Row by Row Episode 31: How to Propagate Unique Fig Varieties

Propagating Fig Varieties

On this week’s episode, the guys talk about fig varieties and how to propagate new trees from existing ones. They talk about the different flavor profiles that can be present in a given fig variety. These can include berry, honey or sugar. Berry figs have more of a strawberry or fruity taste and tend to have a purple or red pulp. Honey figs have a caramel or molasses flavor and tend to have a golden pulp with yellow skin. Sugar figs have a basic, sweet sugary taste with a slight tannin flavor and will have a brown or amber pulp and dark skin. All fig varieties can be a combination of any of these categories, so the flavor scale is more of a continuum than a specific classification. Greg talks about open-eye versus close-eye figs and mentions how the close-eye trait is an adaptation that protects the figs from insects and makes the fruit more palatable. Travis mentions that figs are parthenocarpic, meaning they don’t require fertilization to produce fruit. The fig, in fact, is simply a collection of unfertilized female reproductive organs. Greg explains that many people buy fig cuttings and rot them by themselves which sounds a little intimidating at first. However, Greg gives a little demonstration on how to take the fig cuttings and rot them for the garden. They also discuss the research that has been done at Louisiana State University (LSU) where many improved fig varieties have been developed over the years and released to the public. Greg recommends starting out with those fig varieties.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, Greg has a satsuma orange that he got from a neighbor’s tree. He explains that these types of citrus can be grown well in the deep south as long as the winters are not too cold. Travis brought a beet to taste test on the show. The beet is the Merlin variety, which has a very high sugar content compared to other red beet varieties. He also has a Purple Vienna Kohlrabi variety that is cold-tolerant and it has a similar taste to turnips. Kohlrabi is a great vegetable that’s easy to grow and has excellent taste raw or cooked. We offer a Purple Vienna and a White Vienna Kohlrabi variety. They guys talk a little bit about adding fertilizer to there Mustard cover crops in the garden. The tool of the week is the diamond hoe. This is a great go-to tool that slides along the top of the soil surface to remove those small weeds in the garden.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment, the guys answer questions about drip irrigation and what type of hat Greg is wearing on the show. They explain the crops for which they prefer drip irrigation and those that they prefer to use overhead irrigation. Travis uses more drip irrigation than Greg, so it tends to be a matter of personal preference with some crops. Greg says it depends on the short-term or long-term crops and whether the crops warrant the drip tape or not. Short-term crops like summer squash Greg does not add drip tape on because he feels that they don’t necessarily need the drip tape. On the other hand, crops like tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, pumpkins, or corn he always puts drip tape on those long-term crops. Greg mentions that his hat is a Filson. It is a waxed canvas hat which can get hot in the warmer months but is the perfect hat for the winter months.

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