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Figs - Pruning

UK Garden Centre - Advice on how to prune Fig trees

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The fruit is carried on the previous year’s wood. The replacement shoot is stopped at the fourth leaf, at the end of July – not before, as the fruits expected to mature the following summer will form too quickly at the expense of new wood. Yet if the shoot is not stopped, the tiny figs will lack nourishment, turn yellow and fall off.
The fruits form at the leaf axils the previous year and begin to swell in spring. If the shoots are pinched back late in July, new fruits will form at the axil of each leaf and will be next year’s crop. If the tree begins to make too much wood, some of that which carried the previous season’s fruit should be thinned.
Figs under glass, growing in gentle heat, will bear two crops yearly. The fruits formed the previous year will swell early in spring and be ripe by early summer, and then those formed in spring will mature by late September. The shoots formed in the last weeks of summer will bear next spring’s crop.
Propagation is a simple matter. It is either by cuttings or by suckers. By the former method a well-ripened shoot 20cm (8in) long should be removed in January. The base is dipped in hormone powder to encourage rapid rooting, before being inserted in a small pot containing gritty compost. It should be placed over a radiator or in a propagating unit, for bottom heat is necessary; it will root in three months. Re-pot into a large pot before placing outdoors in May, in a sunny position to ripen the wood. Plant it in its permanent place the following spring. Or the plants may be moved to larger pots in which they will fruit. They should be 180cm (6ft) apart for they will soon reach that height and will grow to the same width.
The method by which plants are grown on from suckers is the easier way. These should be detached with their roots and grown on in pots.
To harvest figs, remove them before they split but not much before, and place them in trays lined with cotton wool. They may be kept for several months in a frost-free room.

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