The fig tree: fabulous all year round

The fig tree: fabulous all year round

Plant a fig tree now to enjoy exotic fruits homegrown from your garden – and it’s easier than you think!

Spring is the best time to plant figs as they get going quickly in the warming weather. Figs fruit reasonably well in the UK, especially in hot summers – you’ll get really reliable results if you plant them in a greenhouse or polytunnel where they relish the extra warmth and crop prolifically.

For most of us, though, figs are a beautiful, ornamental tree for the garden where their exotic-looking leaves and beautiful grey bark look fabulous all year round. In smaller gardens, train a fig tree against a wall for an elegant, architectural feature, or grow one in a large container.

There are many different varieties of fig to choose from, so pop over to our garden centre here in Bitton and Warminster to see what we have in stock. If fruit is your priority, ‘Brown Turkey’ is the most reliable in a UK climate as it is bred to ripen fruit in cooler conditions than most. But there are lots of other beautiful varieties including those with white, purple or green fruit.

Give your fig plenty of room, as they form large, spreading trees once fully grown, and your sunniest, warmest spot. Dig a generous hole about 70cm deep and wide, and line it with a 15cm layer of rubble on the bottom and paving slabs around the edges, stood on their sides to make an open box. This restricts the roots, so your tree won’t get too rampant, and also provides the very free drainage fig trees enjoy. Plant the tree at the same depth as it was growing in the container, backfill with soil and keep well-watered, and your fig will grow into one of the most statuesque, beautiful and – who knows? - delicious features in your garden.