The Tree of the Month for this month is the Fig Tree. With its juicy fruits harvested in late summer and enjoyed either fresh or dried in equal measures, fig trees would make a lovely present for any gardening lover or fruit fanatic.
History of the Fig Tree: the fig genus is so large, that there are in fact over 800 species all throughout the world. Our particular favourite the brown turkey fig tree, was first cultivated in Britain as far back as the early 16th Century, although the fig tree is a plant actually native to the Mediterranean region.
Use of Fig Trees in medicine: The Fig Tree is a bit of an allrounder in terms of its medicinal uses and quite useful if the truth be told. Remedies made from the leaves can help lower cholesterol levels and the fruit makes an excellent natural laxative!!!!
Growing tips for Fig Trees: A fig Tree will do best if placed in full sun, but it will benefit from a bit of shelter too; a nice sunny patch against a garden wall for example would be an excellent place to plant your new fig tree.
The best soil for fig trees would have plenty of organic matter and be around ph 6.0 to 6.5, and have plenty of moisture.
To watch out for: A spell of winter sun could make your tree come into season early, watch out for frosts creeping in and spoiling the coming season’s crop. Cover your tree with a bed sheet or plastic sheeting to protect your plant from the frost.
Something you didn’t know about fig trees: The edible part of the fig, you know the part we call the ‘fruit’, is in fact not a fruit! It is what’s called a synconium. A synconium is a cluster of hundreds of flowers with tiny sections of fruit with a seed in the centre – so sort of like a fruit anyway haha!