Saturday, September 27, 2014

Late Season Figs......

I just finshed cutting my grass and was able to pick several varieites of "Late Season" figs from my orchard as I cut around those trees.  These are the varieites that I ate and enjoyed today (9/27/14)......

LSU Improved  Celeste, LSU Giant, LSU Late Black, LSU O'Rourke, Black Triana, Alma. St. Jerome, 2 Fat Lady Black, Southern Brown Turkey.

The best tasting fig from this particular batch I picked this morning was a dead ripe Alma.  I've checked my Internet writings and noticed that I have not yet written very much about the excellent taste and overall performance of the Alma cultivar.  Wow......that was an oversight which I will soon correct in another new post exclusive to Alma.  People need to know a few FACTS about the Alma cultivar...........

First is EXTREMELY important that you do not get your Alma fig tree (or cuttings) from anywhere other than from a Louisiana source.  The Alma plant material coming from California sources (example: Jon Verdic, UC Davis)  is pure JUNK. Do not waste your valuable time growing any Alma fig tree from any California source. I will explain why later in another post on Alma which I wll later write.  Again there is a HUGE difference between Alma fig trees from California and Alma fig trees that are souced from Louisiana.

Notice above in my list of Late Season fig.that I ate this morning was a "Southern Brown Turkey" fig. Do not confuse that particular variety with others named Brown Turkey. Pay attention to the exact written name. 

IMO, that particular variety of fig that I ate is a unique cultivar.   The Southern Brown Turkey fig is not related to the other common Brown Turkey figs (i.e, Sourtheastern Brown Turkey, or California Brown Turkey, or English Brown Turkey).  FYI, Ray Given noticed a difference between Brown Turkey and Celeste. However, IMO, he did not do a complete job of documenting those differences. One of my fig research goals is to better define those differences.  That is why I study many strains of Brown Turkey.

FYI, I've recently located a VERY LARGE (~12 inch thick trunk and ~15 ft tall)  in-ground fig tree which I am almost certain is a Southern Brown Turkey. I do know from observation that  it is NOT a regular type Celeste. Right now , I am trying to get permission from the owner to study this excellent specimen. It produces two large crops of main crop figs per season.  I hope to be able to post pictures real soon of this tree and of it large new crop of figs. If I do get permission to study this fig tree I will be a happy man!!  That fig tree is worthy of wide distrubution.  And as all such fig trees that are growing in Louisiana from good ole Louisiana sources, it does not have FMV.  FMV is a California problem in case you haven't noticed it yet!!  There are not many FMV infected fig trees anywhere else in the US other than in California!!! Why......because FMV infected trees growing in other states will die at an early age from that disease. Don't waste your time growing any fig tree which has FMV if you live anywhere but in Southern California.

Here is an interesting FACT...........

FMV does not exist to any great extent anywhere else in the country but in California.  Any FMV infected trees grown anywhere in the US can usually be traced right back to an original California source. Don't believe me?  Well you too can verify this for yourself if you do a little invesigative work on your own.

Whether or not your fig tree has  FMV does indeed matter contrary to what many fig forum members will tell you. It is time to educate people on the real bad effects that FMV has on fig trees. It is time to teach all fig groweres what they can do to prevent the  FMV virus  in their yard.  It actually is very simple to not buy anything (cuttings or fig starts) from any California source or any fig forum members who "believes: FMV is not a problem.  By not buying anything from thoe sources YOU will be well on your way to staying away from FMV and its bad effects.

Much more on this matter coming in future posts. Stay tuned.....and LEARN some new fig related information of a kind that you will not find anywhere else.  And most definitely not from any "biased" fig forum where most forum members still choose to "believe" that FMV does not matter.  Those who still make that silly claim are utterly ignorant to provable FACTS.

Semper Fi-cus

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fig Wisdom and Golden Rules.....Redux

This sound advice is worth repeating........

Fig Wisdom and Golden Rules about fig Dan Semper Fi-cus

Here are a few of the Golden Rules for growing nice fig trees:

1) ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS remove any figs that form on any fig tree that was planted in the ground for less than a year. (I am not talking about the AGE of the tree....I am referring to elapsed TIME since it was planted........there usually is a big difference between the two.) The figs on all young (age) trees will not taste that good and your tree will loose way too much of its energy reserves in trying to ripen those tasteless figs. Similarly, do not allow ANY figs to develop on new fig Starts either that are grown in a container. Trees weakened by this process will likely be top killed or completely killed the following winter........even during a mild Louisiana zone 9 winter. Furthermore (and IMO much more important) trying to ripen those figs you will have delayed the total "elapsed time" that it will take for your tree to start producing good tasting figs. Even though it will likely be very painful for you to do.....pinch ALL of those baby figs off your new tree as soon as you see them. Resist the temptation to see what those figs will look and taste like. The smaller in size that you nip them off....the better for your tree. Learn how to tell the difference between a fig baby and an emerging new side branch. This is VERY GOOD AND SOUND ADVICE for you guys!! This fig KNOWLEDGE (not heresay) comes right out of my own personal fig research activities.

Note: The half of you that I know will not take this sound advise, will likely regret not doing so. It is your decision to be sure. However, I will be here to later tell you "I told you so!!" and "Your tree is taking a year or two longer to produce really good tasting figs because you did not follow some very simple advise.".....two additional years is a long time to wait and too high a penalty to pay for not following simple advise.

2) Focus on the ROOT DEVELOPMENT during the first year and do not try to ripen any figs on that young tree. Pay attention to what is happening to your young tree BELOW THE SOIL. You will be handsomely rewarded for focusing on root development and not wasting any tree energy on fig development.. This is absolutely ESSENTIAL information and it is very simple for you to execute. However, proper root development is too often overlooked by most fig enthusiasts!! .....especially with fig trees that are planted in the ground. I can't tell you how many times that I heard people complaining to me about how long it is taking their fig tree to grow and produce good figs, In most of those cases they neglected the ROOT SYSTEM and did not pinch off those baby figs. Follow the following aquired fig KNOWLEDGE of this fig researcher and you will be hansomely rewarded for doing so. Click on this link to learn how to develop a strong root system for your fig tree:

3) Always Always Always..... inspect for the presence of root knot nematodes (RKN) on any fig tree that you purchase or obtain from ANY outside source. Even if your fig trees comes from a reliable source like me......inspect it for nematodes. FYI...I paid Big money (and some other people too) for a fig tree that came from Jon Verdic's Encanto Farms Nursery in California. Yes I am talking about the same Jon Verdic that owns the figs4fun website with the large fig database. I did not check it the day that I received it and weeks later found out that it had nematodes. Others, besides me, have reported on the Garden Web fig forum having received RKN infected trees from Encanto Farms Nursery and other reliable nurseries as well. I was charged Big money for both a phytosanitary certificate and a snail inspection for that particular fig tree to be shipped to me from California...............and STILL I was sent a fig tree which had nematodes!! Why didn't that trained agricultural inspector in California catch that RKN problem when the tree was inspected for snails and the phytosanitary certificate was issued? All Jon Verdic or the ag inspector had to do was look at the roots and they could have seen the RKN infection!! So check all fig trees from all sources trusting no one. Much more on this with pictures later.....

5) Never apply fertilizer to your fig trees after July in a zone 9 climate. Fertilizer stimulates vigorous new growth on a fig tree. That new growth is very susceptible to winter damage by either frost or freezing temperatures. That new growth needs time in order for that new wood to sufficiently harden-off (i.e. lignify) before winter arrives. Lignified wood can better handle winter cold.

6) And by all means DO NOT APPLY too high a nitrogen containing fertilizer to your fig trees. Even if some Yankee professor of horticulture like Al (Tapla on the fig forums) tells you it is OK. Don't do it if you want to produce more figs. Al is so full of crap when it comes to fertilizing fig trees with his special "nutrient ratio" the 3:1:2 nutrient ratio that he recommends is "perpetually" too high in nitrogen content for optimal production of figs especially when using timed (aka slow) released fertilizers. (Meaning: that every single fertilizer timed released dose and each subsequent nutrient uptake by the fig tree is always too high in nitrogen content....which retards and delays a tree's actual fig production). AL is certainly no fig expert and he is no chemist like me. It will be a cold day in hell before Al knows more about fig culture than do the LSU professors of horticulture and many of the other agricultural professors at Universities throughout the South....not to mention Pierre Baud and other fig experts too. Giving too much nitrogen to your fig tree WILL retard (not might retard ) actual fig production (i.e. number of fig babies produced per tree) AND WILL delay (not might delay) the time it takes for those fig babies to ripen. .....much more on how to fertilize fig trees later.

Let me say that again.....the fertilzer that Tapla (Al) has recommended for fig trees for years ...IS TOO HIGH IN NITROGEN CONTENT and that causes fewer figs to form and ripen during any given season.. Anyone can verify this FACT for themselves (as I have and others) on their own fig trees. You can see actualy proof of this FACT (not theory) in one of the links below.

Note: I could never speak/write this frankly on either of the fig forums. I was always viciously attacked and reported to forum administrators (by George Gorgi and his fig forum Mafia friends) anytime I even remotely challenged or disagreed with Al (Tapla) on any fig related issue. IMO, this is CRITICAL information for those who try to grow figs in colder climates. Canadians and other fig growers who live up north need to hear this information from someone who does not agree with Al (Tapla) about the fertilizer needs of a fig tree. IMO, they NEED TO HEAR THIS FACT. Each time I bring it up for dicussion on the fig forums.....the Fig Forum Mafia tries to silence me.

FYI, I was recently reported (this was in 2012) to the Garden Web Administrators (again to silence me) by that same Fig Forum Mafia I so often write about.  Click on the following link and read how I (king.fig) only made one single itty bitty comment of ultimate truth into that GW thread regarding this very same fertilizer issue.  I was reported by the fig forum Mafia to the Garden Web Adminstator as "always harrassing" Al (tapla).  I received yet another warning from the Garden Web Administror as a result of thosre repeated fig forum Mafia complaints. Read what I wrote into that thread.  Then realize that several Mafia members "gang reported me" for posting that information.

It is utter bullcrap for anyone to have to put up with this type of "mafia styled" behavior.  Fig forum members still think Gorgi is a good guy because he gives them cuttings.  Well Gorgi is a Snake in the grass, intoleratnt, ignorant SOB. Thank goodness I will never run into him in real life.  Read what I wrote that he and others took offense to and reported me to the forum Adminstraor....yet again.  Crap like this went on for 6 years before I finally started with my own Cajun Fig Blog.......

That is why I say that it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to have any meaningful technical discussion on the fig forums when you have idiots like George (Gorgi on the forums) and his Fig Forum Mafia buddies. Those idiots reallly "believe" that since they have been long time fig forum members; that somehow, that means they have more fig KNOWLEDGE than other posters like me. Bullcrap.......those same SOB's are only good at posting pictures and repeating "information" that OTHERS have written about the figs that they grow.

There is a huge difference between having a large fig "collection" (or access to one) and acutally having real life acquired fig "knowledge". And as I said before, some of Tapla's long held "beliefs" need to be challenged by knowledgable people like me who are much better trained in the application of the sciences to every day life. Al (Tapla) lives in the "theoretical" world and some of his beliefs are in direct conflict with real life empirical data. Here in the followng link is a real good example of where Al's special "nutrient ratio" fig fertilizer THEORY flies right in the face with REALITY:

I am absolutely fed up with fig forum politics and the antics of Gorgi and his ilk. Those sick people are the reason why I started this new Fig Blog. Gorgi's Fig Forum Mafia can no longer silence me on this fig can bet your ass on that.

Yet those Mafia members still try to silence me.  Ain't that right Cecil (aka figluvah)!! How far did you get with your recent attempts (several times already) to silence me on this private Fig Blog? How about you there Brent (aka hossierbanna) with your deragatory cheap shots directed towards me.....the kind that used to work on the fig forums? All you fig Mafia SOB's will eventually learn that there is a big difference between a Blog and a Forum. Here, let me make it real easy for you fig ignorant forum mafia idiots to understand that big difference......

A fig Blog is for fig RESEARCHERS like me to express their viewpoint in "peace" where they cannot ever be harrassed by envious fig COLLECTORS like you guys.

........A Researcher's activities and writings are much different than that of a mere "Fig Collector". You guys are "collectors"..... stay the heck out of technical discussions on the fig forums that you know absolutely nothing about.  Let those type of technical discussions take place without y'all constant sniping and bikering.  Keep your big mouths shut as you add nothing to the discussion.  Let others more knowledgable than you speak freely and maybe you will learn something new. You guys are utterly clueless to the extent of what "you don't know."

7) In late summer cut back on any watering to your fig trees to discourage new tender growth and encourage tree lignification.......much more on preparing your fig trees for winter...later.

8) When trading fig cuttings or fig starts, make sure that the person who initiated the trading request ships their trade items FIRST. Don't fall victim to poor quality trading items or outright scams.


Semper Fi-cus

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

LSU Late Black......breaking news

am happy to report the following breaking news that you will not find anywhere else.......not even at LSU, or the fig forums, or at any Nursery in the United States!! 

Note: this post is specifically about the fig cultivar that is known locally as LSU Late Black.  It not about LSU Scott's Black, nor about LSU Black, nor about LSU St. Gabriel those are entirely different figs.  Anyone (and I do mean anyone) who claims these are the exact same fig does not know what they are talking about.  These black colored LSU figs have completely different growing and fruiting characteristics.

LSU Late Black is a very productive mid to late season black fig.  And when I say productive I mean just what I have written.  It produces a lot of figs. It is a large black fig with red pulp.  It has a taste/flavor that is very variable......from good to excellent.  Like most large figs it can handle only light rains.  Once an LSU Late Black fig begins to color, it is rather slow to fully ripen.  That slow ripening is not a good growing characteristic for a fig growing in my climate. FAST RIPENING figs  are much more preferable. You want a fast ripening fig in my area. IMO, LSU Late Balck would be at its best in the drier and hotter areas of the country.

Special Note..... a fig that is FAST ripening once it begins to color is what I am now trying to describe to you. And not about EARLY ripening in the growing season...... "fast ripe" and "early ripe" are two entirely different growing characteristics of a fig cultivar. IMO, this is a very important characteristic to consider when choosing which fig to grow in your yard.  Not much has been written about this fruiting variable (fast ripening). Not many people but me bother to study this variable. Likely because they do not understand its importance and benefits in some growing climates.

FYI, my rather large LSU Late Black fig tree was completely top killed this past winter because I left too many figs on the tree going into late fall last year.   That was done on purpose for research purposes. A new robust tree came up from the roots this spring.  Last week I ate two ripe figs from the new tree. So I can report that  LSU Late Black can produce a crop of figs from the new root growth following a complete winter top kill.

I will remove all unripe figs from that tree come October to keep it from getting top killed again this coming winter. Those figs that do not have time to ripen before winter arrives will drain too much energy reserves from the tree.  That is but one of the variables that makes a fig tree vulnerable to winter damage. Remember........too much energy drain can top kill a fig tree in my relatiavely warm Zone 9 winter climate......your trees are vulnerable too!!!  Pay attention to you do not want to lose out of figs form your top killed tree for a couple of years because you were just too lazy, ignorant, or stubborn to remove those figs that did not have time to ripen.  Not all fig trees will produce a crop of figs from the new growth that emerges from a top killed tree.

Lean this FACT..........Do not leave too many unripe figs on your fig tree going into winter. Remove them as soon as you know that they will not have time to ripen on your tree. This is done to lessen that energy drain. And remember this is VERY very important to remove all figlets from any new fig starts. DO NOT try to let them ripen as you will do damage to your new fig tree.  Again, you must resist the temptation to allow figs to try to ripen on your new fig starts!!

FYI, I written more  about this in greater detail in other posts on this fig Blog and elswhere on the Internet.  Read the following three linked items below and you will learn some FACTS about fig culture that you will not find anywhere else.   You definitely will not get this type of information from any Nursery in the United States.  None, zero, nada........

Below are pictures of some LSU Late Black figs that ripened in September on the new growth that came up from the roots.  I picked these as I passed by my tree while cutting grass. The picture was taken with my iphone.  That is a quarter next to those figs for a size perspective.  As stated above, my tree was completely top killed last winter and indeed LSU Late Black can produce a crop from the new growth that comes up from the roots.  These figs were very sweet and had a melon/canteloupe type flavor. Sometime they have more of a berry flavor.  The skin is not as pretty as usual as these figs ripened in full zone 9 sunlight.  Not pictured are three other LLB figs  which I could not resist eating right away.........

LSU Late Black figs 9/26/14

LSU Late Black figs 9/26/14

Semper Fi -cus


Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Persimmons are ripening in South La.

I got a chance to munch on a Fuyu persimmon while I was mowing the lawn today. Mmmmmmm good. I ate it skin and all as I would eat an apple. Fuyu is a non-astringent persimmon that can be eaten either hard or soft. They are good both ways. It was my second one of this season. Tananashis are also ripening in my yard. Those are astringent and can only be eaten when they become soft.  Saruga and Hachiya will be ripening next. My favorite of all is Sajo which will not ripen until another month or two.

Saijo persimmons are to die for good!!!!!  It is in a class all on its own.  Its interior turns into a "liquid" (not pulpy at all)  golden nectar which is a food of the gods.  Saijo is Japanese for "the very best."  And that my friends is what it is.....the very best. I purchased two more Saijo trees and will be planting them in in the next few weeks.

Get yourself one of those too if you want to taste a bit of heaven each fall.......

Mid to Late Season figs........

As I was cutting around my fig trees, I was able to eat the following mid to late season figs:  LSU Late Black, Strawberry, Unknown Green Greek, JH Adriatic, Smith, Giant Celeste, and LSU Improved Celeste. 

The Giant Celeste was very good.  Its flavor improves each year. There is no doubt its mother was a Celeste fig  The Smith came from my second and smaller tree. Its mother was top killed by a winter fire.  The best tasting was the Improved Celeste which came from my smaller tree. My larger orignal IC tree was top killed by a grass fire last winter.

Semper fi-cus