Figs from cuttings


Oh, I. Am. Soooo. Proud.
I love figs. Who doesn't? As a child I spent many years in deepest, darkest southern Georgia and figs were taken for granted. Like mulberries and blueberries, they grew pretty much everywhere and even now I'm never quite able to bring myself to actually buying them. Reason enough to grow more trees so theres an good supply, but this fig is even bigger than those that I remember as a kid. So now I have to grow them.

These little beauties were taken from the mac daddy of fig trees. I suspect it's a 'Brunswick', because of the deeply divided leaves and the incredibly large can't-hold-more-than-two-in-a-hand-sized fruits. The parent tree lives at OH's family farm in Hampshire and every year mummy OH and I have clambered into the bucket of the JCB to be hoisted closer to the top, where the best figs grow.

Momma fig
I missed the season the year before last to take cuttings so this time, I marked my calendar in advance and sat waiting, secateurs poised.

November  came and Snip!Snip!Snip! About ten figgy twiglets were popped into a bag wrapped in moist kitchen roll and left to experience 'winter' in the fridge. About two months ago they were rescued from behind the veg shelf where they'd fallen and laid lengthwise in trays and covered with soil. They lay basking in the gentle heat of the woodstove on their own self and were subjected to regular pokings and proddings. I got very excited when the first little white bits showed and proudly showed OH what a clever clever lady I was. Three days and a google search later deflated my enlarged and excitable ego. It's called 'corking' and while I don't recall exactly  what it was it was not roots. It looks like white raised edges along the length of the cutting. Perseverance paid off  however and eventually I was looking at rootlets on seven out of ten scions.  I took them out, chucked those that were being a bit slow (had to be ruthless, we were in the middle of moving and I'd already snuck eight trees into the van) and potted them up. Now look! Leaves!

Having realised that I can propagate actual trees has given me courage. I've now ordered root stocks for apple, pear and plum dwarf trees from Blackmoor Nurseries and I'm eyeing up potential scion-sources.

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