Fig Propagation – Growing A New Container Fig Tree From Cuttings

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Figs have an almost magical appeal to me. The only time I enjoyed them growing up, was during Christmas, when dried figs were available in the grocery store (where I lived, in northern Europe.) As a teenager I went on a trip to Greece with one of my friends. While exploring a secluded beach, we saw a beautiful tree high up on a cliff. We had no idea what kind of tree it was, but climbed up there to look at the tree. It took a good 30 min to climb up to the tree. We were well rewarded for our effort. As you probably guessed, it was a fig tree, full of ripe, delicious, juicy figs. That was the first time I tasted a fresh fig. My mouth starts to water just thinking about it today, 20 years later. We sat under the fig tree for several hours, until the heat of the day passed. We ate a lot of figs. My friend took his shirt of, using it as a bag, and packed it full of figs. Before the last rays of sun disappeared, we slowly climbed down with our treasure.  

I live in California now, and fig trees love our mediterranean climate. (The climate in our valley is actually very similar to the climate in Greece, where I first got a taste for this delicacy.) There’s so many different kinds of fig trees, and almost all of them like it here. My daughter loves figs as much as I do. We eat them fresh, when they are in season. They have a very short shelf life though, and we freeze most of the figs we can’t eat. We just freeze them as they are, separate, on a tray. When they are frozen solid, I put them in bags, or small boxes with lids. That way they are easy to thaw, one by one. The freezing process crystallizes the sugar in them, so without adding sugar, they become even sweeter, when they are frozen. I serve the figs halfway-thawed as desert, or a treat. It’s absolutely delicious. Many guests have asked how I make this wonderful desert I serve, and almost don’t believe when I say that it’s only one fig, nothing else added.  Sometimes I serve them with cheese and crackers, use them in baking, or make preserves of them. Figs are packed with nutrients, and they are considered to be a super food. They have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and cancer fighting properties. Figs have lots of fiber, and are rich in minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper, and are a good source of antioxidant, vitamins A, E and K. As if the delicious taste itself wasn’t enough. 

My fascination with figs, and fig trees, have led me into experimenting growing different varieties. I’ve planted figs the traditional way, in the ground, but I also grow them in containers. If you have a place big enough to plant a fig tree in the ground, by all means, go for it! A fig tree can grow up to around 30 ft, and bear fruit for a couple hundred years. It thrives best if it has plenty of space, and full sun. You could give a legacy to your grandkids, and their grand kids. If your space is limited, fig trees thrive in containers, and this big tree, is much easier to handle when trained to be in a container. Animals tend to love figs, and when you grow them in containers, it’s easier to protect them. No one want to give their whole harvest away. Growing figs in a container also allow people that don’t have much space to have a fig tree, or two. You could even have one at your balcony in the city. If you live where the weather isn’t very mediterranean like, you can move your fig trees indoors during winter, if you grow them in containers. 

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A two year old fig tree, grown from a cutting of a friend’s fig tree. This fig tree is planted in a smart pot (made out of fabric.) This was how I used to plant all my trees. This season I’ve started to plant my (bigger) fruit trees in self watering pots, as an effort to preserve water. The new cuttings will go into self watering pots, when they have roots. 

I believe that container gardening, is a growing movement, and I’m all in. For me it’s perfect. I don’t own the place I currently live at, but I still love to have fruit trees. When using containers it is easier to fight off pests, insects, and to efficiently feed your plant/tree the nutrients it needs. The trees in the experiment below are meant to be for container gardening.

You probably already know that I homeschool my daughter. The theme of our latest school project was; Trees. In this theme my daughter and I learned to identify local trees, learned about their place in the eco system, planted trees, propagated trees, and learned about what a tree needs to thrive. We tried three different ways of fig propagation, (growing a new tree from cuttings.) The methods are similar, but not exactly the same. I wanted to see what method is most efficient. If you have a fig tree you like, or maybe your neighbor, or your friend have one, you could try this yourself. They are all very simple methods.  Before starting I’d like to say that you can grow roots really fast by placing cuttings in a glass of water, but those roots are never as strong, as the roots you get from placing them in a medium like soil. I’ve already discovered that in previous experiments. If you want a strong, healthy tree, high quality soil is the way to go. 

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These are cuttings from a fig tree, that I simply put in a regular pot, filled with soil from my compost. I keep the cuttings in the shade outside, until they get leaves. When they get leaves, they have a root system, and they get to be in the sun. We have warm temperatures now, the night’s don’t get under 50 F, and the days have a high of 80-85. If it was colder I would start them inside, in a window with filtered light. The fig two year old  fig tree, in a smart pot (in the photo higher up,) was started this way.

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This is basically the same idea, but I covered it with a bag, to make a mini green house. I have tried this before, with good results.

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I have never tried the third method before. I stumbled upon this video on Youtube, and naturally I had to try! Watch the video, and tell me what you think.

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This is what the third method looks like, from a distance.

The purpose with this project is to see which method, of these three, that produces the strongest roots, in the shortest amount of time. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to see the results! We planted a total of 30 cuttings, to have a decent number of trees to compare. I will keep you posted about the progress.

What’s happening in your garden right now? Any fun plans for the weekend?

Love,

Ms Zen

The 3 Day Quote Challenge – Growing Strong Roots

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Laura Bruno Lilly, nominated me for The 3 Day Quote Challenge. Thank you for the nomination, I feel honored. This is day three in the challenge.

The rules for the challenge are:

– Thank the person who nominated you
– Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day.
I guess I kind of slightly bend, the 1 quote a day rule. I’ve never been good at following rules.)
– Share why this quote appeals to you so much
– Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day

Today I’m bringing you into our classroom. My daughter and I, have been working on a “Tree Theme” project, for a couple weeks. We learned to identify local trees, learned about their place in the eco system, planted trees, propagated trees, and learned about what a tree needs to thrive. Yesterday we finished the theme (for this time,) by painting a tree, showcasing some of the things we learned.

Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence. – Hal Borland

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Consider a tree for a moment. As beautiful as trees are to look at, we don’t see what goes on underground – as they grow roots. Trees must develop deep roots in order to grow strong and produce their beauty. But we don’t see the roots. We just see and enjoy the beauty. In much the same way, what goes on inside of us is like the roots of a tree.

– Joyce Meyer

I see my opportunity to be an active part of my daughter’s education as a great blessing. I take my responsibility very seriously. I have a background as a teacher, and I have a BA in Early Childhood Education, still I spent a lot of time thinking of different aspects of her education. It’s less routine, and more feel, when it’s your own child. I can build our school days around her interests, but I have to make sure I cover everything she needs to live a successful life. I think about this a lot.

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A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. – Marcus Garvey

I believe a good education needs to include all of this, which is without a limit, when you think about it. So much to consider. Time, a lot of time, with my daughter, is my best help in achieving this. The best opportunities to learn is seldom in the classroom, which I realized when I started to work as a teacher years ago.

A man doesn’t plant a tree for himself. He plants it for posterity. – Alexander Smith

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A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. – Saint Basil

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When you draw or paint a tree, you do not imitate the tree; you do not copy it exactly as it is, which would be mere photography. To be free to paint a tree or a flower or a sunset, you have to feel what it conveys to you: the significance, the meaning of it.

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

I believe a tree, and a child, have many things in common. They obviously have to grow strong roots. They have to be given room to grow, enough space to drink the rays of the sun. They also have to be watered, encouraged, and fed proper nutrients. I think both these processes, the tree growing, and the child growing, are beautiful, worth dedicating a lifetime to.

My next blog post is going to be about an experiment that my daughter and I did, as a part of our Tree Theme. To be continued about that…

 

My three nominees for this last part of the quote challenge is;

Cindy, the beauty she shares, has served as a source of inspiration, for a few years now.

Kathleen, a relatively new blogging friend, who’s interesting thoughts, and life,  captivates me.

Last, but not least, Terri. Her fascinating posts are school examples of a great blog post. Every single one of them. Her photography, and content, are so well balanced, fun, and interesting. I have a lot to learn from her.

I hope you’ll accept the challenge, because I would love to see what you come up with, and I’m sure I’m not alone 🙂

 

Love,

Ms Zen

 

The 3 Day Quote Challenge – Day 2

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Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. – Buddha

Laura Bruno Lilly, nominated me for The 3 Day Quote Challenge. Thank you for the nomination, I feel honored. This is day two in the challenge. I’m taking you straight from the adrenaline pumping action at the rodeo in yesterday’s post, to the peaceful setting of my own back yard. I have never been a party girl. Home, wherever that is, is always more appealing to me. The outdoor part more important, than then indoor. I like keeping both spaces simple, clean, and inviting in a minimalistic kind of way. I live by the rule, less is more, but LOVE to surround myself with beauty.

The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.

– Jon Kabat-Zinn

I can not take credit for these beautiful roses, since I recently moved, and I did not plant them. My little sister was the one who knew everything about flowers. That was her thing. Vegetables, and fruit was my thing. Unfortunately she’s a few thousand miles away, and can’t help me now. I’m just going to do my best to not kill the existing flowers in my garden (except the ones I had cut down..I guess..)

In the end, just three things matter: How well we have lived. How well we have loved. How well we have learned to let go. – Jack Kornfield

 

The rules for the challenge are:

– Thank the person who nominated you
– Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day.
I guess I kind of slightly bend, the 1 quote a day rule. I’ve never been good at following rules.)
– Share why this quote appeals to you so much
– Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day

 

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Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.

– Sylvia Boorstein

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In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility. – Victoria Moran

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When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you. – Lao Tzu

I like starting, and ending each day with my eyes closed, meditating for a brief moment about all the things I have to be grateful for. I encourage my 5 year old to do the same. It helps me to realize that I have everything I need, and to appreciate it more. I believe that being happy is a choice. My mother taught me that. Not that she ever told me those words, but she lived them (while the cancer slowly ate her alive.) It took me a while for that lesson to sink in.

 My three nominees for the quote challenge today is;

Andy, from City Jackdaw.

My friend Colline.

And Aya, from Weekend Campervanning.

Looking forward to seeing their entries!

 

 

Love,

Ms Zen