Home grown figs are a delicious fruit to be able to pick in your garden and, even with the British climate, can be successfully grown and cultivated. If you’re considering growing a fig tree or two, then here’s a guide to getting started with growing figs in a greenhouse.
Where Can Fig Trees Be Grown?
Fig trees can be successfully grown in a heated greenhouse – either when directly planted into the soil or when grown in a container in a greenhouse. It’s worth bearing in mind that it can be quite expensive to heat a greenhouse for the sake of a fig tree, and there’s a lot of watering involved, so before you commit to growing a fig tree inside your greenhouse to take into consideration the pros and cons.
One good method of getting over these issues is to grow a fig tree in a container instead, as this can be then be moved outside in the warmer months and both you and your fig tree will get the best of both worlds.
The plants can grow to a considerable height – between 2m hight and 3.5m wide – and benefit from having something to grow up against, such as a wall, fence or canes going up the side of a greenhouse. In order to get the best from the plants, plant them 20cm away from the wall, so that they’ve got space to fan out and be trained up and along the wall.
Tips for Planting Fig Trees
Fig trees grow well in well-drained soil conditions, but also like chalky soil. They are best planted during the spring. One of the benefits of growing a fig in a container in a greenhouse is that you can restrict the growth of the roots, whilst also ensuring that you get more fruit.
For gardeners who grow figs entirely outside in the garden, they often plant the fig tree in a large pot, before lowering that down into a hole in the soil. By simply using a container, you get the best of both worlds, as the roots will automatically be restricted and you’ve got more of a chance of producing good fruit. A container is also a lot more flexible, as you can position it in a set place in your greenhouse for the majority of the time, but also move it outside, perhaps in a sheltered spot on a patio, in the height of the summer.
Caring For Fig Trees
Greenhouse grown fig trees will need the same amount of plant care that outdoor grown trees will need. All fig trees need plenty of water, so it’s good to get into a routine of watering them every day during the summer months, especially when it’s hot.
Like other home grown fruits and vegetables, feeding your plants with extra fertiliser during the growing period can aid in the production of fruit. In the case of figs, an all purpose tomato fertiliser is actually quite efficient. Try using it once every two to three weeks, but stop when the fruits shown signs of ripening.
Greenhouse grown fig trees, and especially those grown in containers, are better equipped to survive the winter, although they may well still need extra protection in extremely cold weather. You can provide extra care by insulating the fig trees – try wrapping them with fleece or even with bubble wrap whilst the cold weather persists.
To help your figs continue to thrive, year after year, remember to add some more well-rotted manure, compost or mulch to the pots. In the spring of each year, they may well benefit from being given one dose of an all-purpose granular feed.