Harvest Monday, August 6, 2012 – Figs, Potatoes & Harvest Update

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Fig tree is exceptionally prolific this year. There is a fig at the base of nearly every leaf and the figs are much larger than previous years.
(The fig on the right in the above photo will droop when it is ready for harvest.)

I believe the reason I am having a bountiful crop is because this year I am giving the tree extra special attention.

When I wheeled it outdoors (after over wintering in the garage) I sprinkled a handful of lime onto the soil surface, waited 10 days and sprinkled on a handful of organic granular fertilizer. Once plant is fully leafed out and hardened off, I fertilized bi-weekly with fish emulsion fertilizer (at ½ strength). I also placed the container with the fig tree inside another larger container (above right photo) and made sure the outer container is filled with water everyday. (Hired my neighbour’s kid to fill the container daily while I was on vacation.) Because the container is much too small for the size of the tree, I needed to do all this to provide the tree with sufficient nutrients and moisture. Since it is not practical to replant it into a larger container, this fall I will need to prune the roots and repot with new potting soil.

This variety freezes well, so I will definitely try to save some for the freezer.

First fig harvest, Tuesday, 7/31/2012

Aren’t they gorgeous!!!!! Well, 2 did not make it into the photo. They looked ready (were drooping), felt ready (soft to the touch) but were they taste ready? Biting into one (make that 2) is the only way to find out. Both were sooooo sweet, like honey. Oh yes, ready for harvest.

Dug in all the potatoes.

Top tray, left to right: Adrondack red, Purple Peruvian and Fingerlings

Bottom tray, left to right: Blue (from Healthfood store), All Blue and Adrondack Blue.  Well, that’s what I think they are. They got a bit mixed up. Will be able to tell better when I cut them at a later date. Click here (and scroll down) to see what the inside of 5 of the varieties look like.

The Red Thumb never produced or perhaps got mixed up with the others somewhere or maybe still buried in the ground. I forgot that I planted the potatoes in a trench and also mounded the plants as they grew. Don’t think I dug deep enough when I was havesting. Planted lettuce seedlings immediately on the vacated site so have to wait until later to find out how many potatoes got left behind. Next year I am going to plant my potatoes in containers (only one variety per container). Will surely make harvesting and keeping track a whole lot easier.

To prevent the critters from nibbling at more of my eggplants, each fruit is now wearing knee-hi’s. Hope they do not suffer in this heat. Click here to see one of the damage.

Other harvests for the week:
Blackberries, small handful most mornings. A few may make it to the breakfast table.
 Green and white bittermelons, shared with my cousins.
Brocoli and gai lan side shoots, went into a stir-fry
Swiss chard, shared with neighbour
Oak leaf and cimmaron lettuces. These were seedlings planted in a shady part of the garden end of June and are doing well despite the heat. Harvesting the outer leaves for salad, tender and sweet.
Red and green Chinese long beans. These went into the freezer.
Yellow pear tomatoes, went into the lettuce salad
Pickling and Japanese cucumber. Shared wth friends and neighbours.

Belamcanda chinensis – Blackberry Lily

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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87 Responses to Harvest Monday, August 6, 2012 – Figs, Potatoes & Harvest Update

  1. hotlyspiced says:

    There is so much variety in your garden Norma. I am so envious of your beautiful figs. I can imagine how exciting it must be to pick your own figs from your own tree, perfectly ripe and warmed by the sun. The ones I buy are expensive, squishy and definitely not as tasty, I’m sure of that! xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      Oh yes, it was exciting. Once the figs started to color, I checked the tree at least once a day don’t want to miss the drooping figs. I do have quite a variety of items in my garden, 2 of this 3 of that…..

  2. The figs are gorgeous – in NC I had a tree next to my walk – grabbed on every trip from the car to the house. I’m not ready for that much work to grow figs in NY.

  3. Daphne says:

    Wonderful harvests. And I love those figs. I keep hoping that I’ll get some in future years. I’m not sure that I can keep the fig alive long enough for it to fruit though. I’ve got it planted in the ground. Here they die back to the ground if you don’t protect them over the winter. I’m going to try this winter and see if I get anything.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      My Italian neighbour buries his fig tree for the winter, it is a big production, but he gets excellent harvest. I find it easier and less hassle to just wheel it into the garage for the winter even if it means less fruits.

  4. Patsy says:

    Wow, growing your own figs! They look lovely and you must put a lot of effort into growing them so nicely. Everything you have harvested looks great. Those potatoes are impressive!

  5. leduesorelle says:

    Your fig tree is inspiring! I’m still working on getting my lemon tree to bear fruit…

  6. A great harvest this week. Love those figs!

  7. kitsapfg says:

    I have toyed with the idea of growing a fig in a large pot. Your success is making me think seriously about that idea again. Well done on your harvests this week!

  8. Wilderness says:

    Those figs look wonderful. Love those little potatoes also. I haven’t dug anymore of mine so probably won’t have anymore little ones by now. Getting too late.

  9. jenny says:

    Figs look wonderful! I’ll have to wait couple of years for mine to start producing. Potatoes look pretty good too.

  10. Linda says:

    Beautiful garden! You have such a nice variety of plants. Absolutely beautiful figs! I’ve been tempted to start a fig tree for a couple years now, but a meyer lemon tree won out. Maybe when I have more room!

  11. dvelten says:

    I’m happy to see you have so much success with the fig in a container. I tried the same thing years ago but never had any luck. The spring crop would be only a few figs. The fall crop was always the heavier crop but never ripened before cold weather. After 3-4 years of wheeling that tub in and out of the garage in the winter, I just left it out one winter.

  12. I adore figs and you’ve just reminded me to do something with them! I hope you had a great weekend!!

  13. Beautiful images, beautiful food.

  14. pooks says:

    This is why I read your garden blog. Because my keyboard NEEDS drool on it. And now I have to go to the local farmers market and find figs!

  15. Norma, that is so wonderful! The figs, the potatoes, the berries. All of it is just so great. I would like to grow a pomegranate in a pot and have thought about it. Maybe I should go further and just do it.

  16. Courtney says:

    I wish I had the time to be so thoughtful about my fertilizing, etc… looks like it gains amazing results, Norma!

  17. ChgoJohn says:

    This week’s harvest — and those lilies! — looks terrific, Norma. My Grandpa attempted to grow figs for years, trying every method imaginable to weather them over winter, to little success. He would have pestered you with dozens of questions once he saw that photo of yours. 🙂

  18. Those figs are perfection my friend, they look incredibly healthy 😀
    As does your garden in whole!

    Choc Chip Uru

  19. Doing great Norma! I love reading these updates 🙂

  20. Juliana says:

    Oh Norma, always you have such a nice harvest…they all look so pretty 🙂
    Fresh figs…I haven’t had those for a long time, and the potatoes…oh my!
    No need to mention that I love to see your harvest every Monday 😉
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

  21. zentMRS says:

    You’ve got such a wonderful variety in your harvest! What will you do with your figs?

  22. Dave says:

    I love fresh figs. Our 4 plants in the ground are loaded this year. Now if I can get them to ripen before frost!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      Do you need to give your in the ground figs trees special winter protection? I cannot plant my tree in the ground. Would love to see photos of your fig trees. How tall do they get.

  23. Amazing that your fig tree produces so well in a pot! And look at all those lovely potatoes you’re planting – I think we only managed to fit in a dozen or so this year..

  24. Oops, my mistake, sorry, that’s your harvest, not what you’re planting. I thought it was a lot! 🙂

  25. Karen says:

    You are certainly having a bountiful harvest. It will be interesting to see if the knee-high protection works.

  26. Eha says:

    Have made up my mind, definitely have, after reading about your fig harvest! Have meant to buy a fig tree for years, well – still don’t have one, do I, but there are at least three growing within a hundred metres or so of my property! So the soil and the climate must suit and I do love my fruittrees to bits and they love me back . . . 🙂 !

  27. Hi Norma,
    The figs look beautiful!

  28. Simone says:

    O I love figs. I used to ave a fig tree in my (small) garden but made the mistake of planting it in the full soil. Little did I know at the time and the fig tree just grew and grew and grew (not producing many fruits either) so we had to cut it down… But it’s an excellent idea to plant it in a pot with wheels and put it in the garage in the winter! I’m so gonna be getting myself a new fig tree now!

  29. Kristy says:

    I love figs! I had no idea you could pot the trees! Perhaps one day when I learn to grow things, I’ll try a fig tree. 🙂

  30. Figs, glorious figs! My ultimate fruit Norma ! We have a tree in our front yard which is bare at the moment although I did see the first wee little bit of green just yesterday – I expect to see a couple of leaves soon – I hope! I cannot wait for summer to be standing under the coolness of the leaves eating figs straight from tree!
    You truly have the most magnificent garden with all that you harvest every week – Wonderful!
    🙂 Mandy

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mandy,
      Thanks. How lovely that you can have your fig tree in the ground. Sounds like it is a huge tree. Glad it is leafing out and will be laden with fruits in a few months.

  31. I’m excited to see what you’ll do with your figs!

  32. Eva Taylor says:

    Incredible, Norma, I cannot believe you have a fig tree in a pot!!! Is your garage heated? do you cover it over the winter? I’m loving that you can grow figs in a pot, so cool. The potatoes are gorgeous too, love the purple ones. Figs are so expensive in Toronto, sometimes they can be as high as $1.99 EACH! This would be a great investment as we love figs. This is a wonderful and easy fig recipe https://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/2009/02/22/dinner-with-kim-and-rob/, a dab of goats cheese with a slice of prosciutto and arugula. Mmmmmm, delicious!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      That’s a lovely and easy recipe, however my figs do not hang around long enough for me to do anything with them.
      No, my garage is not heated. You do not want to over winter the tree in a heated area.
      No, i do not cover it over the winter, just check every now and then to see if the soil surface is dry, if yes, I give it a drink.

  33. Sophie33 says:

    Waw! Your own figs already! They look juicy, big & tasty! My figs are still green. Normally, they are ripe end of September! My fig tree is planted in good soil & sometimes, I add extra rich soil especially for fig trees! That helps also! Indeed, they need a lot of water too! 🙂
    Your last picture is a beautiful flower! So rare too!:)

  34. What a colorful and beautiful post! You had a real bounty this week, and I am truly jealous of your figs. I made a drunken fig jam last year with a friend who had a fig tree full of them…so good! This year, no figs in sight!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello B and B,
      Thanks. My figs do not stay around long enough for me to do anything with them. Drunken fig jam sounds delicious. Wonder why your friends fig tree is not bearing fruit this year.

      • Oh, I’m sure her tree is bearing fruit this year, we just didn’t get together to make jam…nor has she invited me to have some of her figs, LOL! I think I know what my Christmas present will be from her this year.

  35. Dee ruger says:

    the figs are especially interesting. I keep forgetting that we can grow them around here! Do you have any idea what day you will be at the dutchess fair?

  36. Autumn Belle says:

    Oh wow, you can grow a fig tree in a pot? That’s amazing! My grandma used to tell me that figs are called “no flower fruits” in Chinese.

  37. Norma, coming to your blog is like going to a botanical garden: so resourceful and beautiful! Do you need to put the fig tree indoor to protect from the frost? How hardy is fig tree?

  38. Purely.. Kay says:

    I don’t know too much about figs but I feel like I’ve been educated today. Thanks for this amazing post 🙂

  39. Annie says:

    I’m learning a lot just from reading your blog…you make everything sound so easy even though it’s a struggle in our garden…but if you can do it…I’m sure we could too. Thanks for the encouragements thru your success!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Annie,
      Thanks for stopping by. glad you found my blog useful. I have my share of failures in the garden. I try to make thing simple and easy because I am a lazy gardener.

  40. Charles says:

    Ah, you lucky thing Norma – all those wonderful figs. I was going to ask you how big the tree was but then I realised that you “wheeled it out” so I’m guessing not super huge. Still yields plentiful fruit it seems though!

    Nice job with the “covers” on the aubergines… I hope they solve the critter problem 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello charles,
      My fig tree is about 6 feet tall and just as wide. I have to tie the branches together before wheeling the whole container and plant into the garage for winterizing.

  41. Your garden is so incredible!! I could only hope to ever has a garden as bountiful as yours, one day. But, this post is very inspiring, thank you for it!

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