Home-Plate for Figgi Riggi

Home Sweet Home

Figgi Riggi moves to a unique home-plate

Home-plate as in baseball? No, we aren’t playing baseball with figs. Although it could be fun to smash them with a baseball bat through a powerful swing. Because there are so many visitors noticing the Figgi Riggi blog, I have decided to move Figgi Riggi. It was changed from figgiriggi.wordpress.com to it’s own unique domain home at figgiriggi.com. Unfortunately, the transfer may have disrupted some pages that people had been linking to throughout the web. I was not able to preserve the original site structure of those pages and I promise that I will not change the new structure. If you were someone who had posted links to my posts on other blogs, then feel free to update the links in those locations. There is certainly more flexibility than I had before and I recommend that if you have a blog that you do the same thing, but if you are unsure I’ll show you how.

I made several changes to the look of this site to make it more interesting and better organized. It is also easier to share my blog postings on social media. Soon, I will begin posting interesting topics on a regular basis. Go to my tutorial on setting up a blog for wealth, choosing a hosting service, using the best themes, finding beautiful fonts and how to monetize your blog. Topics in the works include: my latest tools, strange figs, greenhouses, cancer-free weed killer spray, and natural indoor pest removal. I may later include tutorials for new fig tree gardeners in USDA zone 7A or perhaps an online classroom experience.

Recent technical changes for this new home

A real emailing service called MailChimp that is recognized world-wide and does not spew out spam like a bursting volcano. I know, I hate that spam just as much as you do. This service has a strict anti-spam policy that I like. I have chosen not to include images in the emails that you receive, because sometimes it simply opens quickly and doesn’t eat up your email storage. Continuing with the direction that my fig hobby began, this is going to be a natural journey and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

Spread the love of this beautiful home

If you like my postings, then feel free to use the new sharing buttons found below and also please leave a comment, because I like the interaction and helping you with troubleshooting your gardening tree problems.

Figgi Riggi new home
Young Brown Turkey figs growing early in the season.

Go to my blog posting on setting up a blog for generating wealth. I know of a blogger who is now making $100,000 per month all through her blog. So, come and join the party by starting your own blog.

Harvesting Figs

Ready for harvesting your ripe figs?

Your figs have been growing for a couple of months now, it’s August or September with the sweet fig smell in the air and they’re beginning to change color, some being eaten by birds, ants or surrounded by fruit flies. You ask yourself, “Are they ripe?”. Sometimes they’re ready once they’ve reached their ideal color for your fig variety. The best time for harvesting your figs regardless of the color is when you begin to see tiny white cracks in the skin.

Harvesting a ripe fig with splitting skin
Harvesting a ripe fig with splitting skin

This is the optimal time when the fig has reached the best flavor of sweetness. You can eat it right off the tree. Although some people like to rinse them first, or cut off areas that some bug affected. Mom likes to peel the skin off because it irritates her mouth. Other people bring them in to add to their favorite recipe. Whatever you do, keep in mind that they won’t last for more than maybe 2 days after the harvest. Since they have a lot of natural sugars and moisture, fungi is eager to grow on them. Your figs might not all be ripe at the same time, so it’s best to check on them regularly to find the ripe ones before nature sends in the critters.

How to pick

I had a young nephew ask me one day how to pick them off of the tree. I never thought someone would ask this question, but perhaps one of my readers has the same question even when in my mind it seems like common sense to know. In case if you haven’t figured it out, just grab the branch with one hand and carefully wiggle-pull the fig stem from the tree with the other hand and it will easily break off somewhere at or near the base of the stem. Try not to leave pieces of the fig on the tree to help avoid attacks from fungus or insects.

Harvesting tip

When you’re picking your figs be sure the mouth of the fig is nearly closed. I found one fig where it had a gaping wide mouth. Usually this indicates attack from an insect or perhaps a fig wasp. The best fig is one that has no large holes in it, you never know what’s inside when they look like this. Some people have named the mouth of the fig, an eye.

Rooting Materials

Rooting starter kit

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Rooting Materials
These are materials used for rooting your clippings

Rooting for the first time while propagating fig trees from clippings, then here are materials that you will need.

Grow Medium — the type of soilless mix. I bought this FoxFarm Light Warrior Seed Starter Soilless Mix

Spray Bottle — to mist water into the terrarium atmosphere inside the dome.

You will need this root starter kit that contains all of the above as 1 shipment. Growing TrayPlug Tray, Humidity Dome, and Clonex Rooting Hormone (as shown in the photo above).

Seeding Heat Mat — goes under the growing tray.

Replacement Rooting Hormone — Either this CLONEX Rooting Hormone gel packet as seen in the photo or this bottle that you can reseal Clonex Rooting, 100 ml

In this image are three materials used for Air Layering.

Air Layering Materials
Air Layering Materials

2-Liter plastic bottle — I don’t drink soft drinks. So, I purchased the cheapest seltzer water bottles in the store for 99 cents

Sphagnum Moss

1 roll of white Electrical Tape — being that it’s plastic tape , it holds up well for several weeks.

Potted Fig Trees

Potted Fig Tree
Potted Fig Tree

General Care For Potted Fig Trees

Potted fig trees need certain requirements in order to grow successfully. Consider the following tips.

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Pot Type

Choose a pot with a manageable size with holes on the bottom. The one I provide is a nursery pot, which means it’s the black flimsy kind that has large holes on the bottom (the kind that comes with a new bush from the plant store) and it doesn’t allow much root growth. Include a tray to fit under your pot to collect excess water. Buy my favorite nursery pots. I’ve had the best success with these.


Soil Type

Use soil that doesn’t retain water for long periods, so regular potting soil is not good. Reason? if it remains moist for a long time, it can promote root rot.

Another name of the soil I use is called grow medium. I used to get my soil from a hydroponics store in NJ that later went out of business, so I had to make my own grow medium. It is loose and allows the water to pass directly to the roots and then out the bottom. This grow medium is organic and contains pine bark, humus (organic compost) as the main fertilizer, and perlite. You don’t have to use this type of soil. An alternative recommendation is vermiculite mixed into it to loosen the soil. You can also buy Dolomite Limestone and add it on top of the soil, especially if squirrels are digging around.

Fig trees LOVE limestone for it’s slow release properties. Readers recommend that you use a soil pH tester like the one mentioned in item number 6 of Outside Living.

Growing Season

Let the potted tree grow and water often. Don’t prune it because the sap is sweet. It attracts flies, other insects and fungus. However, if branches grow up from the bottom of the trunk, clip them off. The objective is to train it to grow with one trunk. There is a substance that you can get for sealing off the wood when you prune during the growing season, but I’ve never used it before.

Winterizing

In the Fall, the leaves will naturally fall off. Once they have fallen, move the potted tree into a cool dark place to store over the winter. Following this step ensures a good fig harvest the next season. If you store the tree in a warm dark place, it might not grow figs next year. I used an attached garage because it remained cold, but not freezing.

Pruning

At the start of the month of March, prune the branches back to a manageable size. By this time, the sap has fallen to the base of the tree. Rule of thumb, only prune a maximum of 1/3 of the tree. Pruning will also allow the tree to grow even more figs the next season.

Winter Watering

During the winter, give the potted tree about a cup of water once a month to keep it alive.

Springtime

As soon as you see leaves begin to emerge from the branches, move it outside and then give it water (just enough until you see water run out the bottom). A great way to test it to see if it has enough moisture is to take a dry stick (I use a short wooden skewer) and slip it as deep as you can into the soil for a few minutes. Pull it out and if the stick is dry, add water. It’s sort of like checking the oil in your car engine with the dip stick. Your tree is like a fig producing engine.

Maintenance

Once every 2-3 years, prune the roots. If you use a humus-based medium, you will also need to change the soil otherwise the roots will use up all the space and nutrients in the pot. If you used the conifer bark-based grow medium mix that I’ve mentioned in this blog, then you can wait until the next time you prune the roots to change the soil. Apartment residents can do this in the bathtub (or shower). Just line the inside of the tub with a plastic drop cloth. If the plastic keeps falling down at the sides, just tape it against the tiles.

City dwellers can give the soil back to the Earth by discarding it in your nearby park or communal garden. Of course, you can send it to the trash as well. Then the soil goes to a landfill and doesn’t hurt the trash there. Click here for a tutorial on pruning your roots.

Just a reminder. I highly recommend that you buy my favorite nursery pots. I have personally used these and I know you’ll be pleased with them as well.

Figs (ficus)

figs
Juicy ripe brown turkey figs

Fig Fact: Did you know that these are not only fruit, but also flowers? How can this be?

Some of these trees are self-pollinating and others require a very tiny wasp. It enters through a little hole (the mouth) at the end of the fruit. The Brown Turkey fig, which is featured in this blog is self-pollinating so you don’t have to worry about whether you’re going to eat a tiny insect inside of it.

The fruit actually encases hundreds of flowers deep within it’s core. This is why this fruit appears to be slightly hollow in the center.

See this website link for additional knowledge on this topic: Pollination of this delicious fruit

Some fig varieties have a special relationship to a specific non-stinging wasp species. This is how the relationships between figs and insects have evolved to live in harmony. At the bottom end of the fig, you can find a hole called a mouth. The fig wasp is a very tiny insect that pollinates the fig. It crawls in to mate with a male and then lay eggs, while it’s doing that it is able to push pollen deep into the fig to reach tiny flowers and their stamen. This is the way it can fertilize it’s seeds. I have yet to witness a ficus wasp and I’ve been harvesting figs for several years. Usually if one of these wasps have laid it’s eggs, the fruit will shrivel and fall to the ground very quickly.

Be sure to remove them from around your tree to help prevent fungus and insects from attacking your healthy figs.

Figs are very safe to eat, but like any fruit you pick from the garden, observe it carefully before you eat it. If you click on the link above, you’ll notice one of these species of wasp mentioned in the USDA Forest Service article.

Do you want to grow a fig tree, but can’t find one at your local nursery? Then here is a combination of 1 Brown Turkey and 1 Mission Fig Trees that you can order and have them shipped to you. They are good trees to start off with if you live in USDA zone 7a and they cost only $11.80 plus shipping from Tennessee.