In preparation for some spring gardening projects, our dear blog reader, Amy, sent in a gardening question about fig trees and whether or not she would be able to grow them from cuttings in her neighborhood, which happens to be arid Arizona.
Instantly, Ms. Jeannie thought sure, why not grow them in Arizona since figs first originated thousands of years ago in Arabia. But she wasn’t sure about the cutting department, so she did a little investigation on Amy’s behalf.
Lucky for us, Ms. Jeannie learned that since they are one of the oldest fruit trees in the world, they have now been adapted and modified to grow in just about any climate. Which is good news for all fig lovers! So first order of business is to determine which type of fig tree that will grow best in your neck of the woods…please consult this list.
Next, once you’ve found the right variety, you can visit your local nursery or garden store and either buy a small fig tree that has already been started or you can order a cutting online and start your own. Ms. Jeannie found this great video on youtube from the NewEnglandGardener which takes you step by step through the cutting process…
Ms. Jeannie was so inspired by the video – she decided to try her own clipping project, following the NewEnglandGardeners helpful guide. Here is what Ms. Jeannie used…
She clipped a section that had a green sprout already (in hopes that it will encourage more!)
Here’s the finished product. Now we wait for a few weeks and see what happens. Ms. Jeannie is going to keep the bag in her kitchen stairwell, which seems to collect all the heat in the house.
Please keep in mind, as noted in the video – growing trees does not happen over night. It will take a few years to get your cutting tree well established. However – they are fairly fast growers, so you’ll see changes over the course of months instead of years, like some other trees.
This is what the fig trees in Ms. Jeannie’s yard look like now, in the middle of winter (aka the dormant season, as the NewEnglandGardener refers to in the video)
If you look closely, you can see they already have buds emerging even though it is only January. This is a perfect stage now, to take a clipping.
Isn’t it amazing that this little sprout will grow from a tiny little wonder into this, in only about 3 short months…
The fig trees in Ms. Jeannie’s yard are over 12 years old and reach about 10′ feet high x 8′ feet wide. They’ve been pruned every once in awhile but otherwise, are incredibly low-maintenance. You may recall, last summer, the two fig bushes in Ms. Jeannie’s yard had a banner production season. There must have been hundreds of figs that plumped up from July thru September.
Mostly she passed buckets along to her friends, ate a few cups each day and froze gallon bagfuls for a jam lesson that never quite came into fruition. No problem though, as of late, Ms. Jeannie has been enjoying the frozen figs in her morning yogurt shake. Why add ice cubes when you can add some frozen figs instead?!
Ms. Jeannie tosses these little frozen delights right into the blender, straight out of the freezer in this state. They make the shake cold and add extra vitamins to the start of her day. Figs are high in vitamin K (good for blood clotting), vitamin E (protection from cell damage) and vitamin B6 (good for the nervous system, the breaking down of glucose and for cell energy).
They also contain the minerals manganese (good for your bones) and potassium (good for your blood pressure) and are also really high in dietary fiber. A delicious superfood! This is Ms. Jeannie’s recipe for her morning shake, if you are so inclined to try it…
Yogurt Fruit Shake
Makes two 8oz. glasses
1/2 cup organic 2% milk
6 whole frozen figs
1 banana (broken into 4 sections)
1 cup fat free vanilla yogurt
1 quarter fresh cantaloupe (rind removed and roughly chopped)
Add all ingredients in the blender and pulse on low until all the figs break down into pieces (about 30 seconds). Then put the blender on crush and let it mix for about a minute, which blends all the fruit and incorporates air to make it light and fluffy. If the shakes seems too thick, you can add more milk. Otherwise pour and enjoy! You can also add different types of fruit if you like. This is a really basic recipe and can be modified eighty million different ways!
Ms. Jeannie hopes this mini fig lesson will blossom into something wonderful for Amy and anyone one else with figgy aspirations. If you decide to start a fig tree from a clipping, keep us posted on how your progress goes. Ms. Jeannie in turn, will keep you updated on hers as well. Happy growing!!!