, Wilhelm. I think more leaf pics would help. The fruit looks like a Kadota type fig to me, but we'll wait to hear what more experienced fig growers have to say. Is the problem with fruit flies very bad?
    Tony; Pickens county, SC zone 7b
    WL: Brooklyn White; Dominick; Golden Riverside; Maltese Beauty; Norland

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome Willhem!
      SoCal Zone 9b

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      • #4
        Welcome. Not familiar with south African flys sorry
        Savannah Ga zone 8b

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        • #5
          Thank you Otis,

          I can't upload more pictures (Limit), but I attach a link to my dropbox with more pics as requested.

          https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7t5yiilu9...g0I8Nf7Ga?dl=0

          Hope this helps.

          As for the fruit flies, is makes my figs not presentable, but in preserves it works. If you look at the spots on my figs, is that fruit flies ?
          I also battle birds for the ripe figs, and when I took the pic of the leafs, I saw a beetle type thing with a longinsh snout for the first time. (Flew away before I could take a pic) eating an open fig left by the birds.

          Comment


          • Otis
            Otis commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the Dropbox site. The leaves look similar to an unk green fig I have growing here, but I can't say Kadota for sure, but possibly, or similar. As for the insecticide I also don't use other than powdered diatomaceous earth or a Neem oil/Protek spray when I need to. Have you considered covering ripening fruit with organza bags? That could help keep the bugs away long enough for you to get them ripe. I don't know how they work with hungry birds though. Best of luck and Good Growing.

        • #6
          Originally posted by Kevin912 View Post
          Welcome. Not familiar with south African flys sorry
          Kevin912,

          Thank you, your reply prompted me to call my local nursery and they recommended Cypermethrin (pyrethroid) - Broad spectrum insecticide a contact and stomach poison.

          I got it and the instructions for fruit flies list peaches, with application every 14 days. Peaches for Canning should not be sprayed 3 days before picking. In your opinion ? Can I use same dosages as for peaches and follow same rules ?
          Last edited by Wilhelm; 01-07-2020, 12:36 PM.

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          • Kevin912
            Kevin912 commented
            Editing a comment
            I would say follow directions closely. I myself don't use insecticides. I have been using neem oil/water spray on plant leaves and soil surface which has worked well for me. I also hang yellow sticky fly/nat sheets around growing area.

        • #7
          Thank you everyone for the tips and feedback. I will try the neem oil / water spry as well.

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          • #8
            Welcome to the forum!

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            • #9
              Welcome to the forums and good luck.
              South Florida - 10b

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              • #10
                If it were me, I would just ignore the minor blemishes on the skin and enjoy the figs. On the other hand, if you are getting fruit fly larva in your figs then that's a problem. If you search the forum under "spotted wing drosophila" you will find approaches that members have used on this particularly type of fruit fly. I'm sure those approaches would be applicable for the fruit flies you have there.
                Steve
                D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
                WL: Verdolino, Figue Jaune, Nantes Maroc, Lussheim

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                • #11
                  Another newbie question… Is this the HP pro mix everyone raves about? It has mycorrhizae and is $42 USD for a 2.8 cu ft bag...good deal? PREMIER HORTICULTURE 713445 HP Pro Mix Growing Media, 2.8 cu ft https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S27U88C..._aXZfEb2M9T0N4
                  -Carl (Marlton, NJ (Zone 6b/7a))
                  WL: CdD mutant, De Tres Esplets, Exquisito, Nero del Cisternino, Sangue Dolce, BFF, Noir de Caromb, RLBV, Dall Osso White, RGR

                  Comment


                  • Dig
                    Dig commented
                    Editing a comment
                    It is best to start a new thread when going off topic.

                    That is expensive. I pay $28 including shipping for 3.8cu of organic promix

                  • RocketSkates
                    RocketSkates commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks can you tell me where you get it for that price?

                • #12
                  I honestly don’t see any insect problems in the pics. What I do see is a combination of scaring due to heat/sun and birds test pecking the fruit. I would assume flies could be attracted to damaged fruit.

                  Be careful with using neem (which I do not advise using at this point since I do not see insects or mildew). It can burn leaves if applied when it is very hot and bright.
                  figs, peaches, apples, nectarines, pomegranates, cherry, pistachio, and pear tree grower 😄
                  El Paso Tx zone 8a 8” rain

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                  • #13
                    Welcome to the forum Wilhelm. 🌳 Don
                    Don H - Zone 9b Tampa, FL
                    Current (Space Limited) Collection: Violette deBordeaux (2), Celeste (2), White Marseille (3), Brown Turkey (2), Little Miss Figgy, Little Ruby (Bonsai), H1794 Ukn (2), Smith

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                    • #14
                      Thanks guys.

                      No larvae in the figs, do have bird problem it seems, hung few old CD's in the tree on fish line and it seems to have some effect.
                      The Figs taste real good, and making whole fig preserve as well. my wife just cut the real ulgy pieces off before I cook them.

                      Off topic... anyone have a recipe / method / link to make dried figs ? of is this the wrong kind ?

                      Comment


                      • AndrewG
                        AndrewG commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Have a look at the booked linked in https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...j-de-v-lötter which Jake-ZA posted some while ago. At chapter 7 it gives methods to preserve figs. Also a good read for SA fig varieties.

                        BTW you are lucky if CD's frighten the birds - there are some birds in my fig trees that don't even fly away when I am at the trees

                    • #15
                      Have a look at https://givingtrees.co.za/specialist...-database-list for possibilities. My guess is White Genoa according to shape and inside colour, but could be Deanna if on the larger side. Might be Kadota, but definitely not Cape White.

                      Nice to see another figger from these parts... Whereabouts are you located?

                      I've had good success using a dehydrator to dry figs - the only downside is you have to slice them to fit in the trays. It's quick, overnight.

                      Just checked on the above web site - White Genoa is good for eating, preserves, jams and drying. Which is probably why it's in your garden!
                      Last edited by Jake-ZA; 01-10-2020, 10:40 AM.
                      Grahamstown/Makhanda, Eastern Cape, South Africa: Zone 10b (30km to coast by crow, 65km by road)

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                      • #16
                        Welcome to a fellow South African.
                        The few marks on your figs seem mostly fruit fly / stinging insect related. It usually shows up as a black or brown mark that don't seem to penetrate the skin. For me a lot of these stings / bites cause the fig to ripen prematurely / inadequately leaving the centre without colour (amber /yellow - less pink/red) and without much taste. Most successful way I protect against birds and fruit flies is organza bags, although there are some insects that can bite through them. (Not the fruit fly) I don't have a picture of my big fig trees which look like Christmas trees with the multi-coloured bags, but include one or two fruit with organza bags in my garden. I find these bags cheap at Bargain Basket chain of stores, but they should be available at most material or hobby shops.

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                        Not sure of your location - in KZN I had my first main crop figs today (just over a kilogram harvest). Most of these fruit did not have bags on (I'm behind schedule) so there were as many fruit spoiled or half ate by birds. If you look closely you can see the same black and brown pockmarks where some of them were stung.

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                        Andrew. Pietermaritzburg KZN, South Africa - Zone 10a/10b
                        Growing Figs, Grapes, Citrus, Olive, Avocado, Pecan Nut, Macadamia Nut, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Granadilla, Guava, Mango, Apricot, Coffee and loads more - not always successfully!

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                        • #17
                          Originally posted by Jake-ZA View Post
                          Have a look at https://givingtrees.co.za/specialist...-database-list for possibilities. My guess is White Genoa according to shape and inside colour, but could be Deanna if on the larger side. Might be Kadota, but definitely not Cape White.

                          Nice to see another figger from these parts... Whereabouts are you located?

                          I've had good success using a dehydrator to dry figs - the only downside is you have to slice them to fit in the trays. It's quick, overnight.

                          Just checked on the above web site - White Genoa is good for eating, preserves, jams and drying. Which is probably why it's in your garden!
                          Hi,

                          I am from North West, Potch / Klerksdorp side.
                          I wil try a dehydrator. just cut and dry. ?

                          Comment


                          • Jake-ZA
                            Jake-ZA commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Pretty much - I didn't do any other prep. Just don't cut and paste! You'll need to judge how long to run it - if they're in for too long they come out like a Chipnik!

                            I think Potch can get quite cold in winter?
                            Last edited by Jake-ZA; 01-13-2020, 09:25 AM.

                        • #18
                          Originally posted by AndrewG View Post
                          Welcome to a fellow South African.
                          The few marks on your figs seem mostly fruit fly / stinging insect related. It usually shows up as a black or brown mark that don't seem to penetrate the skin. For me a lot of these stings / bites cause the fig to ripen prematurely / inadequately leaving the centre without colour (amber /yellow - less pink/red) and without much taste. Most successful way I protect against birds and fruit flies is organza bags, although there are some insects that can bite through them. (Not the fruit fly) I don't have a picture of my big fig trees which look like Christmas trees with the multi-coloured bags, but include one or two fruit with organza bags in my garden. I find these bags cheap at Bargain Basket chain of stores, but they should be available at most material or hobby shops.

                          Not sure of your location - in KZN I had my first main crop figs today (just over a kilogram harvest). Most of these fruit did not have bags on (I'm behind schedule) so there were as many fruit spoiled or half ate by birds. If you look closely you can see the same black and brown pockmarks where some of them were stung.
                          Hi,

                          I will definitely try the bags. at what stage do you put the bag on ? I see some of my real young green ones already stung.

                          I also have a few cuttings in now, to try my hand at that

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                          • Jake-ZA
                            Jake-ZA commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I've got a fair number of different varieties, and have already offered cuttings to AndrewG.

                            If you're interested, I can let you have a bunch when my trees go dormant sometime in June.

                        • #19
                          Originally posted by Wilhelm View Post

                          Hi,

                          I will definitely try the bags. at what stage do you put the bag on ? I see some of my real young green ones already stung.

                          I also have a few cuttings in now, to try my hand at that
                          It is a tossup as to the best time. If like me you live in a humid climate, putting the bags on to early tend to spoil some of the figs. In Potch this should not be a problem. Depending on your tree size, getting time to bag several hundred figs may also be problematic. I usually start any time after the figs have set and bag enough figs so that I should have a decent harvest. I have 200 to 300 bags for my figs which I spread throughout the trees, but this is far less than a quarter of the figs on my 3 in ground trees. Thereafter I keep an eye on the trees and take note when it starts to push ripe figs. As soon as I notice an unbagged fig that is bigger than the rest I bag it as well, and usually within 2 days it is ready to pick. Any fig that I harvest that is bagged, I return the bag to another fig on the tree. That said, I still lose prolific amounts of figs to birds that peck the little green figs. Once they break the skin, it is only a matter of time before further spoilage takes place (see the photos where the peck marks get used by other grubs to burrow in) Touch wood, this year I have been extremely lucky with the monkeys. Usually by now, they have ripped up half my organza bags. I try to clean my trees daily during harvest. If I allow half eaten or rotting figs on the tree the monkeys, birds, fruit flies and ants are permanent guests and pretty soon everything is spoilt.

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                          Andrew. Pietermaritzburg KZN, South Africa - Zone 10a/10b
                          Growing Figs, Grapes, Citrus, Olive, Avocado, Pecan Nut, Macadamia Nut, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Granadilla, Guava, Mango, Apricot, Coffee and loads more - not always successfully!

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                          • Jake-ZA
                            Jake-ZA commented
                            Editing a comment
                            200 to 300 bags! They must love you at the local Crazystore?

                            I'm having a real problem with birds this year, mainly Bulbul, so maybe I need to upgrade my bagging skills if I want to taste anything. You're right, they peck off quite small completely unripe figs... really irritating.

                            Last time I gave it a go a few years ago the bags were too small and the figs got stuck inside them.

                            No monkeys yet. Last in our garden a few years back.

                        • #20
                          I sometimes think the birds are as impatient as I am for ripe figs - the small unripe figs tend to soften and swell earlier if they are damaged. Perhaps it is the birds way of trying to ripen the figs early? Not sure but it drives me crazy to break off figs by the dozen that are still green but already spoilt. Also strange that this is the first year I have this amount of green fig damage, and while all trees have some damage, it is particularly one tree that is targeted. I am used to birds pecking the partially ripening figs, which made the amount of bags needed manageable. I have got a roll of bird netting that I am planning to use at some stage, but putting up a fruit-cage over my size trees on uneven ground has pushed that project on the backburner.

                          As for birds, my knowledge is woeful. We have Bulbuls of various types, black Drongo's, Mannikins, Myna's and I even noticed a bird looking like some type of Loerie in my Fig tree yesterday. Not sure which ones eat the worms, and which peck at the fruit. Have previously tried taking photos of these to identify culprits, but not very successfully executed
                          Andrew. Pietermaritzburg KZN, South Africa - Zone 10a/10b
                          Growing Figs, Grapes, Citrus, Olive, Avocado, Pecan Nut, Macadamia Nut, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Granadilla, Guava, Mango, Apricot, Coffee and loads more - not always successfully!

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                          • #21
                            I've noticed that my "black" figs tend to attract the early attention of birds, even when still small and green and not nearly black. My yellow/white figs are ignored until they're nearly ripe. Maybe co-incidence? Or my imagination.

                            In the past White Eyes have been the main fig nibblers, but these are quite small so only really damage figs that are nearly ripe and you stand a chance of sharing the fruit. The bulbuls - a recent problem - are bigger birds and feel nothing for stripping young fruit from the trees. Manikins and pin-tailed Whydas are seed eaters, and drongos eat insects mostly. We have a couple of what used to be known as Knysna Loeries in the neighbourhood, but apart from being the size of small chickens, it's not clear to me that they eat fruit. Green pigeons love our mulberry trees,but I've never seen them after figs, but maybe that's just a matter of time. We have starlings of various types,but they don't seem interested in figs. And thank goodness we don't get the Indian Myna!

                            Grahamstown/Makhanda, Eastern Cape, South Africa: Zone 10b (30km to coast by crow, 65km by road)

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                            • #22
                              Jake-ZA

                              I will definitely take you up on the cuttings offer in June.

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