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Landscape Gardening

Pruning a fig

Hi there - we have a pretty large fig tree, only 3 years old but it is really healthy and we have loads of fruit each year. We have had had varying advice about how and when to prune it but nobody can give us a clear answer. We get the general idea that it needs pruning closer to spring, but not sure how much of the branch to cut off, whether we should remove the old figs that are still on the tree (as they don't seem to come to fruition again) and do we 'nip out' new buds and if so, how?
Many thanks

Paul - you're a diamond - really helpful - thanks!!!

1 Answer from a MyBuilder Landscape Gardener

Best Answer

Feed in early spring by spreading 70g (2oz) of a balanced granular fertiliser (such as Growmore or Fish, Blood and Bone) over the ground, and cover with a thin layer of well-rotted manure. When the fruit appear, feed weekly with a high-potassium liquid plant food (such as tomato fertiliser).

Even though some figs are hardy down to -10°C (14°F), the tips of branches that carry fruit are vulnerable to frost and a potential crop can be ruined during cold weather. Protect figs in winter by covering the bare branches with a few layers of horticultural fleece, or by packing the fan-trained branches with straw. Remove the fleece or packing by the end of May.

Spring: remove any branches that spoil the shape, or which are crossing or damaged, along with any suckers appearing from the ground
Summer: pinch out the new growth at five or six leaves
Autumn: remove any large figs that have failed to ripen, but leave the pea-sized embryonic fruit

Hope this helps. Paul


Answered 8th Feb 2012

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