Growing Figs at the Allotment

Growing Figs at the Allotment

Figs are a delicious, sweet and sticky fruit, that grow well in the UK having originated from warmer climes and are enjoyed as fresh, as well as being used in cooked desserts and pies.

Fig trees are grown from young plants that can be planted directly in the soil or in a large container. Figs will do best if their roots are restricted. Therefore, a container may be preferable, or you can plant it within a container, in the ground. Figs like a sunny and sheltered position and you can train them to grow in a fan across a fence or structure.

Springtime is an ideal time for planting. Use slightly alkaline soil, that is well-drained and add plenty of manure or compost. You can mulch up the base to retain moisture.

Figs should be well-watered during the summer and any light pruning should be done in spring to the summer also. Bear in mind that fig trees form fruits at the branch tips where buds have formed.

Figs are formed and ripen for picking in the late summer to autumn. Their skins will turn from green to purple and be soft to touch and may split when it is gently squeezed. They will appear tear-drop shaped and hang limply for easy picking. 

Figs are mostly enjoyed from their sun-ripened freshness, but they can be dried or used in cooked desserts and preserves too. 

Fig trees should be protected from frost and cold weather during winter; if you have it in a container, you may be better off moving it to an indoor spot/greenhouse. You may even be able to get a second crop if it is looked after well.

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Growing Figs in Summary

Planting Figs

  • Plant young trees in a sunny and sheltered spot
  • Plant in containers or directly with root restriction
  • Plant in alkaline, well-drained soil

Growing Figs

  • Water well during summer
  • Lightly prune in the summer
  • Protect from frosts and cold weather

Harvesting Figs

  • Pick fruits in late-summer to autumn
  • Enjoy fresh or can be dried
  • Can be cooked for desserts and preserves