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Fig, brown Turkey, impulse buy!

ErgatesErgates Posts: 2,197
I shouldn’t have done it, but I got tempted and bought a Brown Turkey fig in the garden centre this morning, without checking what conditions it needed.
I thought it would look nice on the front lawn and was hoping it would grow quite large, and also not get eaten by the deer or rabbits.
It will be on the north side of the house, but as it’s a bungalow, it will get loads more sun there than on the south side of the house, which is shaded by mature trees on the hill above. 
Im really growing it for looks and size rather than fruit, although that would be a bonus, so wasn’t planning to restrict its roots.
Am I setting myself up for failure?


  • It isn't the sun that you need to worry about it is the cold coming from the North.
    The fig is a great thing to have in your garden but they need to be "curtailed" so that their roots don't take over from the leafing and fruiting (even though you said you weren't worried about the fruit).
    They need to be sheltered.
    It can be a big shrub/tree and can also be difficult to prune back to the shape you want.
    The leaves are lovely but you will have just branches in the winter and frosts in the early spring (or even later as this year) will cut the leaves back and it will take a while for it to get going again.

  • It probably wasn't your best choice - particularly if you don't really intend to grow for the fruit but we are all guilty of impulse buying ;)
    They can make quite a statement if grown on their own but as above, bare branches in the winter months  and not much else. The Brown Turkey at least is the hardiest of the Figs in the UK and you shouldn't have a problem with it reaching your desired height once it is established. What you will need to consider is that if and when you do want to reduce the height, it will happily throw up suckers from the base.
    You don't say whether it will stand alone altho if you are planting in the middle of your lawn, I would assume so? 
    Perhaps just be prepared that you may end up with a little thicket in future years ?
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,237
    I love figs, but they really look best trained against a wall imho, they're not really what I'd call a "lawn specimen". That said, I do pass one that's been planted in the middle of a lawn most mornings on my rounds with the dog. 
  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 4,436
    I had a customer recently that had a lot of neglected small trees in pots as well as an olive tree planted in the ground.  She wanted them all gone as she doesn't have the time to tend them and doesn't have me there enough to do it for her so we have redone her garden. 
    The upside of this is that I now have a 12 foot olive tree and a 5 foot  fig tree, brown turkey also.  Always wanted both and need some privacy on all sides. They have both survived the move.  Olive is now planted in the garden and the fig is in a large planter on the terrace.  Both are looking happier!
    The best fig trees I've seen are against walls snuggled in the corner of a walled kitchen garden I worked in,  perfectly sheltered. The roots were in the ground but this was a large private estate,  so they had the room for the fig to spread! 

  • ErgatesErgates Posts: 2,197
    Thanks for all the input, much appreciated. It looks like I will need to rethink where to put this fig. For some reason, I hadn’t considered that it was deciduous! Won’t do for where I’d planned at all. The most suitable place would be in a container against the long south facing side of the bungalow. However, OH will need some persuading. There is a concrete pathway around the full perimeter of the house, which we try to keep clear of obstacles, especially anything that will end up with a pile of leaves against it.
    I don’t already have a suitable pot either, so this could end up as an expensive purchase! That will teach me to get seduced by some healthy leaves and a low price tag, winking at me in the garden centre! 
  • ErgatesErgates Posts: 2,197
    My fig is still in its pot. Still haven’t decided where to put it yet. It has some dear little baby figs growing where the leaves come off the stem.
    Apart from getting the poor thing into a bigger pot, or the ground, what else does it need?

  • And this is ours ... planted 12 years ago! 😂

  • We have two figs in the middle of the front (south facing) garden, one of which is Brown Turkey. (We had two different varieties in pots from our previous place, I just planted them close together). We get good edible figs most years, and I aim to let them grow to a good size to provide some shade. It should be a good tree that can hopefully stand the heat waves that are very likely to become more frequent.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,938
    Living where you are @Ergates. It will probably be fine in your climate, so much warmer where you are, I bought one in Morrisons some years ago, £1.79,  it took off well and I repotted it a few times, I put it outside in the summer back in the conservatory in the winter.
    I had those little figs starting to form, then they’d drop off,  I thought it might be better in the green house, planted  in the soil bed.
    Blooming thing took off like a rocket,  huge in the first year even bigger following despite cutting it back,  still no figs,   I’m getting rid of it now.😀

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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