nnyr
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:41 pm
Location: Asheville, NC

Figs will not ripen

I bought a fig tree in Spring, 3 years ago. The first year, it grew to a good size (small but full and healthy looking) and had a few green figs and then, died off. Last year, the tree grew bigger and had much more fruit but never quite ripened. This year, my tree is over 6 foot tall and has a ton of green figs growing on it and still, the fruit is not ripe enough to eat. I did have two that were reddish-tan and looked good to eat but was not sweet like bought fresh figs. I live in Western NC and the tree does completely die down in the winter. I've no idea what type of fig tree it is although I bought it from a local guy (pretty sure) and I'm wondering if it's just a kind tree where the fruit is not good to eat. Any ideas?
Love greenhouses and want to start growing food. I grow flowers but have little luck with veggies. I'll plant anything that is edible and if it happens to be decorative as well, even better! https://greenhousefashions.blogspot.com/

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!potatoes!
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Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

I'm in the asheville area, too, and it seems like some varieties need just a bit more heat and season than they get here, and some get in just under the wire. a thought: if you can go the extra-protection route for the winter (so it doesn't die back all the way in the winter), you may be able to get an early crop (my first crop was ripening - as in quite sweet) in july this year...also, you could try to make a warmer micro climate around the tree - lots of dense, dark-colored stones is a decent start...or you can try to score an earlier variety. i have doubts about it being a non-edible variety, if it was sold locally as a fruit tree.

CharlieBear
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Posts: 590
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Pacific NW

There is a trick you can try that will sometimes hasten fig ripening, which we have to do here most years. Take a q-tip and dip it in canola oil and touch it the the base (indentation) at the bottom of the fig. I had to do this, this year as we had a very slow start to spring. Only do this on the big figs that are this years crop, not the small ones.
It is true that not all figs taste that good, some taste better to some of us and others to other people. I personally don't like the aftertaste to the light colored (white) type figs, but my mother loves them.
If you still have trouble with fig ripening after you apply canola oil then you might consider getting a fig whose biggest crop is it's first summer crop. We often have trouble getting the second later crop to ripen with any real sweetness, because the weather isn't as hot as in their native lands in the fall. I left the one late ripening one, because my mother loves them, but we put in two new ones (espaliered) to save space and so they could be covered with row covers in the winter, so they don't freeze down to the ground.

nnyr
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:41 pm
Location: Asheville, NC

Oohh! I like the dark rock/stone idea and will do it this week. It's already getting quite cold at night and that's a great tip. I wonder if this will keep it from dying down? I'll also try the q-tip/canola trick in early Spring. Never heard of this but of course, I'll try it! thanks for the great advice! Do you think I should wrap this tree before it dies down?
Love greenhouses and want to start growing food. I grow flowers but have little luck with veggies. I'll plant anything that is edible and if it happens to be decorative as well, even better! https://greenhousefashions.blogspot.com/

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!potatoes!
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Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

nope. i'd let it get caught in a few of the first milder frosts of the season, and wrap it once it's dropped all its leaves, if you're going to.

CharlieBear
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Posts: 590
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Pacific NW

don't put oil on the fruit until about 2-3 weeks before they would be ripe, not in the spring. You do that now for the fall crop and in early to mid summer for the earlier summer crop if it refuses to ripen, not at any other time. The dark rocks may help a little , but wrapping in burlap or row covers just before the first frost will work better or do both the rocks can't hurt I guess, but will they have time to soak up enough heat from the sun so late in the season, if they go on now?

Artemesia
Cool Member
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:19 am
Location: zone 5

Cold tolerant figs

Brown Turkey and Hardy Chicago are two of the more cold tolerant figs. They will bear on new wood after they freeze back.

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