Sunday, 24 October 2010

Edible Fig (24 OCT 2010)

Before I started gardening, when I felt down, used to treat myself to a chocolate bar. Now I go to B&Q or Wilkinsons and buy sick plants from the reduced items shelf. This edible fig and bedding plants are examples of my comfort purchases. The fig was a yellow shoot when I bought it. Just un-potting it that day, shaking off the old soil, setting it in fresh compost and watering it in was so therapeutic  (for both of us), let alone watching it turn greener and greener, sprout leaves and grow a twiggy stem over the summer.

Fig is one of my favourite fruits. It's also one of the earliest cultivated fruits going back to ancient times - I like the idea of facing the same challenge as a neolithic man trying to find the ideal position for his fig tree. I was thinking about growing it from a dried fig seed but then I saw this plant.

I think I need to dig it up though because I read that figs fruit better if the roots are confined to a small space. (My bible on gardening matters is Reader's Digest Encyclopaedia of Garden Plants & Flowers 2nd edition 1978). Its recommended to line the planting hole with bricks or plant it in a pot to prevent root overgrowth. There are various ways to train fruit trees - apparently figs grow well fan-trained (ie. pruned so they grow flat along wires) against a south-facing wall, but I'm going to pot this one and leave it to grow naturally on my patio. 

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