Today Saturday, at Gardenprue, we are going to talk about a historical crop, Ficus carica. We say historical because it is a very named tree in the Bible, it was one of the first plants / trees cultivated by man, in Rome they considered the fig tree a sacred tree, etc.
All this and more is what devotes our attention, so we are going to teach you how to cultivate it.
Ficus carica or fig tree is considered to be low in height, between 3 and 10 meters, although this last height is very rare, it belongs to the family of Moraceae ( Moraceae) , with about 2,500 species distributed between 50 and 55 genera and 5 tribes.
A big family. The fig tree is visually characterized in many respects. Its leaves, large and with an unusual shape, its gray trunk, and its fruits, of double production as we have said in the title, of the sycon type , known as Figs.
But the thing does not end here, since some varieties such as bifers produce another fruit with similar characteristics a few months later, called breva. More or less figs are harvested in June and figs in September.
The organoleptic difference is that figs have a higher sugar content, because they spend more time on the tree collecting sap and other elements. On the contrary they are smaller.
CLIMATIC NEEDS IN FIG CULTIVATION
The fig tree is a tree typically with a Mediterranean climate. Hot and dry climates and it tolerates both high and low temperatures well (although high temperatures are preferable to low ones for the ripening of its fruits).
The root system of Ficus carica allows it to thrive where many other trees cannot. In fact, many times when we go hiking we see a small fig tree growing between rocks. That means that there is water in that area.
One problem leading to a poor harvest is untimely rains linked to excessive humidity.
Ficus carica grows in a wide variety of soils and is not demanding. It is capable of growing in sandy, stony soils (it is capable of growing even on vertical walls).
The optimal soil for its best development is one that has good drainage (it is sensitive to root rot), light soils and with an alkaline pH, since it benefits from the high calcium content.
IRRIGATION NEEDS OF THE FIG TREE
It is a very resistant tree to drought. Its greatest requirements come when the development of its first crop occurs.
It tolerates saline waters quite well , although a little less compared to pomegranate. Generally, it usually needs about 600-700 liters per year distributed proportionally according to the season, more watering in summer than in winter.
But in summary, irrigation must be constant and low in quantity , always avoiding waterlogging in order not to produce root rot.
Green manures in plowing are perfectly suitable for this crop. In the event that you want to incorporate manure or compost , you will need enough water to percolate it. Nitrogen fertilizers benefit it for the vegetative development of its fruits.
The size grows but on the contrary they lose flavor. You have to know how to find the middle ground.
Many times, when there are trees around the fig tree, fertilizing these crops is enough for the fig tree to benefit, since its roots are capable of absorbing water and nutritional elements at great distances.
It can be reproduced perfectly by layering or by cutting .
Branched cuttings are obtained from the same trees, choosing the variety of interest (you know that the mother plant reproduces identically through a graft) and is grown in a pot with good substrate, without excess of humidity.
The bigger the stake, the better growth it will have.