I need help deciding which figs are best for in ground selection. I have an area prepped for 3-4 figs trees. I will list the varieties I have selected, so to those who have these in similar areas, which give you the best in production and reliability. I haven’t tasted all of these yet, but I haven’t tasted a fig I don’t like. I thought It be cool to do an LSU row, but
Lattarula Italian Honey
Ronde De Bordeaux
Yellow long neck
Here in 7B North Carolina, I would recommend LSU Tiger, Malta Black and Strawberry Verte/Green Ischia (these two are very close if not identical) for growing in the ground. The first two are both some of my best producers and most reliable fig trees. I also grow Adriatic JH in the ground which is similar if not indistinguishable from Strawberry Verte/Green Ischia. It is later than LSU Tiger and Malta Black, but I still get a lot of figs off my in-ground tree, and it usually ripens good late figs even when the weather isn’t ideal (starting to get colder and wetter by Oct).
I’m in Georgia, 7b, with Improved Celeste, LSU gold, Brown Turkey, Italian Honey, and something sold to me as Chicago Hardy but I’m almost certain it’s something else. By far the most reliable is Improved Celeste. It rarely suffers any freeze damage and always sets a good crop. LSU gold has bigger fruit that look very different from Improved Celeste but tastes similar. It has not been as cold hardy (probably not an issue for you) and the crops have not been as big, but the color doesn’t attract birds like the darker figs do. Italian Honey is on the list to be moved or perhaps removed. Grows very slowly, been in the ground for several years, never sets a crop.
Peter’s honey is not good in 7b southeast, it does poorly here, I’d imagine that it would not be much if any better where you are. I have not tried growing any of the other ones you have mentioned myself.
LSU Tiger is my favorite LSU fig. The taste is sweet and fruity. They aren’t as rich as darker figs. Here are a few of the dozen or so I picked this morning after getting almost an inch of rain yesterday. These aren’t the largest - I’ve had several that were significantly larger. My wife and children aren’t big fans of figs, but they all like LSU Tiger. Unfortunately so do the birds and a woodchuck who has taken up residence nearby. So far the wildlife has left us plenty. I find if I leave them on the tree until they are very ripe, then they often get ants inside of them and they spoil.
My greatest problem is that every single year since I planted it in the ground during Spring 2015 it’s had serious die back, it almost completely died last winter, I thought it was dead, and it’s growing back very slowly, growing back even slower than normal, the tree rots after being hit by cold, I am guessing with the late frost, I suppose it could be the winter cold it’s self, yet I doubt that because even after the mildest winters I find serious die back. After being in the ground for 7 winters it should have gained some cold hardiness at least, for a short time it appeared to be gaining a tiny increase in cold hardiness, yet that was short lived and it appears that it might be more cold sensitive than it originally was.
Since it never grew as well as the other fig cultivars it does not produce much figs, and since it’s figs are way more of an insect and bird magnet than all the rest of our other fig trees, we get very few figs from it.