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Growing figs - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Growing figs

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Do you like fig jam or fig cookies? And have you ever wanted to try to grow your own? If you have Charlie Nardozzi and Sharon Meyer show us how.

Sharon Meyer: Charlie, you are growing fruit.

Charlie Nardozzi: Yes. Figs. Everyone is growing apples and pears this time of year, but you can grow figs in Vermont. 

Sharon Meyer: Is this a special variety?

Charlie Nardozzi: Well, there are a couple of trees here. This one is called Celeste. The other one is called Brown Turkey. But it's not so much the variety that's important it's how you grow them. So, you get your tree, you plant them and you've got to put them in containers because obviously figs are not that hardy this far north. They are more hardy down in Virginia, southern NJ, that area. 

Sharon Meyer: So they can't stay out in the winter.

Charlie Nardozzi: No they are not staying out in the winter. But in a nice big container like this -- maybe a 20-gallon container -- mix in some potting soil, some compost, some organic fertilizer, and some lime. Then you put your tree in there, put it in a nice sunny southern exposure spot where it gets a lot of heat, a lot of warmth. Think Mediterranean. It's figs, right? And then water them -- water them really well. This year, because it was so hot and dry, I had to water them almost every day. But if you do that, come September, October, look what you get -- beautiful little figs growing on here. I've harvested about 50 or 60 figs from these trees this year. 
And of course you want to pick them when they start folding over a little bit like this, and you can have your nice little fig there. Once the leaves start dropping and it starts getting really cold and freezing, you want to protect them for the winter. So they need to be in a room that doesn't get below 20 degrees. It can be a garage and shed, or a basement, just leave them in there. They'll go dormant. Come next spring, they'll start leafing out again. Put them in a sunny room, and bring them back out, water them and voila -- figs. 

Sharon Meyer: This is great.

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