Grow Your Own Figs

Are you a fig lover?

I find that figs are a Hot or Cold food. Those who love them really love them, and I am definitely a lover of figs.

I learned to love figs as a child growing up in Texas. My father grew them, and anything we could eat out of our own backyard was exciting, no matter how strange or unusual.

I might never have tried growing figs here in Pennsylvania (zone 6), but my father plants a tree nearly every time he visits one of his children. On his second visit to Maplehurst, he planted a fig known as ‘Chicago Hardy.’

That’s a good name for a fig if you garden in a place with cold winters.


Here is what I’ve learned about growing figs from my ‘Chicago Hardy’ tree:

  • Mild winters give two crops: If your fig tree doesn’t die all the way back over winter, you can expect an early crop and a late one, too


  • Mulch might make a difference (or not): Several years I have tried covering my fig in a heavy blanket of chopped leaves. One year, I wrapped it in burlap. Both years, it still died back. Now I let nature takes its course.


  • Pull off those baby fruit as winter nears: Because my fig usually dies all the way back over the winter, I don’t see fruit ripen until very late in summer. If too many baby figs are left before I’ve had a harvest, I start pulling off the smallest fruits to give the rest a chance to ripen before the first freeze.


  • Eat them, quickly, sun-warmed and fresh: That’s the best, though I also love slicing them into salads or on homemade pizza with a little goat cheese.


Here are a few more tips if you’d like to grow your own figs:

Did you know you can grow figs in containers?

So many beautiful varieties.

27 fig recipes from one of my favorite food websites.

Explore all our Black Barn Garden Library posts here.


Posted on

September 14, 2020

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