I am thinking about planting a fig tree but have no experience with growing figs at all. I have read that some of the recommended varieties and better tasting figs are Black Genoa, Brown Turkey and White Adriatic but would welcome actual knowledge from Workshop members. I know that fig trees grow quite successfully in Canberra but I am unsure as to which varieties might do best here.
I would of course like to eat them fresh but I want them primarily to dry as I have previously had great success with drying them.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Annette, growing figs to dry sounds delicious!!
As far as suitable varieties for your location in Canberra, I suggest checking with Daley's Fruit Trees as they have a large range of figs with great descriptions of each.
I could suggest what to grow in my sub-tropical climate, but I think it would be best to check with Daley's as to what they recommend for your area.
Have a read of the many varieties here http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/search.php?PHPSESSID=61e4ee2166ac0060189c7572b3a11080&q=figs
The Blue Provence looks divine!! http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/Fig-Blue-Provence-ficus-carica.htm
I hope this helps and please keep us updated on how you go.
Deb has gone away for a few days R & R so I can only let you know what she does with ours. We have 2 Black Genoas each in a very large pot to hopefully cut down on the size they grow (up to 6m I believe). When we planted these we got a mix of 50:50 garden mix and mushroom compost from the garden centre as it is a lot cheaper if you can buy in bulk. Since planting, Deb does a 3-4 week seasol and a 6 monthly sheep manure application. All I can tell you is that we seem to get more and more fruit off out trees the older they get, and they haven't grown tall enough that we have to get a ladder out to pick the fruit.
Unfortunately, I can't help with the drying part as our fruit doesn't last that long (too yummy).
Possibly another point to make is that we are in WA so climate conditions to yours is significantly different.
I wish you the best of luck and hope you get bountiful crops.
Do you have a good spot for a tree? You'll want well-drained soil, plenty of sun and protection from wind. I would recommend Black Genoa.
Thanks @CathM - greatly appreciated - I will check out Daley's and keep the forum posted as to my progress.
Huge Thanks @darylhewston - Glad to hear you have had success growing a fig in a large container as I would prefer that so that I can limit the size of the tree. As for fertilising, not a problem, as we regularly fertilise the whole garden with manure and seasol etc. on the first weekend of the month (easy to remember).
As for drying the figs - I was given a fabulous recipe from a friend. I boil them in a sugar syrup for 2 hours, let them stand for 24 hours, let them drain and then dry them in a dehydrator for about 12 hours. They are sweet, sticky, juicy and they last for many months in an airtight container. If you want the full recipe just let me know.
Thanks @CathD - your advice is appreciated. We have a sunny spot, not too much wind and good drainage, although I am considering growing the fig tree in an extra large container (probably a half wine barrel) to limit the height and width. I will be checking Daley's as advised by @CathM but it sounds like Black Genoa is the go.
We do get a few frosts in Winter and I have read that the fig tree should be protected for the first 2 or 3 years until it is well established, so I will take the appropriate precautions.
Well since you're offering, I am sure Deb would absolutely love the recipe for your dried figs (sounds delish). Other members might like it to if you wouldn't mind sharing. We don't have a dehydrator, so is there anything else you could use to simulate the dehydrator?