Growing Unusual Fruits: Figs
Although figs have been grown in Great Britain from the time of Henry VIII they have never been very popular, because the summer is too short for a second crop of fruit to ripen. Failure may also occur through frost killing the wood. Figs are usually grown against a sunny wall to give them some added warmth. They do best on very poor unmanured, since if the land is fed, the tree will start to make rank growth and fruiting will be discouraged.
The fruit is produced on the young wood. Mature buds on the tips of the wood swell out the following summer to give the first crop of fruit.
Plant fig trees near a warm wall as soon as possible after the leaves have fallen in November. Restrict the growth of the roots by digging a hole l yd. square to a depth of 2-1/2 ft. Put pieces of brick into the bottom of the hole and tread them down tightly to ensure good drainage and to prevent the development of deep anchorage roots. Place the plant in the hole and spread out the roots evenly. Replace the soil and, unless it is already chalky, mix in with it a 6-in. potful of crushed chalk.
For the first six years, little pruning is necessary, but after this remove a quarter of the branches each November. Also cut back some of the other branches to keep the tree ‘open’. The principal object is to encourage the production of new wood on which the fruit will be borne. Train the branches fanwise on wires attached horizontally to the wall at 1-1/4ft. Intervals. Be sure to remove any branches which might shade other branches. A tree, when fully trained, can cover a wall space about 35 ft. square.
You can find more information on growing different types of fruit trees in your fruit garden, here.