Best summer fruit

…to grow in Southern California and the west remains the “Thompson’s Improved Brown Turkey Fig  Tree.”

I have found great success in growing these in the SFV. They resist cold to 10 degrees F and have thrived in 115 plus degree F weather too. What is amazing is they are self fertile and produce a lot of good eating figs that are almost the size of a hand. The meat inside is fully red and the white pulp between the red meat and the skin is minimal meaning that the fruit gives you a very sweet and juicy portion greater than many other figs.

I have grown many varieties of figs and I’ll put the Turkey fig against the other brands any time. When ripened, they are quite sweet and tasty. Figs contain a lot of Vitamin “D”, plus Potassium and Magnesium as well as many other vitamins.

The figs are at peak ripeness when cracks begin to appear and the eye at the top begins to split open. Note the cracks in the fig photo just above. The trees can be kept pruned to about 5 feet tall and about 5 feet wide, maybe smaller. They do not do as well when pot grown so putting them in the ground is of importance.

Fig trees require a great deal of water about 3 times a week best to deep water them and really get their roots a lot of water. I recommend about every three weeks to sprinkle a good helping of 10-10-10 tree fruit fertilizer about 4 inches out from the trunk. Make sure though that you use regular dirt as much as possible. The trees don’t grab as well in regular loose topsoil that you bag purchase from a store. After about three years you will get a thousand or more figs between about June through October with two main Breba crops. Most people actually get several figs off a small tree the first year so don’t be surprised at this.

One final note: Make sure to pick fruit as it gets to the cracking stage or softens to the squeeze. Always squeeze very gently and minimally, just enough to feel a teensy weensy bit of give in the fruit. Picking it and keeping it from falling on the ground will minimize the flying green fig beetle infestation on your trees.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Best summer fruit

  1. If you give the tree some lime mineral, they will multiply their fruit production.

  2. The Thompson’s Improved Brown Turkey Fig Tree is dialed in on a bio-engineered bullseye for the central San Fernando Valley. The tree was engineered originally about 1887. It averages in two crops from around June through November about 2,000 plus giant juicy figs. Dial it in any more and I’ll be drowning in them.

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