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Plant Figs for a Wall

You can grow this delicious fruit at home. Just plant it against a sheltered, south-facing wall and it should produce plenty of fruit.

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
plant figs against sheltered, south facing wallHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

When to Plant: Winter
At Their Best: Summer
Time to Complete: 2 hours to plant; 1 hour to prune

Materials Needed:

  • two-year-old pot-grown fig tree
  • paving stones
  • rubble, such as broken bricks
  • wires, vine eyes and twine
  • well-composted organic matter
  • granular, high-potash fertilizers
  • clippers

Dig a Pit

To restrict the fig's roots, dig a hole 2 feet square and deep, next to the wall. Line the sides with paving stones, but not the base. Add a 10-inch layer of rubble to the base for drainage, and top up with garden soil.

dig a pit next to wall for fig treeHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Plant the Fig

Fix horizontal wires to the wall. Water the tree, then plant it in the center of the hole at the same depth it was in its pot. Firm in and water well. Apply a mulch of organic matter, keeping it clear of the stem. Tie the side stems to the wires, and remove any that grow toward or away from the wall. Water regularly for the first year, and in dry periods thereafter.

Aftercare and Harvest

In late spring the tree will produce some figs; then, in late summer, you will see a second crop of embryo fruits. In late autumn remove fruits larger than a pea because they tend to rot over winter, and protect the embryos against frost with fleece; these will ripen the next summer. Trim the tree in summer to encourage more fruit.

Pruning Figs

In the spring after planting, cut back the main stem to encourage side shoots. The following spring, cut back these new stems by half and remove weak growth. Cut over-long branches to 2 inches to promote fresh growth. Prune out stems that block light from fruits (Image 1). In summer, pinch out new shoots so five leaves remain on each stem (Image 2).

  • prune stem on fig tree that block light from fruitHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010
  • pinch out new shoots on fig branch to five leavesHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

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