First, the good news. I’m harvesting figs now. Like most of my fruit, I’m letting them get super ripe, so they are deliciously soft, melt in your mouth good. I’ve had problems in the past with squirrels eating them before I can get to them, so I experimented with making plastic “cages” for them this year. This might have helped, because none of them were attacked by squirrels this year. However, there could be other reasons for this; I haven’t seen any squirrels this year, so maybe they’ve moved on to greener pastures. Honestly, I don’t think these soft plastic baskets would keep out squirrels. But, I’ll definitely cage my figs again next year, just in case. (This is how superstitious behaviors begin!) I did have a minor problem with Argentine ants, which found one of the figs whose skin had split, opening it up to their attack. But, that wasn’t a major problem.

Now, the bad news. I don’t recall what variety of fig this is. It was planted from a scion I received at a scion exchange. But, it doesn’t seem ideally suited to this climate. The crop I’m now eating is the first of two crops.  The first crop is ripe and delicious, but it is small, only seven figs. The second crop is large, probably over a hundred. The problem is that the second crop is just starting to grow out now. Based on last year’s experience, these figs will not ripen. I will end up with hundreds of small, hard, pasty figs. My theory is that I just don’t get enough heat in this environment to ripen the second crop. I’ve spoken with other people in this area who have a similar problem with their figs.

I’m not giving up on figs, however. A fellow Master Gardener recommended a different variety, Violette de Bordeaux (a.k.a Negronne. See here and here.), that she thinks does well in a cooler climate. So, I will try that one. In addition, I’m not giving up on this particular tree yet. It’s customary with other fruits (stone fruit and pome fruit) to thin the blossoms or young fruits aggressively. As you can see from the picture, almost every leaf node in the tree has a fig growing out of it. The problem might not be heat, but too many fruits. So, I’m starting to thin out the figs, with the hope that the water and sugar from the tree will be concentrated in the remaining fruit.

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