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End of Season Thoughts 2019

Just a recap of my season:

This was probably the best fig season I've been apart of. My location had a warm spring followed by a mostly dry and warm summer followed by a dry and unusually warm beginning to the fall. Now that we are entering much cooler temperatures (especially at night) combined with our short day length that is comparable to March, I would consider this pretty much the end of the season. I did move some very late varieties to finish out the remainder of my season inside the GH today. Everything will be officially moved away for good by ~Dec 1st, so I've got about 2 months remaining for figs like BM (UCD) & Cendrosa to finish. My in ground trees are not fazed nearly as much by these cooler temps as the ground is still quite warm. I think they've got about 2 weeks of the season left. All in all I think the in ground trees have the same harvest duration as the potted trees.

While it's fresh I figured I might as well gather my thoughts on additional topics. Lets start with techniques:

Reducing splitting - Minimal & consistent watering is a humid climate grower's main concern. This August I also added trash bags on top of my pots to keep the rain out. This way I could ensure the right soil moisture. I personally think they worked quite well and I'll be doing this again. The goal is to have the soil somewhere between dry and moist before a rain. When this was achieved splitting was very minimal. More data is required before I can say this further reduces splitting, but if you agree with my first statement, this is a no brainer for at the very least achieving the right soil moisture.

Dealing with SWD - This has been my experience with SWD for 3 years now. They begin in early Sept due to an old and very large black cherry tree that drops 1000s of cherries to the ground starting in mid August. The cherries ferment and this attracts just enough to multiply the population to where they become an issue. As long as I am not contributing further to the problem, the numbers dramatically decrease from ~Sept 20th onwards. A lack of sunlight, rain, decaying leaves, fermenting fruit, cracked fruit and split fruit all make the issue worse.

Avoiding cracking and splitting down the side - Excess nitrogen and big temperature swings seem to be the big culprits. While cracking may be beautiful, quality suffers. By having too many cracks, you are robbing yourself of potentially another 1-2 days on the tree. Additionally here in humid land, cracking makes drying or shriveling your figs exponentially more difficult. Numerous small cracks, large cracking, fissures down the side, splitting or low brix scores will make the fermentation process easier. I saw almost no cracking whatsoever from July-early Sept. That's because I gave my trees 4 feedings. Once a week for the first month of the season. My feedings stopped by June 1st. I only used liquid fertilizer this year. The quality of my figs was the highest it has ever been this year. And of course when it comes to temperature swings, that cannot be helped unless you have a fantastic microclimate or a controlled setting.

Short hang time is key - Hang time I define as the amount of days it takes from when the fig begins swelling to fully ripe. Figs with a 3-6 day hang time are ideal. Varieties that take 7-12 days need to be very rain resistant and in most cases won't do well unless there's a dry period. I don't have the hard data, but by my estimation, it rains about once a week here on average, so a 7 or more day hang time is cutting it close and most of the time will not be optimal.

Additionally I have written a few posts this season on more techniques that can be found here: & here:

In response to pruning concerns - Pruning I still believe should be kept to a minimum. Due to the simple fact that the majority of varieties will respond the following season by growing too vigorously when hard pruned. Some varieties may benefit from a hard pruning (see rejuvenation pruning below), but the majority will refuse to fruit in my location after a hard prune. The only way to correct this unfruitful path is to intervene by changing the plant hormones. Additionally after a pruning of any kind.. main crop can be delayed and with too much pruning, the sheer number of fruits produced that season will be lower than if you had only lightly pruned. My point can be proven when looking at protected in ground trees vs. unprotected in ground trees. They fruit earlier & more the following year when at least some degree of above ground wood is preserved. According to Pons, light pruning is recommended and is defined by either taking off the tip or no more than 3 inches of growth. Some experienced growers in parts of Europe with cool summers swear by not pruning at all, which I believe is optimal for growers in shorter season climates. Those growers believe it nets you 2 weeks of earlier production. Why? Well part of it is because the tips are preserved. The growth from those tips the following year is extremely strong after breaking dormancy. That new growth reaches maturity faster than new growth from a lateral node. If you were instead to do some heavier pruning I think it's wiser to take out the entire length of the branch to do a little thinning rather than cutting them all by a 3rd or half for example. I think the tips should be preserved as much as possible in my climate, however, pruning the tips will encourage lateral branching the following season for increased production. I believe a combination of pruning and preserving the tips on each tree is likely optimal for my objectives and in most scenarios should be kept to a light pruning. This is where I think the pruning debate gets a bit confusing because you could very easily say that hard pruning helps specific varieties become more productive because of what an annual pruning does to plant hormones and there are obviously special circumstances and special varieties like RdB, IC & Florea that you could do pretty much anything to and still get fruit. However.. the distinction here is that you can get the same hormonal effect from just removing the tips.

Rejuvenation pruning - This is a pruning technique Pons mentions in his book. AscPete has also talked about this in numerous threads. This method can be extremely helpful for trees that are stagnant growers, have heavy FMV or low productivity. It can be helpful for a whole host of problems. Think of this as a reset switch. As we all know when our trees get killed to the base, they resprout very vigorously and most of the time healthier than before. This can also be accomplished on potted trees. I performed rejuvenation pruning on my potted Planera tree that's in its 3rd year this season. For three years, it barely grew and put out a shockingly low amount of fruit. After chopping it all the way back to the base in June, it resprouted with a new healthy vigorous shoot. I think it's safe to say that my tree will act like Planera should from this point onwards. This method definitely beats starting over completely, so I think more people ought to give it a try and perhaps this could become standard practice the following year after the rooting process.

Method A vs Method B - As mentioned in the link above, I find there's two main methods of growing figs in containers. Method B I find to be quite useful with varieties like RdB, IC & Florea where production is a bigger concern than earliness. In no way do I think method B should be used on late varieties. I think we need to be flexible in the techniques we employ. We can't use the same mold for every tree in every location. I think I want to end the technique section on that note.

My thoughts on a few synonyms:

Bourjassotte Grise & Violet Sepor. Preliminary review here: -- Also both among my absolute favorite varieties. Even after only a season. These figs are top notch for sure.

Yellow Long Neck & Golden Rainbow. Preliminary review here:

My Favorites :

5/5 Black Madeira - You gotta keep one of these around. It just has the best flavor. There are so many figs you can throw into this category.. I258 for example.

5/5 Coll De Dama Blanc, Noire, Grise - I gotta give the flavor edge to Grise this year. They are almost identical in flavor, but my Blanc (Baud) ripened an entire month earlier than the others. No special treatment. It's all about the elegant, pasty, dense, cake-y, jammy interior. The fig with the texture I measure them all to.

5/5 De La Roca - This fig is the best CDD replacement. Basically the same flavor and texture as the CDD figs except that it's less finicky in cooler weather, more productive and has a shorter hang time with the ability to dry here. As Pons states, the Mother tree is in a humid area. I think that really is the difference maker here. I haven't yet figured out it's ripening period. Seems late, but it could be a bit earlier than I think.

4.5/5 Sucrette - Underrated and not talked about enough. Thick, dense, jammy texture. Ability to dry. Productive and mid season. 99% sure this is the same as Cul Noir.

4.5/5 Neruciollo d'Elba - 15-25g. Consistent small size, but packs a punch of flavor. It goes from green to red to black to dry in 6 days. Puts out a lot of fruits. Close node spacing. Very close to what I would consider perfect in this climate.

4/5 LSU Tiger - Concord berry notes. Needs a few years to mature. The figs were very different last year. Let it turn that grey/purple color with some minor cracking before picking. Lot of great traits with this fig.

4/5 Albo - I had hoped this would be a winner. Honey fig with fruity berry tones. A big plus for something different. I cannot decide if I like this or LSU Hollier more. Early. Somewhat rain resistant so far.

4/5 Hative d'Argentile - Cherry candy flavor with lots of honey. Soft fig. Absolutely beautiful. Mid season. Must be grafted. It's a very significant difference when on its own roots.

4/5 Dall'Oso - Should be considered. Some will have the mule characteristic, which is not good for fruit quality, but it's rain resistant, early and has an unusual flavor. Almost cinnamon like.

4/5 Pastiliere - A must grow, but if you can believe it.. I'm still waiting for it to fully mature. 4 years in now. Very little dropping this year. Seems to like being in ground.

4.5/5 Socorro Black - Dense and jammy. Really fantastic. Like a slightly later Smith. Great other qualities.

4/5 LSU Hollier - I had hoped this would be a winner. Honey fig with fruity berry tones. A big plus for something different. I cannot decide if I like this or Albo more. Early. Somewhat rain resistant so far.

4.5/5 Verdino Del Nord (VR) - This and Neruciollo are like 15-25g, but they both pack a punch. Incredible drying abilities with a short hang time. Very jammy.

4/5 Moro de Caneva - VdB flavor, but better. Dries on the tree. Great rain resistance. Early and productive.

4.5/5 Campaniere - A lot like Smith in texture and flavor.

4.5/5 De la Senyora (Hivernenca) - Definitely very late. 4-6 day hang time though and ripens well in cooler weather. Flavor close to BM level. Might not be the best choice in a lot of moisture. Pons says it does great, but we'll see.

4.5/5 Blanche De Deux Saison - Elegant jammy texture. My second closest fig to the CDDs. Can't say too much else just yet. It's the one on the left.

Other Favorites:



Azores Dark


Longue D'Aout

Del Sen Jaume Gran

Galicia Negra


Photo album of varieties ripened in 2019:

__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________

Ripening order. A lot of these are pretty inaccurate representations of when the variety will actually ripen, but there you go. Anything breaking bud before April 15th was in the GH.


A list of my current keepers. They must be among the most rain resistant & highly flavorful with a low-medium hang time. A small handful of these I have yet to ripen or acquire, but I've heard multiple positive reviews from experienced growers in a similar climate, so I am adding them prematurely. There are many more that have potential to be added:


A list of varieties with a thick and dense texture - By my standard the Coll De Damas have the best texture. The thicker the better.

Coll De Dama

Negra D'Adge


De la Roca

Blanche de deux Saison

Verdino del Nord (VR)

Cul Noir / Sucrette


White Madeira #1

Azores Dark

La Borgeoise

Izmir Not


Moro de Caneva

Unk Pastiliere


Capol Curt Negra

Bourjassotte Grise

Violette Sepor

Unk Mittica

White Triana

Grise de st. Jean



Blaveta Campos

Paradiso (Baud)


A list of varieties with the ability to drying capabilities or at the very least will shrivel without spoilage - This category is extremely important to me. I like my figs ripe as some of you know. Can't get more ripe than something shriveled. It's also a great indicator of rain resistance.


Verdino del Nord (VR)

Neruciollo d'Elba

Malta Black

Azores Dark

Improved Celeste

Cul Noir / Sucrette


De la Roca

Moro de Caneva

Noire de Bellone

Grise de St. Jean


Calabacita / Carabasseta

White Triana, Unk Mittca, Dr. Gowaty










A list of varieties with an elegant berry flavor - This is just what I call the best flavor. If you've ever eaten a well ripened BM, you know what I'm talking about. It's obviously a complex flavor, but there's something very elegant about it. Almost smooth that really lights up your taste buds in a way that leaves you appreciating nature.


Azores Dark

Malta Black

Black Madeira Types


Del Sen Jaume Gran

Dels Ermitans

De La Senyora (Hivernenca)

Coll De Dama Noir, Grise, Roja, Blanc

Bourjassotte Grise

Violette Sepor

Socorro Black

Black Greek (DJ)

Brogiotto Nero, Bourjassotte Noire, Noire de Barbentane


Del Sen Juame Gran

Verdino Del Nord (VR)

De la Roca


A list of varieties with unique or uncommon chacteristics:

Fruity Honey: Albo, LSU Hollier, Bebera Branca

Citrusy: Zaffiro

Creamy texture: Beall, White Marseilles

Table Grape: Black Portuguese (BC)

Fruity Twang: GM 175, Sbayi, Red Libya

Peachy & Tropical: Yellow Neches

Spicey: LSU Purple, Dall'Oso, Sweet Joy

Bitter Skin: Nerucciolo d'Elba, White Marseilles

Concord Grape: LSU Tiger, Azores Dark

Cherry Candy: Hative d'Argentile, Cavaliere, Rubado

Caramel: Galicia Negra, Moscatel Preto


A list of varieties with special growing requirements: - Personally I think every variety should be on the same vigorous and healthy rootstock. Particularly these varieties listed below as it would make growing practices a lot easier to streamline and varietal differences more accurate. Some varieties certainly have weaker root systems and therefore are more difficult to establish. Others require more water and some are more sensitive to high soil moisture.

Hative d'Argentile - Difficult to establish, weak root system.

Grise de St. Jean - Heavy feeder, difficult to establish, weak root system, doesn't like too much soil moisture.

Moscatel Preto - While it can ripen here without assistance I think a GH headstart is necessary as the flavor seems easily watered down in rainy conditions.

Coll de Dama - Heavy feeders.

Planera - Too susceptible to splitting. Needs a GH headstart to avoid rainy/cool conditions.

Ischia Black (UCD) - Difficult to establish, too much FMV.

Black Madeira (UCD) - Difficult to establish, too much FMV.

Pastiliere - Difficult to reach maturity.

Celeste / Blue Celeste - Dropping can be an issue.


Cull List: My cull list two years ago can be found here: -- The good thing about using figs as rootstock instead of getting rid of them completely is that you can regain the variety should you decide to want it back. Negretta Unknown (Marius) is the only one I regret getting rid of. A couple growers have told me that it's their best VdB type.

Bacorinho - I'm kind of on the fence on this one. It's not bad at all. A quality fig, but it hasn't proven itself to be among the best or unique yet. I want to give it another year, but space is an issue. I don't know many growing it unfortunately.

Bebera Branca - Great fig, but it's very late and doesn't like big temperature swings. Will split down the side. Flavor WAS unique until I found LSU Hollier and Albo. Both are superior in almost every way here.

Black Zadar (BC) - This fig has a really big eye it seems. How consistent is that? I don't know. I do know that if that trend continues, it will inevitably not make the cut. I'm sure it's a great tasting fig, but my tree has had some ups and downs. Still haven't gotten to see it for myself.

Brandon St. Unknown - This fig I find to be an exact match to Teramo. I'm sure it's slightly different in some way due to adaptations. I have two Teramo already and I personally think it's only worth growing Teramo in ground, so either I plant this one or I get rid of it. I will say it's a big ant magnet and as a result SWD go after it. It has low split resistance and mediocre flavor. I've had it and fruited it for 3 seasons now. Time to move on.

Brogiotto Nero Romano - This is a fig that I never fruited. I'm essentially making a judgement call after seeing photos of it. It just doesn't look like the kind of fig I go for. I know it has some good positives in shorter season climates though.

Cardenillo - I'm kind of on the fence with this one too. Hasn't held onto its fruit yet and I'm tired of waiting.

Cavaliere (PB) - As good as this fig is.. this one must go. It fits a very specific cherry candy flavor profile that I could mostly do without. I have two others like this. Hative d'Argentile & Rubado. Hative is just superior to both in almost every way with the same flavor.

Cendrosa - This fig is extremely late and it does not like the big temperature swings that happen in our fall.

Ceretto - Dropped figs for too many years now. No one to my knowledge has fruited it outside wasp land.

Chater Green - Vigorous variety and therefore not fruiting. This next year would be the year, but I have my doubts that it would make the cut in the long run anyway.

D'en Manel (MP) - Pons says it's watery. I agree. This fig must be the same as Grise de st. Jean or it is only slightly different because of minor adaptations. I hope my other sources of GdSJ are more aligned to the descriptions I've read. It's supposed to be finely textured and very flavorful, have drying capabilities, but the tree needs a long time to mature and it is not a fan of too much soil moisture. I certainly can agree with all of that regarding D'en Manel other than it having drying capabilities and the flavor I am sort of hung up on. Although the splitting is not wide, it does seem to happen often. Pons does say otherwise. I definitely think this variety should be grafted and given a GH headstart from what I've read and my own observations. In fact I am sure that if it was grafted, this would be a totally different story. It needs more food than most and to avoid our rain to potentially put out a high quality well ripened fig. I'm definitely getting rid of it, but I may start over grafted onto something vigorous and less bothered by too much soil moisture.

De La Caseta (MP) - Really not impressed with this fig so far. Major splitting last year. This year no figs. All in all the fig should be mediocre in flavor and a high performer. I do see potential. I really don't know if I want to continue waiting.

De La Gloria (MP) - Very late fig. Long hang time. Not interested in breba. After reading Pons' book in English, there are better choices.

De La Plata Campanera (MP) - Big time splitter. No good here.

Dolce Calderai - Keeps dropping. I think it's likely my fault, but I don't want to keep waiting.

Encanto - Can't say much about it tbh. I know it's like a VdB, but it's kind of a weak grower. Weak fruiter.

Fico Gentile - These can be tasty, but another adriatic type that splits. So far it doesn't beat Strawberry Verte. Very productive though.

Fico Niedda - Galicia Negra has a similar flavor profile, but is much better with a shorter hang time. Just an inferior Black Mission type fig.

Fico Rubado (Sergio) - This fig is far too late. One of my latest figs. It fits a very specific cherry candy flavor profile that I could mostly do without. I have two others like this. Hative d'Argentile & Cavaliere. Hative is just superior to both in almost every way with the same flavor.

Figo Sofeno Escuro - Been a dropper for the last two years and now that I'm looking at photos of it years later, I don't think it would make it in the long run anyway.

Fragola Nera - I think this fig is very likely a san pedro. It's a shame because it's gotta be very flavorful. I may one day reacquire it if I want to grow a san pedro like Joe.

Gallo - This fig is quite bland. Portions of the flowers don't ripen properly. Tbh.. I'm not sure this is even the real Gallo, but that's what I got it as.

GM 125 - Watered down flavor. Really poor quality fruit.

GM 25 - Never fruited. Tired of waiting.

Gozo Gem (GM 175) - Seems pretty mediocre to me. Very high productivity. More figs on this tree than 95% of the others. Very late though this year. Perhaps it was too shaded in my pile of trees. I think I've got it in the GH. We'll see if the flavor comes through at all.

Golden Rainbow - Pretty mild flavor. I'll keep the one in ground that I have, but the extra I'm getting rid of until it proves itself.

Gros Monstreuse De Lipari - I made this into rootstock two years ago. This year I thought it would be a good idea to reclaim it. I should have stuck to my gut and kept it as rootstock as I'm hearing reports of what I said years ago.It's a splitter.

Hative De Argentile (UCD) - Getting rid of a tree I have on its own roots. This variety must be grafted.

Igo (Prusch) - As far as I know.. not a soul has fruited this without the wasp.

Italian 258 - An extra I'm getting rid of. This variety has fallen out of favor for me due to it's splitting last year. I still think it's a better choice than BM here, but I don't want too many of these types.

Izmir - Dropping figs. I'm good with the Izmir Not.

Jade (Lampo) - This fig has a pretty weak flavor. I find that a lot of the Portuguese figs are without pollination. I'll probably give it one more chance.

Lampiera (Prusch) - Split like mad last year. No fruit this year. Definitely a splitter as far as I know. Should have ditched it earlier if that's truly the case.

Large Vigness Purple - I wanted to get rid of this last year, so I chopped it up into pieces. AS a result.. this year it did nothing. It has dropped many figs for me. Two seasons at least. I still want to grow it because it looks great and it shouldn't need pollination, but I've lost patience. Maybe I will plant it in ground.

Leo Poldo Abruzzo - Dropper and I don't think anyone has fruited it outside wasp land.

Little Ruby - Early and flavor, but very small. The open eye kills it for me.

LSU Red - Even when shriveled on the tree, the flavor just seems solid to me. SWD like it. I don't like it enough.

LSU Scott's Black - Super productive. Solid flavor. Weak in temperature swings and rain. Ripened A LOT of the main crop all at once. A big rain came in and ruined everything.

Mare De Deu (MP) - Beautiful fig, but watery. Pons even says so. The flavor could be quite good. It's a shame. Big cracking down the side. Almost splitting, which makes me fearful.

Mega Celeste - Probably the worst fig imaginable in my climate.

Nalaga - Another BM type inferior to Galicia Negra.

Panachee - A splitter. Nothing else to say. Very flavorful when it ripens properly. I even decided to rip it out of the ground in the GH. It can get quite humid in there starting in October and that will definitely create fruit quality issues with this one.

Pendolino Rosso - This fig ain't good. Very mild.

Plint Nero - Dropper. Don't think anyone has ripened it outside wasp land.

Raasti Northern Persian Unk - Probably the most reliable fig I have. Even in the worst conditions, but I don't think it has enough flavor for it to take up a spot on the patio. Moving it in ground. Similar to Teramo/Brandon.

Red Libya - Heavy cropper. Surprisingly late this year even with the GH. Splits easily. Not a big fan of that fruity twang flavor it has.

Sbayi - Again more undesirable fruity twang flavor. Doesn't do well in temperature swings. Splitting down the side or at the eye.

Sis Madeline's Green Greek - Another somewhat productive adriatic fig that doesn't beat Strawberry Verte.

Skoura Vavatsika (Andreas) - A dropper for two years now. It should be common, but the fig itself doesn't look like it'll eventually make the cut here anyway.

Souadi (Bass) - This fig is wild. Quite drastic changes every year. It should be improving, but this year was a significant decrease. Open eye, furry skin, poor flavor, inability to hang for long periods. The fig needs a 10 day minimum hang time for it to have a special flavor and that was just not possible this year. It is early and should have drying abilities, but again early detachment was occurring and the eye was much larger than in prior years.

Sunbird EBT & Olympian - I'm tired of the EBT types. They produce far too late with a long hang time and to be honest will never wow me on flavor in this climate.

Verde Passo - This is the same thing as Fico Rubado. Seems much healthier.

Verdesca - Saw pictures of this from Paolo's orchard. It does not seem like a fig that would do well here.

Victoria (MP) - I'm kind of on the fence with this one. Haven't heard much of anything from people outside wasp land. I don't know if it'll be as good as it should without being pollinated. My trees unfortunately grow too vigorously. I think it'll slow down next year.

Violette Dauphine - Seems like a Brogiotto Nero, Bourjassotte Noire type fig. I'm not sure I want more of these. They're too late and shy producers.

Yellow Neches - This fig has yet to really wow me. It definitely is the closest fig I've had to a peach, but I'm tired of waiting for it to mature. I will say that it seems stupidly early. Definitely a good in ground choice where I will likely move it.

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scusami ma non capisco come ordinare, le varieta disponibili ed il prezzo, atteso che mancano giorni. mi puoi aiutare?

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I'm Ross, the "Fig Boss." A YouTuber educating the world on the wonderful passion of growing fig trees. Apply my experiences to your own fig journey to grow the best tasting food possible.
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