When you want to grow something a little bit different, but a lot easy, choose a fig tree to cultivate and grow in your backyard. Fig trees produce small, juicy, and sweet fruits that you can use in a number of recipes. You can learn to care for your fig tree so it produces beauty for your garden and fruit for your kitchen.
The Initial Growing
Plant your fig tree in the late autumn in a loamy soil with lots of organic matter. Make sure it does not get any direct sunlight during the cold weather months and that it stays protected from brisk winds. Cover the dormant tree throughout the winter, and do not uncover it until you are sure the last frost has occurred. Exposure to warm temperatures and then cold temperatures soon after can do damage to the tree. If you want several fig trees, grow them about 7 metres apart for best results.
Make sure your soil has the right pH levels. Measurements between 6.0 and 6.5 are what you want to find when you test your soil. Use a digital soil tester to check your soil when you first plant and periodically as your fig tree grows. You also want to make sure your soil does not contain too much nitrogen. When the soil has an overabundance of nitrogen, pour mulch around the fig tree to help naturally drain some of this potentially-harmful chemical.
Covering Your Tree for Winter
For winter, tie the branches of your fig tree into columns using twine. To keep the columns upright, place a pole into the soil next to the tree to help support the branches. Then, pour a thick mulch layer around the tree. Use burlap to cover your fig tree and place several layers atop the tied branches. However, you must leave a small opening in the top to make sure excess heat can escape and not damage the tree. Use chicken wire to build a cage around the tree and then wrap the entire winterised plant in bubble wrap to hibernate throughout the winter.
Caring for Your Tree During Spring and Summer
Once you unwrap your tree after the long winter, you need to fertilise your soil so leaves and fruit grow in abundance. Fertilise in very early spring and then again in late spring. Prune your fig tree at this time, as well. However, make sure not to damage any of the branches where buds are forming.
Harvesting Your Tree
To reap the benefits of the figs, harvest your tree as soon as you notice the figs are ripe. The telltale sign comes when the fruit begins to hang down and their necks begin to wilt. You do not want them over-ripened, so make sure to check the fruits frequently. Pull or cut the fruits at the stem.