fig 'Brown Turkey'
An old boy on an allotment told me that if you dip a clean needle into olive oil and then slide it into the eye of a fig, it will ripen more quickly. I don't understand the science behind this idea, but it works
- Position: full sun
- Soil: will tolerate most soils, except very badly drained
- Rate of growth: average
- Hardiness: fully hardy
This deciduous, spreading shrub is highly ornamental, with large, glossy, palmate leaves. It is best grown against a south or south-west facing wall, where, in long, hot summers it will produce an abundant crop of brown, pear-shaped fruit with red flesh. These figs are rich and sweet and available for picking from August to September. An interesting and easy plant to grow, and one of the oldest fruits in cultivation.
- Garden care: Plant in a 40cm (15in) pot in the ground or in a lined pit to restrict root-growth as unrestricted root growth leads to poor fruiting. Prune in spring when all chance of frost has past. Remove any frost-damaged or weak branches, and thin out shoots to let light in. Some pruning may be required in summer - trim all new shoots back to five or six leaves.
Figs are capable of producing three crops of fruit every year, but in our climate it is the tiny little ones that you find tucked into the leaf axils in autumn, that if protected from frosts, will go on to ripen in their second summer. Therefore if you are growing the fig for its fruit rather than its foliage, you should remove any developing fruits that are larger than a pea in autumn, and either cover the crown of the tree with a blanket of frost fleece or try to gently pack it with straw. This will keep them snug and warm throughout winter and push the plants energy into the development of the young fruits, which should grow into fully ripened figs next year.
- Skin irritant with sunlight
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Q:Hi there. I'm thinking of buying the Ficus 'Brown Turkey', the intention is to have it in a large container and trained against a south facing wall. However, the wall space is fairly restricted - about 90cm width, just under 2.5m tall. Could I keep the fig tree within that sort of space by pruning, or would this be too detrimental to health/cropping? thanks for any advice.Asked on 6/20/2013 by LW1000 from West Yorkshire
90cm does sound like a bit of a squeeze, but if you try to establish a U-shaped cordon, then you should just about get away with it.Answered on 6/21/2013 by Helen from Crocus
Q:Fig tree wanted!
Hello I need some help please. I would like to buy my wife a fig tree for Christmas - mature enough so it will produce lots of fruit quickly........... It would be our intention to plant it in the garden, so I assume Fig 'Brown Turkey' would be the best variety, but I would welcome your advice Thanks in anticipation Regards TomAsked on 12/13/2009 by Roche Tom
A:Hello Tom, We only sell the one fig, which is Ficus carica 'Brown Turkey'. We chose this one because it tends to be hardier here in the UK and reliably produces a good crop of fruit when mature - although I would not expect a decent crop for a few years as it will need time to become established. If you click on the following link it will take you straight to it. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/fruit/bush/mediterranean/fig/mediterranean-plants/kitchengarden/fruit/fruit-trees/ficus-carica-brown-turkey/classid.1000000029/ I hope this helps. HelenAnswered on 12/15/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Advice please on winter care for my new Fig tree
Hello Crocus, I have a Fig which I bought from yourselves earlier this year. I believe it is hardy, but please can you confirm if I need to do anything to protect it from frost etc. It is in a fair-sized terracotta pot, standing on our patio against a wall. Also, during the summer, a friend advised to remove the green fruits, to encourage better fruiting next year. Was this good advice? Appreciate your help. Many thanksAsked on 11/9/2009 by Joy Osborn
A:Hello there, Figs are borderline fully hardy, so if you have a sheltered garden or live down south, then your tree should be fine without protection unless the temperatures really drop dramatically. If however your garden is very exposed or cold, then you should move it against a south facing wall if you can and cover it in frost fleece. As for the fruits, as general rule they can produce three crops per year, but it is the little tiny ones that you find tucked into the leaf axils, that are produced late in the year that overwinter and then go on to ripen in their second summer. Ideally you should try to remove all the fruits that are larger than a pea in mid autumn, and this will direct more energy into pushing these into developing next year. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 11/10/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Moving a large Fig Tree
Hello, I have a fig tree growing against the front wall of my house. It is getting huge, obscuring the window and I don't like to think where the roots are going under my house. So I want to re-plant it in the front garden. What is the best time to move it? Will it die of shock? And should I contain it in a huge pot rather than the ground? Had wonderful figs this year! Hope you can help. Regards, IslaAsked on 9/18/2009 by Isla Blair
A:Hello Isla, If the fig has only been in the ground for a few years, then it should be quite successful moving it if done correctly, and you may be able to fit it into a really large pot. The best time to move established shrubs is in the autumn when the soil is still warm but the plant isn't in full active growth. Begin by marking a semi-circle around the fig, as wide as the widest branch. Dig a trench along the line of this semi-circle. Use a fork to loosen the soil around the root ball as you go to reduce it's size and weight so that it becomes manageable. When the root ball looks about the right size that you can still move it, but there are still a lot of roots intact, begin to under cut the root ball with a sharp spade to sever the biggest woody roots. Roll up the root ball in sacking or plastic to protect the roots from damage and drying out and move it quickly to its new home. It is important to have the site ready so that you can transplant the fig at once and it isn't left for hours (or worse!) drying out. Remove the sacking and plant it in the new hole, at the depth at which it was previously planted. Firm well, water well and mulch with a good thick layer of well rotted farmyard manure. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 9/21/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Fig tree fruit
H, We have a lovely fig tree bought from you by our daughter years ago. It gives us wonderful fruit but we are never quite sure what to do with the smaller hard fruits left on the plant after the summer is over. Do we remove them or leave them for next years growth? It is on a south facing wall and has really got quite big can we cut it back? Look forward to your reply. PatriciaAsked on 9/9/2009 by Patricia Ely
A:Thank you for your advice which we have now done. It has grown very well
and spread over a wall-how far can we cut it back? Thank youAnswered on 9/9/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello Patricia, As a general rule they can produce three crops per year, but it is the little tiny ones that you find tucked into the leaf axils, that are produced late in the year that overwinter and then go on to ripen in their second summer. If you don't get any ripe fruits this year, then try to remove all the fruits that are larger than a pea in mid autumn, and this will direct more energy into pushing these into developing next year. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 9/28/2009 by Patricia Ely
A:Hello again Patricia, These do not really need much pruning, but if it has outgrown the space, then you can remove some of the older wood and thin overcrowded growth in early spring. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 9/29/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Can I grow a fig tree in a pot?
I have a south facing London garden. The aspect would be ideal for a fig tree but the garden is quite small. Is it possible to grow fig trees in pots?Asked on 11/16/2005 by Bea Alabaster
A:Figs are ideal for growing in a large pot as they prefer their roots to be enclosed as this encourages them to produce fruit.Answered on 11/16/2005 by Crocus