How to grow figs in a border

Amateur Gardening - - Ask John Negus -


I have a ‘Brown Turkey’ fig tree in a pot and would like to plant the tree in a border, but un­der­stand the roots can go berserk. What should I do?

Keith Green, via email

AIf you move your fig to a sunny, free-drain­ing border, its roots should be con­fined, other­wise ex­ces­sive root de­vel­op­ment will re­sult in vig­or­ous non-fruit­ing limbs. Do it now while the soil is still fairly warm.

Start by dig­ging a 2ft (60cm) square hole at about the same depth, and line the sides with paving slabs.

Fill the bot­tom 1ft (30cm) with brick rub­ble and use a heavy pole as a ‘ram­mer’ to firm it into a solid, but por­ous ‘block’. The tree, when planted and con­fined, will re­spond by pro­duc­ing a mass of fi­brous roots, but will not send out un­wanted tap roots.

Con­tinue by fill­ing the hole with a mix of two parts loam and one part grit and set the fig at its pre­vi­ous depth. Sup­port it with a stout cane.

In spring, when new shoots ap­pear, be­head them when each has formed five leaves. It will trig­ger the for­ma­tion of twiggy fruit­ing side shoots.

Figs fruit fab­u­lously if their roots are con­fined

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