Fig trees

Hi  I am a newbie but want to try and grow more edible garden plants and trees but have limited space.  I would like to grow patio plants and Lilylouise has tempted me on Blueberries in a pot after watching her video of her garden.  My question is, is it possible to grow a fig tree in this country in a pot on the patio.  Would like some advice before I buy a fig tree as they look expensive. I live in the Lancashire area so can get rather cold in the winter but my garden isn't open.  Have you experts got any good advice for me.image

Thanks Chris

 

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  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,650

    I have a fig tree in a large pot and it's doing OK.   I live in central Belgium so winters are much harder than Lancashire.   It gets taken into an unheated shelter for the winter and can be frozen back to its rootstock in the hardest winters but last year, despite -25C nights it produced about a dozen fruit.  It's parent, planted in the ground in a more sheltered garden than mine a few miles away produces dozens every year.

    Just make sure you buy a hardy one like Brown Turkey, although I believe there is a newer, hardier variety available in the UK now.   You'll need to give it a topfeed every spring and keep it watered throughout the gowing season.   Keep it sheltered over winter.  Think about lining the sides of the pot with bubble wrap before filling with compost as this gives the roots extra protection from frost.  Use a good John Innes 3 type compost and make sure it doesn sit in a wet puddle in winter.

    The Vendée, France
  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    I have a fig in a pot on the terrace in central Italy. Like obelixx, we get pretty brutal winters, though not as cold as -25. We have a covered pergola on the terrace and it goes under the pergola, against a protected wall, the container wrapped in two or three layers of bubble wrap. I wrap the tree itself in a couple of layers of heavy-duty fleece. It spends about two and a half months like this and I monitor the moisture level in the container. It averages one or two waterings with tepid/warm water during this period, and, with the container's excellent drainage, it never gets wet feet. Its now five or six years old and produces an extraordinary amount of fruit for its size.

    Its sister plant - both grown from cuttings from the same tree - lives in the ground in the garden in a completely exposed position. I don't protect it in any way. It takes everything winter can throw at it and always bounces back in spring.

  • Chris9Chris9 Posts: 93

    Thanks for the positive response I can't wait to get one now. 

    Italophile, a friend has moved to Italy and lives down south and was pleased with his fig tree so I want to surprise them when they visit with an English fig, yes a bit of competition image

    Obelxx, I did see Turkey Brown on one of the seed website so will aim for that tree and thanks for the planting info.

    It is great to have some many experts who can answer these questions and give such good advice.  Thank to you both and have a good weekend. regards Chris

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,650

    Happy to Help Chris.  Good Luck.

    I'm planning to plant mine out in a south facing sheltered spot this autumn and will protect the top with fleece henceforth.  Mine got frosted at just the wrong moment this spring so I will only get 3 fruit this year and it's taken till late June for the leaves to appear.  It's looking good now though so I hope it will be happier outside as the fruits are delicious.

    The Vendée, France
  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647
    Chris9 wrote (see)

    Thanks for the positive response I can't wait to get one now. 

    Italophile, a friend has moved to Italy and lives down south and was pleased with his fig tree so I want to surprise them when they visit with an English fig, yes a bit of competition image

    Obelxx, I did see Turkey Brown on one of the seed website so will aim for that tree and thanks for the planting info.

    It is great to have some many experts who can answer these questions and give such good advice.  Thank to you both and have a good weekend. regards Chris

    You see figs everywhere here, Chris. Down the road from us there's even one huge green fig tree growing out of a wall! It's always the first fig in the town to fruit and produces a ton of fruit.

    The only secrets to growing in containers is to (a) give them a good feed with a balanced fertiliser - I usually use a 10:10:10 combination - in spring; (b) keep them well watered in summer but with very good drainage, obviously; and (c) don't start out with the container too big. Figs thrive in terms of production if their roots are contained, cramped even. Mine started life in about a 25cm pot and I potted it up a couple of years ago into a 40cm container. It's over 6' and as wide as it is tall.

    It will stay in this container for a very long time. The root system can get too compacted, though. Every couple of years, early in spring, I lift it out and use a handsaw (yes, literally) to cut three or four wedges out of the mass of roots. Like taking wedged slices out of a pie, except it's like cutting into solid timber. This both reduces the root mass and rejuvenates it. I fill in the newly created space in the container with potting mix. You'd think the tree would turn up its toes in protest. No way. It gallops on.

  • Polly5Polly5 Posts: 6

    I've had a fig in a pot for 3 or 4 years. Repotted it this year. so far haven't seen any sign of it producing any fruit. any suggestions.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Do you know the variety? There are non-fruiting varieties. It can sometimes take two or three years for a tree to mature to a fruiting stage but your three or four years should have been adequate. Assuming plenty of sun and warmth in summer, has it been fertilised? Nitrogen-heavy fertiliser can work against fruit production.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,709

    I'm also planning to plant a fig tree this year, in a container against the south-facing fence on our terrace.  I've already bought it's final home - a large square frost-proof  terracotta pot - I thought I'd better get it while I still had the vouchers from a big birthday - but I know it'll have to start off in a smaller one.  

    A friend who lived in this area had good crops from a Brown Turkey in a similar situation, but this nursery http://www.readsnursery.co.uk/categories/Fig-Trees/ isn't far from here and they have all sorts of varieties so I thought I'd seek their advice too.  

    Does anyone on here have experience of growing a fig other than Brown Turkey in the UK?

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,709

    I'm planning to buy a fig this year to plant in a pot in a sheltered corner of our south facing terrace.  I've already bought it's final home - a large frost-proof square terracotta pot (I thought I'd better buy it while I had some vouchers for my big birthday), but I know it'll have to start off in a smaller pot.  

    A friend who lived in this area had good crops from a Brown Turkey in a similar situation, but I've not finally decided yet.  This nursery http://www.readsnursery.co.uk/categories/Fig-Trees/ is nearby, so I thought I'd ask their advice.

    Does anyone on here have experience of growing figs other than Brown Turkey outside in the UK?

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Chris9Chris9 Posts: 93

    Hi  Italophile has been growing figs Obelixx has been growing Brown Turkey, they have given adviced how to grow this type fig at the top of this thread, let me know what you buy and how you get on.

    regards

    Chris

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