Easy steps to growing figs and plums

July 29, 2015

How to grow figs and plums

When you think of figs and plums, it may conjure up images of warmer climes. But, if you prepare properly, you can grown these delicious fruits right here in Canada too. These tips will help you yield rich harvests!

Easy steps to growing figs and plums

Figs basics

The Latin name of these attractive trees is Ficus Carica. The fact is, they thrive in a wide variety of climates and conditions, from cold to very hot. The trees have a naturally attractive, open shape and no pruning is required between fruiting. Some well-known varieties include 'Black Genoa', 'White Adriatic' and 'Brown Turkey' but all figs are delicious and versatile – you can eat them raw or cooked.

Growing tips

To give your figs the best chance of survival, follow these tips:

  • Protection of the fruit from birds is advisable. Use a fine proprietary bird net or, on larger trees, fishing line strung with aluminium foil or strips of brightly coloured material. Pick the fruit when it softens or when the skin has begun to split open.
  • Some fig growers in Canada bring the pots indoors to an unheated greenhouse, garage or shed.
  • You can dig a trench as winter approaches, tie the branches together and lay the trees down, covering them with earth and mulch, until spring, when they are released and restored upright.

Plum basics

European plums grow well in cool to cold climates, while you can grow the Japanese plum in warmer regions. Plums are easy trees to grow. They’re very decorative in spring, and don’t get much grief from pests and diseases.

Plums vary in their fruit production according to the type. The European plum produces fruit mainly on two-year-old lateral growth, while the Japanese plum produces on last season's growth as well as on the spurs.

Growing tips

With a few exceptions plums are self-sterile, and a second tree is required to allow for cross-pollination.

  • Pruning the European plum requires care because you need to leave as much of the two-year-old growth as possible intact, yet the one-year-old growth must be able to develop for next year's crop.
  • After the fruiting has finished completely, you should remove and cut back some of the two-year-old growth to encourage the growth of new laterals. With Japanese plums, shorten strong lateral growth during winter.

Easy to grow figs and plums

It's easy for you to enjoy these home grown fruits in Canadian climes. Follow these steps for a great yield of these delicious fruits.

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