A 300 to 1 shot...

Freshly picked second crop Brown Turkey fig

Seeing it's November I decided it's time to pick the half-formed second crop fruit on the fig tree. It's a classic task for the month, when all the larger ones are picked (they won't survive our winter chills), leaving the smaller pea-sized ones to form next year's crop.

Imagine my surprise when I found a ripened fig nestled beneath the last remaining foliage. It's pretty special because it's unusual to find edible second crop figs here in the UK. We don't usually have a long enough season of warmth, unlike those lucky trees in more southerly climes.

My first crop was quick to ripen this year; 3 to 4 weeks earlier than usual, with me enjoying sun-warmed figs fresh from the garden on our return home on the 4th of July. Back then I'd secretly hoped I might just get a ripened second crop, even though Alan told me it wouldn't happen.

The result is one solitary ripe fig... and 300 unripe ones. Alan's still impressed, because he hasn't heard of it happening in the UK before, and as a top notch nurseryman he should know. I had it for breakfast - it was delicious.

The figs that didn't make it - 300 to be precise

Looking at the resultant basket of figs I wonder if I picked too early as there was quite a lot of sticky sap. It clearly shows the tree hasn't quite shut down for winter, probably owing to this year's unseasonably warm October. It tells me I shouldn't get my pruning gear out just yet - I have some major renovation pruning to do, so the tree needs to be dormant before I get ruthless. I'll just pop Alys Fowler's recent guide on what to do here, saved for later. I have until February to do the deed.

My next task is to sort that basket into figs for composting plus those ripe enough for a spot of experimental cookery. I have recipes for jam... and an unusual pasta sauce to try.

You may also like

Here's my Plant Profile on figs (which also has details of how to make scrummy fig and ginger jam), plus my gorgeous recipe for Figgy Cheese Tart.


  1. Lucky you. Our fig tree hasn't performed well for years and needs a drastic overhaul. I cut out Alys's article and left it prominently placed by the Head Gardener 's morning coffee.

    1. I suspect the Head Gardener can drink his coffee for a while longer yet Colleen. London's fig trees are bound to keep going for a little longer yet.

  2. Oh yum! My potted fig tree is still outside but will be brought in soon to spend the winter in our cold cellar. On top of it being potted, it's also still a baby (2 years old) - I harvested a whopping total of 4 figs off of it this year - a 100% increase from last year, so I'm happy ;)

    1. That's how my cropping started Margaret... soon you'll be harvesting dozens!

  3. Is your fig a full sized tree? Ours is growing in a pt so unlikely to have such a large crop

    1. Yes it's full sized Sue, but in a pot! It rests on a shallow pan of soil, so I wouldn't be surprised if it has rooted through the pot.

  4. Well, at least you get one crop. Figs aren't hardy here at all and if I tried to grow a fig tree it would have to be potted and hauled in for the winter.

    1. A lot of them are hauled in for the winter here too Kathy. There are only a few varieties which are reliable enough for outdoor growing here in southern England. Even then you have to site them carefully - mines growing against a sheltered western facing wall.

  5. Oh the yummy foods you can make! I have never had a fig on my tree! I wish I had left it in a container!

    1. We have a stash of fig and ginger jam Gail. It's wonderful :)


Post a Comment

I love hearing from you and welcome thoughtful conversations :)

Comments aiming to link back and give credence to commercial websites will be composted!

Your essential reads

Review: Riverford Recipe Box with guest chef Sarah Raven

How not to look after your Pilea peperomioides

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: 'Just Add Cream'

How to make a show judge's life harder

Salad Days: Mastering Lettuce

Dessert Apple Jelly: Seasonal Recipe

Review: Stihl Compact Cordless Blower BGA 56

Postcard from Texas

Snow Time