FIG ORGANIC CULTIVATION MAKDE SIMPLE

Given the shelter of a wall facing south or south-west, in a reasonably mild district, the fig can produce plenty of ripe fruit. It can be grown in bush form, but it is more satisfactory when trained fan shape against a warm wall. Exposure to warm sun is essential for the ripening of the young wood that produces fruit.

Where outdoor conditions are unsuitable it can be grown and fruited as a dwarf bush in a 12-in. pot in greenhouse or conservatory or trained to the back wallgeneral management as explained in the section FRUIT IN THE GREENHOUSE.

Ready for Use. Outdoor figs ripen during August to September. The best wall variety is Brown Turkey (brownish-purple fruit). White Marseilles (greenish-white when ripe) is also suitable.

Soil Preparation.

Growth of the fig is naturally brisk and lush, and this must be curbed to ensure regular fruiting.

This is done by restricting the root run, the roots being kept to a small area of ground by a lining of slates, tile or bricks.

The procedure, which is as follows, applies to the fig grown outdoors as well as to that meant for a greenhouse border.

A hole is dug about 2ft. deep, 5 ft. long and 3 ft. from back to front. The top soil is placed on one side, so that it can again form the surface when the hole is filled in. Broken brick or chalk or lime rubble is rammed down at the bottom of the hole to provide a drainage foundation about a foot thick. The sides of the hole are then lined, with brick or whatever else is available, to prevent the roots spreading, and soil is filled in.

The soil should contain plenty of lime, in the form of mortar rubble or broken chalk, and as soil is filled into the hole it should be rammed or trodden firmly so that it is solid throughout.

When and How to Plant.

Late March or April is the most suitable time. A hole large enough to take the spread-out roots and deep enough to allow the soil mark on the stem to coincide with the new level is made in the prepared place, soil is worked between and over them with the fingers, then trodden firmly. The top inch should be raked over and left loose. No manure or artificial should be added. If more than one fig is facing south, some north, some east, some west. Earliest to ripen will be the south-facing ones, the latest those facing north.

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