Monday, July 1, 2013

Fig Tales

Mama Fig
A few weeks back we had to have a termite treatment around the perimeter of our house. We were able to get a treatment that involved a chemical with low risk of impacts to non-termite species. Still, we were advised that anything edible growing in the treatment zone should not be consumed. The fruit of my beloved fig tree was now off limits.

Baby Fig
Before the treatment I cut some stems from the tree and brought them inside to try rooting them in water. I stripped all the leaves off, as some websites suggested, stuck them in a jar, and kept the water at a constant level. After a couple of weeks, one stem was showing some nice root growth, beginning right where water met air. I planted my cutting out in a large pot outside, in part shade so it could get acclimated. Within a couple of days, the nubby bit of green at the top of the stem had sprouted 2 tiny leaves

A week later I went to a farmers market and spotted a  beautiful little fig tree, about 4 feet high, with little figs developing.  It was love at first sight. The vendor explained that I could plant the tree, or I could keep it in the pot and overwinter it outdoors by wrapping it well in burlap. The tree had just been repotted, and wouldn't need a bigger pot for a couple of years. The variety is called ‘Chicago’ and is hardier than most figs.

I will always miss the luscious bounty of my mature tree. But as a gardener I am thrilled that I've got a young fig tree and a promising fig start to watch grow!