How to grow figs in a border
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