Figs are the best useful properties of the fruit. A lot of photos, instructions and recommendations are only here!
Figs are one of the oldest tropical plants and have great potential. It belongs to the genus of ficus (Ficus carica, in Latin), which are often used for decorative purposes in apartments and houses. Other names of figs are fig tree (fig), fig tree, wine berry.
To have a complete picture of this tree, it is necessary to dwell in more detail on how it looks, where figs grow, how to grow it at home, and also find out what useful properties it has.
The fig tree has thick smooth branches and a very wide crown. The height of the plant reaches 8-10 meters, no less "branched" are the roots of figs, which grow up to 15 meters wide. In the photo of figs, the emphasis is always on its fruits. Meanwhile, the leaves of this tree are rich green, sometimes with a shade of gray, have a complex shape, hard and quite large – up to 15 cm.
The fruits of the fig tree are pear-shaped, covered with a thin skin and small hairs. The length can be up to 10 cm, they differ in juicy and sweet taste, two color options are possible – yellowish-green or dark purple. The variety determines what the color and size of the fruit will be.
When fig berries are not ripe yet, they can not be eaten, because they contain a certain amount of inedible latex. Depending on the size of the seeds, their number can vary from several tens to thousands.
A fig tree can bear fruit for up to 200 years, but only under favorable climatic conditions. Flowering during the season is possible multiple times, the fruits are tied in late summer – early autumn.
Places of growth
Due to its unpretentiousness, the fig tree is widespread on almost all continents. Figs have long been growing on the territory of the present Crimea, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. The fig tree begins to bloom 3 years after planting, and actively bear fruit – after another 4 years. For breeding, both seeds and cuttings with layering are used.
Despite the thermophilicity of this plant, fig trees can be grown in our strip with a fairly cold climate. And if you approach the cultivation of figs from the right side, you can get a good harvest.
Strictly speaking, in an open area in northern conditions, it is impossible to get a full-fledged tree and it is not necessary, it is more expedient to bush figs. Depending on weather conditions, fig tree is grown by trench, greenhouse, open and indoor methods.
Trench and open methods are well suited for the middle zone of Russia with mild climatic conditions. With an open landing, it is important to choose the right place: it should be sunny and windless. It is best to plant a tree near the southern wall, or in a well-lit wall niche.
It is undesirable to plant figs in lowlands and places where groundwater accumulates. The roots of the fig tree must be limited, for this purpose reinforced concrete slabs are dug into the selected area (approximately 0.5-1 m wide) along the perimeter.
At the bottom of a square fence of slabs, broken bricks are filled in. The depth of the pit is about 0.7–1 m. The filler for this pit is prepared from garden soil, rubble stone and bone meal in a ratio of 2:1:1.
The trench method has its own characteristics. A suitable place is chosen on the plot: from the south it should be open to the sun, and from the other three sides it is protected from the wind by other garden crops. The trench, about a meter wide, is oriented from east to west, which allows the plant to get maximum solar energy during daylight hours.
The depth of the pit is 1.5 m. On the north side, a protective wall is formed from the lower layers of the excavated soil, which is additionally reinforced with slate or any other slab. A smooth bevel is made on the south side. Then a fertile layer of soil (about 0.3 m) is filled into the trench. Fig bushes are planted at intervals of 2 m. The southern wall is covered with a film that prevents the appearance of weeds on it.
The option of growing a fig tree in a greenhouse is suitable for regions with a sharply continental climate. The greenhouse should be well lit, and also have a lot of free space, because a branched tree will require a plot of about 2 m in diameter.
Roots, as well as when planting outdoors, need to be limited. Particular attention should be paid to the temperature regime. In spring, the air temperature is maintained in the range from 12 to 20 degrees, and starting in autumn – about 4 degrees.
Breeding and care of a plot of
The most common method of breeding figs is cuttings. Green cuttings are planted in a sandy-humus mixture at the beginning of summer and by improvised means (for example, a jar suitable in size) create a small greenhouse to maintain a high level of humidity. When the seedling has taken root, you can remove the jar.
Another way is reproduction with the help of seeds. Sowing is carried out in a similar soil mixture to a depth of about 3 mm, with an interval of 2 cm. The ground should remain moist and warm, so the plot is covered with a plastic film and wait for seedlings, periodically moistening the soil. The seeds germinate already on day 20.
Your climatic possibilities will also tell you which variety is best to choose. Of course, it would be advisable to take something from self-pollinating and frost-resistant: "Kadota" or "Brunswick". According to the taste qualities, "Crimean black", "Early Gray", "Dalmatian" have proven themselves well.
Like all plants, the fig tree needs timely watering. During rooting, watering is carried out 2 times a week, then reduced to 1 time and less often. The soil should be moist, but it should not be waterlogged, watering at the rate of 1-2 buckets per plant will be sufficient.
Fig pruning is done when they want to form a crown or bush, as well as for sanitary and preventive purposes. The stem formation of the crown is carried out due to the gradual (during the season) pruning of shoots. Choose a strong shoot, which will be a stem, 3-4 branches of the future crown are left on it.
Over the next 4 years, the ends of the shoots are pruned, which allows you to form more side branches. Then you can adjust the shape by pinching. The most convenient height of the tree is 60-70 cm . This form is well suited for greenhouses.
Fan formation is relevant for open and trench planting methods. In order to make such a crown, you need to buy two-year-old seedlings with two side guides and plant them in early spring. The conductors are cut off on the kidney, you need to leave somewhere 35 cm, and are fixed with a trellis wire at an angle of 40 degrees.
In summer, shoots from the upper buds are also fixed, and two upper and one lower are left in the middle part. For the next winter, 8 lateral increments are cut off from the plant (we leave 60-70 cm).
Removal of old branches, root growth, can be carried out in spring, summer and after harvesting. In spring, figs can be fed with mineral fertilizers using surface loosening.
Before you cover figs for the winter, you need to let them bear fruit and wait about 2 more weeks. Then gradually bend the flexible branches to the ground, fixing them with wire or rope with pegs. The main thing in this process is not to rush and do everything carefully so as not to damage the branches.
You can pre-water the figs to make the branches more flexible and easier to bend. The process can take several weeks. Next, wrap the branches with burlap, polypropylene fabric, or any other breathable material. From above, everything is sprinkled with earth and a load is placed that does not allow the bush to straighten up. Additionally, the ground around the plant can be sprinkled with hay or sawdust.
Features home cultivation
At home, the tree is planted in a sturdy pot with a sand-compost mixture of garden soil. It is worth choosing from low-growing varieties. In warm weather, the pot with the plant is taken out to the balcony or street. When the trunk reaches 60 cm, it is pinched.
The soil and pot are changed every year, the tree develops quite quickly and needs a place for comfortable fruiting. The earth in the pot is regularly loosened to provide oxygen access to the roots.
In a city apartment, figs can delight with fruits 2-3 times a year. During the ripening of fig trees, the tree needs a little more heat and light. During the rest period, it is worth placing the plant in a cool place and limiting watering.
Options for the use of figs and useful properties
Fig tree fruits are consumed fresh and dried. The fresh fruit is sweet as molasses and juicy as a peach. It can be eaten in combination with ice cream, cream, bread, nuts, or alone. Great for making jams and compotes. However, it should not be stored for a long time, the maximum period is 3 days in a cool place.
Dried fruit has a more tart taste. Dried figs in autumn are a storehouse of vitamins. It can be added to a pie or fruit salad, and if you cook dried fruit in milk, you will get a good remedy for seasonal colds.