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Southest US fig dilemma  RSS feed

 
                                
Posts: 55
Location: Savannah, GA
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About two months ago I planted a couple of fig trees. I was going into Lowe's for something else and there they were. On sale. So I succumbed and bought a Brown Turkey and a Black Mission. The plants are growing fine, but now I read on the Univ. of GA web site "don't buy the kind of fig that grows in California because they need a tiny wasp to pollinate them and it doesn't live here."

So does anybody know for sure if Black Mission will fruit in this part of the country? Should I dig up the plant and replace it with maybe Celeste?
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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From Wikepedia:
Persistent (or Common) figs do not need pollination; fruit develop through parthenocarpic means. This is the variety of fig most commonly grown by home gardeners. Adriatic, Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Brunswick, and Celeste are some representative cultivars.

My biggest problem here with figs is gophers.
 
Al Loria
Posts: 395
Location: New York
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I think you are safe.  Black Mission and Brown Turkey do not need pollinators according to what I have read.
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Agreed, it should be fine for these to fruit as long as your temps stay above 10F.

At our property in NC, I have Lattarula (Italian honey), Peter's honey, Violette de Bordeaux and Texas Blue Giant figs.  All have fruited reliably.  Neighbors have Chicago Hardy and Brown Turkey and also had no problems getting fruit.  Most of these will give 2 crops per year.

Here is a link to a great website dedicated to figs:
http://www.treesofjoy.com/myfigs.htm

Have fun!
 
                                
Posts: 55
Location: Savannah, GA
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Thanks everybody! I looked at the treesofjoy site and he didn't comment that the Black Mission was not fruiting, so I think I'm good. But why would the University of Georgia extension service say that? I've always thought they pretty much know what they're talking about, allowing for differences in gardening approach.
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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it may depend on who you get to talk to at the extension service.  my general rule has always been to try different varities of fruit and see for myself if it will work.  you can make some fun "discoveries" that way

another fig site with probably way more info than you could ever want on fig fruit pollination:

http://waynesword.palomar.edu/pljune99.htm

they seem to imply that non-pollinated figs will not have any seeds in them, which is not true in my experience.  all of the varieties i have grown have had some seeds in the fruit, but I just figured they were not viable.  the crunch of the seed does add to the nice texture of the fruits.
 
                                
Posts: 55
Location: Savannah, GA
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OK, now I have it straight. (Thanks for the link!) The UGA extension web site was warning against planting Smyrna type figs (Calimyrna are Smyrnas grown in California). Their fruits drop off if not pollinated by a wasp that lives in the male fruit of a related species (ficus pseudocarica).

I wish UGA had been more precise, since Black Mission is grown in California, too and it doesn't need pollination. Now I'm wondering why the plant tags said there would be more and better fruit with two different varieties. Well, that was Lowe's and it could just be shameless promotion. I'm certainly not going to lose any sleep over it.
 
                              
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SouthEastFarmer wrote:
it may depend on who you get to talk to at the extension service.  my general rule has always been to try different varities of fruit and see for myself if it will work.  you can make some fun "discoveries" that way

another fig site with probably way more info than you could ever want on fig fruit pollination:

http://waynesword.palomar.edu/pljune99.htm

they seem to imply that non-pollinated figs will not have any seeds in them, which is not true in my experience.  all of the varieties i have grown have had some seeds in the fruit, but I just figured they were not viable.  the crunch of the seed does add to the nice texture of the fruits.


apparently those arent seeds, but ovaries.
 
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