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  • 'Brown Turkey' fig tree advice

    Hello!

    Yesterday I bought this tree, at the moment it is a sorry sight - just a stick in some soil in a pot - but looking at it now, it says it can grow to 6ft tall and 9ft wide

    Now that is quite big....I am on an allotment that I don't think really likes fruit trees, so I am going to be keeping it in a pot, I read that if you put it in a smaller pot it will encourage fruit too, so two questions:

    1: How long will my twig take to start looking like something (Even if its not a tree - just a plant, or something alive will do!) because I feel silly with a pot with a twig in it right now!!

    2. If I allow it to grow to approx. 3ft tall - about half of what it can be overall - would the health of the tree be okay, would I be stunting it too much, and would it bear fruit?

  • #2
    Hello, and welcome to the Madhouse!

    Not sure I can answer your questions, but pot-growing is fine for Figs, I do know that much. My Dad has two of the same variety as your, in pots, sunk in the ground, so I can confirm that the size estimate is accurate.
    All the best - Glutton 4 Punishment
    Freelance shrub butcher and weed removal operative.

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    • #3
      Figs are best kept in pots as if they are soil planted they dont fruit as well and spread like crazy
      Brown Turkey is one of the best varieties for growing in this country hope it helps
      My Wifes Blog

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      • #4
        Originally posted by FrenchFry View Post
        it says it can grow to 6ft tall and 9ft wide
        Dwarf fruit trees can reach that size, as can many garden shrubs, bushes and hegding plants. Even the grass of your lawn might reach 3ft tall if not 'pruned' several times each summer.
        Raspberry canes often exceed that height (and will spread in all directions until they conquer the world!), and currant and gooseberry bushes can also reach several feet in height and spread.
        They key is pruning. Regular pruning. Not just pruning for the sake of it, but pruning correctly to achieve what you want.
        Most people plant something and don't prune it for ten years until it has been allowed to get too big, then find that even if they understand the pruning needs of the plant in question the required pruning makes a mess of the plant and it neither crops well nor looks attractive thereafter.
        The great thing about figs is you can grow them from cuttings. Just cut off a piece about as large as a pencil and stick it into the ground or a pot of compost and keep it in semi-shade for a year with regular watering and no root disturbance).
        So if your fig tree ever gets out of hand you can prune it and use the prunings to start off new baby trees (like the one you have) in case the old one doesn't respond well to the pruning.


        Funnily enough, you grumble about the size it might reach, then go on to grumble that it's not very big at the moment and you're worried about it taking a long time to get up to size.
        1: How long will my twig take to start looking like something (Even if its not a tree - just a plant, or something alive will do!) because I feel silly with a pot with a twig in it right now!!
        Brown Turkey fig tends to grow six inches to a foot per year. Maybe almost nothing in cold summers and maybe more than expected in warm summers. In cold summers the fruit will be small and won't ripen. Out on an exposed allotment it might not often have enough warmth and shelter to crop well. Figs are best against sunny South-facing walls in the UK.
        Figs are only half-hardy; winter temperatures several degrees C below zero can cause severe dieback or kill the whole plant. So even if your fig reaches 9ft, a hard winter might kill so many of the shoots that it has to start again from the trunk.

        If I allow it to grow to approx. 3ft tall - about half of what it can be overall - would the health of the tree be okay, would I be stunting it too much, and would it bear fruit?
        Figs are very tolerant plants. They'll manage to grow in a crack in a rocky cliff face given half a chance.

        They should grow and crop just fine in a pot (assuming adequate watering in summer) or in a fig pit (a slab-lined pit filled with half builders rubble and half topsoil to starve and contain the roots). If, like me, your soil is quite dry and infertile the fig may be just fine planted straight into the ground (my soil is about as poor as the contents of a fig pit).
        Figs grow best/fastest when grown in compost and regularly watered, but crop best when grown in fairly infertile soil as long as they have enough water. Basically any fruit tree type of plant will put its energy into growing when the soil is good and will fruit when it starts to starve (hence the use of nutrient-poor fig pits).

        Regarding health of figs: they don't usually suffer from any diseases in the UK; just ants, wasps and birds eating the fruit in some years.
        The leaves and stems of figs are toxic and contain skin-irritating chemicals.
        .

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FB. View Post
          The leaves and stems of figs are toxic and contain skin-irritating chemicals.
          ... which must have been a matter of some concern to Adam and Eve.
          Last edited by WilliamD; 18-02-2014, 06:12 PM.
          My blog: www.grow-veg.uk

          @Grow_Veg_UK

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          • #6
            I have had a fig growing outside in Glasgow for some 10 years, and it has survived unharmed the last two very severe Winters, with the ground frozen solid, rivers frozen over, for over a month. My experience is that they are much hardier than most people imagine. It is against a South facing wall. There is very little die-back and and there is heavy fruiting every year, sometimes two crops if the Winter has been relatively mild.

            I have had to severely prune mine back this Winter, as it was growing up to 45cm a year, even though it is planted in a large pot. I suspect that it has escaped through the drainage hole as it is growing faster than before.
            Last edited by realfood; 19-02-2014, 07:21 PM.

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            • #7
              That makes me feel a bit more optimistic. My dad has taken a cutting from his fig tree and sent to me. He gets a good crop every year but is in the southwest. Was thinking after reading about them is never get a single fruit


              Sent from my iPhone using Grow Your Own Forum

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              • #8
                Here's a photo of my Brown Turkeys http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gra...ml#post1039503 - grown from 2 cuttings about 8 years ago and planted in a bed about a foot wide. If figs can go bananas these have!!
                Last edited by veggiechicken; 19-02-2014, 07:39 PM. Reason: ypot
                A Chicken walks with small steps. Be more Chicken
                https://gardenchicken.blogspot.com/
                @realveggiechicken

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                • #9
                  Mine did pretty much nothing last year, so I'm trying a better location this year. Having said that, I did repot it when I got it, so the main efforts might have been below ground. Fingers crossed I get something this year

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                  • #10
                    Mine did nothing for several years - now they just get better and better...............and bigger
                    I have a fig and camellia hedge now
                    A Chicken walks with small steps. Be more Chicken
                    https://gardenchicken.blogspot.com/
                    @realveggiechicken

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