Alys Fowler: it’s time to prepare fig trees for winter (and for next year’s crop, too)

Pull off the remaining fruit now, so you get the same again next year

Since the light started to slant and summer slumber, I have been able to pick fat, juicy figs almost every day. But now the leaves are beginning to turn a buttery yellow, I must put my thoughts towards pulling off the remaining figs so I get the same again next year.

At this time, most fig trees will have two types of fruit: the tiny, pea-sized embryonic figs that sit in the leaf axis, and larger, harder green fruit. In the balmy Mediterranean, you get two picking seasons – early summer and late – but with our damp, slow summers, only the embryonic ones tend to ripen. The larger ones will never do anything other than stay rock hard and sup up some of the plant’s energy. So, if you have any hard large figs (a couple of centimetres in diameter) still left on the plant, pick them off now, but leave the embryonic ones undamaged.

Related: Let bee-friendly bulbs transform your spring | Alys Fowler

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