The cultivation of the fig tree

The presence of this tree since ancient times, brings many stories of ghosts, recurrent nocturnal theme of children in the houses. The trunk and its beautiful foliage, up to 10 feet high, give an imposing, which represents a milestone in any garden.

The species-Ficus carica, Moracea-family, with the exception of dates, the vinifera vines and olive trees, fruit is more closely associated with the first East Asian civilization and culture developed around the Mediterranean. Seven centuries before Christ was brought to Greece and then to Italy, passing then to the Romans and then Spain and Portugal. His arrival in America came in 1520.

Currently, the main producers of figs are Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. It is also grown very successfully in our country, from the first to the tenth region, an area in which semi-fit their requirements perfectly.
Developing flowers of both sexes separately, and other sterile, small and contained all within a siconio or false fruit, which has a hole called
"Eye." The women are provided with five petals and a single carpel, while the male consist of three petals and three stamens. The scales are reduced to sterile.
The fruits, plums and figs, sweet and particularly nutritious, it develops from the ovaries of female flowers in the spring shoots, solitary or in pairs, and in the axils of the leaves in late summer.

The fig and fig

In some varieties are only flowers that mature in one season, but in other inflorescence production is continuous, so that in the same outbreak figs are of different sizes. In this case, the fig tree is shaken by the cold of autumn, when, after being harvested figs, some still remain very small. They do not fall, but last winter, and if the cold is intense, continue to grow in early spring, to mature in early summer and give birth to the fig. This explains that even though the fruits are formed in the spring shoots, figs are the branches of the previous year.

Fig varieties

Most figs are formed by parthenocarpy that is, without direct competition from the male flowers, but there are varieties to which, to mature, do they need pollination.Based on this difference, the varieties are classified into three groups:
  • Cabra-fig. They are not commercial, but necessary for the pollination of Smyrna and San Pedro group. Develop three productions a year.
  • Smyrna and San Pedro. These are the most important crop in major producing countries, for their high quality. In presents two harvests, the brief and unimportant parthenocarpic and normal or figs which is the most valuable-pollinated by the wasp Blastophaga.
  • Common fig. It has two crops in the year, plums and figs. Both fruit, parthenocarpic, are greatly appreciated.
  • The pollination of the fig is the result of a complex symbiotic relationship between the plant and the wasp Blastophaga PSEN. The edible variety Calimyrna pollination is required, and the pollen donor is called the goat-fig, the association called "caprification."
The wasp hatchery in the ovaries of pistillate flowers short goat-fig, causing galls.The new wasps, to be fertilized, they leave in search of another fig to hatchery, covering themselves with pollen out. Upon entering through the eye of the Calimyrna siconios ovaries looking for where to place their eggs, pollinating the stigmas of female flowers and the fruit develops.

Requirements for growing figs

Cultivation of this species is more limited by low winter temperatures than the heat of summer, as their chilling requirements are low, from 100 to 400 hours only. Its production is possible from sea level to a height of 3000 meters or more, provided there is proper temperature.
It is fairly drought resistant, although not as much as the olive tree, and lose their leaves in winter for a short period, especially in hot weather, which continues to be active. Young plants are very sensitive to frost, while the adult withstands cold and wintry night, provided that not less than 5 degrees C. The heat and dryness only affect the development of and participation in Blasfophaga pollination.
The figs of dry climates are especially used for dehydration, while those in humid climates are suitable for canning.
The fruits are tastier in dry soils, although the fig tree grow well in any soil except heavy clay and limestone, whose pH is due to the presence of black alkali sodium carbonate. It has, rather, preference for the most sandy, rocky, warm and especially deep.

Fig Harvest

The fig tree produces fruit for more than one hundred years, beginning his fruiting between 4-6 years. In the country there have been harvest of 100 kilos of figs and 40 kilos of figs per tree, in commercial plantations.
The gathering will begin shortly
in the second half of November or early December. To harvest should wear gloves, and that they prevent skin irritations caused by the latex flows from the petiole.
Avoid possible damage to the fruit and place them in baskets or trays available, pre-padded with its own leaves. Much of the commercial production due to its delicate handling, is dedicated to dried, but as the production of her garden is smaller, you and your family can enjoy the tasty and fragrant fresh plums and figs, assigning to save the over-ripe on the tree.


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