Show Off Your Figs and "This year Harvest"

Just be aware that Brooklyn White has a large eye and it can split in the rain. I have its clone, the Italian Yellow Westfield. It is a large melon or light berry type of fig. I still try to figure out the difference of those two.

For yellow fig, the top figs are YLN and Golden Rainbow/Golden Riverside. For white honey fig, it is White Marseilles or Lattarula/Italian Honey.

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Hey all… my only fig = my Chicago Hardy at this point.

I have been considering adding one more… and think that two would be plenty for us.

Love my CH Fig… but when I add another… i want it to be significantly different… taste wise…
and want a fig that has a tight eye (rain resistent) and since i am in z7a… it needs to be cold hardy … it will be grown in ground.

I am considering YLN, Smith, Olympian.

I have heard that Smith is a very good fig… but not sure if the taste is way different than CH and have heard that it is not so rain proof.

I think YLN and Olympian would taste significantly different… and think they both produce larger figs than CH… and I have heard that they may be somewhat rain resistent… and are quite cold hardy.

What say all you fig savvy folks… YLN, Olympian, Smith, something else ?

Thanks
TNHunter

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I believe smith would be risky for z7a, but Texas BA-1 is a very similar tasting variety that is plenty cold hardy in comparison.

Olympian certainly tastes worlds different than CH. I find it to have a melon/peach like taste. Def no worries there on cold hardiness or rain resistance!

Check out this list for some more inspiration. Check out the other tabs for flavor profiles.

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For another hardy, in ground fig that is very different, I would suggest one of the Adriatic figs - JH Adriatic, Battaglia Green, Strawberry Verte, etc. I would go for one of the earliest ripening ones, which I think would be JH Adriatic, but there may be another in that family that ripens earlier.

These are green figs (so birds, etc. are less likely to bother them) that ripen with deep red centers that many describe as having a bit of a strawberry jam taste. The Adriatic types are among my favorite of the hardier figs, I just wish they were an early season fig.

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Didn’t realize the adriatics are cold hardy!

I have a Harry’s Crete that’s a good deal earlier than my AJH. It’s easily my favorite fig and I couldn’t recommend it more. Tastes like ultra rich raspberry jam :yum:

EDIT: Probably could have waited one more day but still a spectacular Harry’s Crete:

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I can’t say exactly how cold hardy, but I know of a few people with them in the ground here (DC area) and haven’t seen any dieback, even though I’ve seen dieback on other varieties. This is for unprotected figs. At the community garden where I have a plot, there is one (unknown which variety) that I’ve watched for years and it has sailed through every winter when other figs had dieback. So definitely a good candidate for zone 7A/7B.

There may of course be variation among the different cultivars, but I would expect them to be similar, like Mt. Etna types are pretty similar in hardiness even though HC or Black Bethlehem might be slightly hardier.

Harry’s Crete sounds like a great one to add to my collection and looks yummy. I’ve also hear Pratt Street might be a bit earlier, but I don’t have that variety either.

Your list you linked to is a very impressive collection!

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Wish it was my collection! The collection is Ross’s. I’ve been trying to emulate it as best I can since we’re in similar zones, and have a good number of his “top figs” now. Will hopefully have some airlayers next year to share. Just up-potted everything to huge pots this year and letting everything grow out.

@ TNHunter

If you only add your 2nd fig, there are many many to choose. You need to decide what flavor profile you want.

YLN and Rober’s Rainbow/Riverside are top yellow figs. Do not know how hardy they are. I just do not think most fig are so different on hardiness. Mainly on the age of trees.

Smith is an excellent fig. Some growers put it in ground in zone 6. So you should be able to put in ground in zone 7.

To me, Olympian is a mixed bag. Most people consider it to be a sugar fig with brown color. It does not need a lot heat. People put it together with Teramo and Florea. Good, but not excellent.

The next group can be the “Adriatic” type. But most of those are late varieties. If you get one that is one week later than Hardy Chicago, then you get an early one. Most need probably 95 days to ripen. You’ll need to choose carefully. JHA is not early, but a rather late variety.

Another group is the honey group. The inside is like agave syrup. Taste is pure honey. Different from those sugar figs that have various flavors, mostly like caramel. The leading varieties are White Marseilles and Lattarula/Italian Honey. A lot people consider those two are the same. Ream WM is hard to find.

The next group, not the “last” group is the LDA type of figs. All of them are very hardy, good taste and probably considered mid season figs. They go by various names, like LDA, Niagara Black, Nordland, Nitro, etc. You could also include Dalmatie, Stella and some Paradiso. They all have finger leaves and fruits are red inside.

I would not go with those new and fancy figs that people hype so much on Youtube. A lot of them do not have good reputation after a couple of years.

‘Unk Prosciutto’ and ‘White Madeira #1’ are each an Adriatic type of fig tree that is earlier than ‘Adriatic JH’.

‘Unk Prosciutto’ is a little more cold hardy than ‘Adriatic JH’, and ‘Unk Prosciutto’ is even more cold hardy than 'White Madeira #1. ‘Adriatic JH’ is more cold hardy than ‘White Madeira #1’, and it’s more cold hardy than ‘Ronde De Bordeaux’

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I just do not know how we measure the “hardiness” of fig trees. I have 40+ trees in ground with the same kind of winter protection. Over the past winter, all the figs trees with the same age received the same degree of winter damages. Or I can’t tell among about 25 varieties in ground.

But older trees came out in much better shape than very young trees. I planted about 8 one gallon trees. Two did not make it over the winter due to cold and the fact that they were buried too deep. The other young trees have not done anything this year. I do not see difference across the varieties.

I think the cold hardiness of a 2-year vs 3-year tree of the same variety is much greater than the difference between Hardy Chicago and St. Martin which is reported to be the “most cold hardy” fig variety in the world…

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@Redsun and others… thanks for the recommendations on another fig for me.

I watch the youtuber millennial gardener quite often because he is in NC (just east of me)… but he is more on the coastal side than mountain side… His climate is similar to mine, and he gets a LOT of rain late summer and fall (which can be a problem here too)… luckily not so much this year, but in the past yes.

I have had my CH fig loaded with ripening fruit and get a 4 inch rain… and well you know what that does… He has that same issue… 4-5 inch rainfalls pretty regular when his figs are ripening.

He did a video recently on his top 5 figs for rain resistance… and reliable fruiting in his location.

1… Orig Celeste — he said his never split, even with 5 inch downpour.
2… Chicago Hardy (I have this one).
3… Olympian…

Now the first 3 he listed above he described them as very common, easy to get, less complex flavor, but very dependable, early, great performers, reliable croppers and cold hardy.

On the Olympian I have heard him describe the taste several times a Peaches/Honey… and he said in this video that he has no other fig that taste like it, it is unique in that flavor profile.
He said he gets 60-100 gram figs off it (nice size), reliable, large, great performer, cold hardy, less likely to split and sour (with rain) than most of his other figs.

4… Smith… now he said this one has a more complex taste, top tier fig, high end complex flavor, early and rain resistant (not the best on rain resistance, but not bad either). The fruit ripen fairly quick and if you can get a week with no thunderstorms you will get some very good top tier tasting figs… he described the flavor as Strawberry/Jam, syrup…
He also said that Smith is a Adriatic FIg… You all were mentioning some AF varieties earlier… and I was considering them… but you were also trying to find earlier varieties (and some are later)… but sounds like Smith is a AF variety, and per millennial gardener (In NC) it is somewhat early for him… so should be for me too.

Lastly he mentioned a new variety for him…

5… Colonl Whitmans Black Cross… as having a very tight eye. He showed pictures of the fig after a 5 inch rainfall… and the eye was very tight. He said this one was new and he was sort of still trying it out but he could not believe how tight eyed it remained after 5 inches of rain, no split, 60 g fig… and Top Tier Taste. I am not sure how Cold Hardy this variety might be… he was growing it in a container.

I will grow mine in ground… but cut them back for the winter and protect a couple feet of trunks.

Sounds like I may have to try an Olympian… even though it is not a Top Tier complex flavor fig… it does taste different than most others, and definitely different than my CH fig… (Peaches/Honey) Lots of other good qualities, dependable cropper. large fruit, quite rain resistant, very cold hardy.

And perhaps I need to add a Smith as well… to get one of those Adriatic Fig varieties… (Love Strawberry flavor).

I may have Too Many FIgs… but that is a pretty nice problem to have.

TNHunter

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I’ll pm you on some of those you mentioned. I can hook you up this winter.

Most people who have grown ‘Olympian’ like or love it, depending on the climate and on their preference.

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@ TNHunter

Well, everyone deserves to have his/her own opinion.

The original Celeste has been phased out. It is a good fig, but it is tired and somehow outdated. The i(I)mproved Celeste has taken over its place, in particularly in the cold North. The IC is much earlier, larger and some say better flavor. It has the same traits of Celeste parent. I have two unk Celeste trees and they are not producing. So I plan to take them out.

The Olympian is a decent fig, but not great. It does not require the heat, but the flavor profile is in the same group as Teramo and Florea etc. It has good breba though.

Smith is good. But it is sensitive to temperature change. Can be injured to late frost.

No opinion on CLBC. It is a new fig.

Definitely get on some of the Adriatic figs. Also the LDA group of figs.

Bill Lauris’ favorite Adriatic type (Off The Beaten Path fig nursery in PA) is Rockaway Green from Long Island (Adriatic group): a week or two earlier than other Adriatics, cold hardy, resists splitting. Here in 7B I’m not at all satisfied with late/splitter Battaglia Green or shy bearing (here) Adriatic JH. I also read good things about Michurinska Green.

I’ve heard different things about those “Adriatic” figs. I’m somehow confused since folks have different opinions on the same fig varieties. I grow about one dozen of the varieties. I’d like to try myself.

My unknown JHA starts to swell and this is after 92 days. So I should get some figs to sample. It came up from winter killed to ground. So I’m happy with it setting any figs.

It is tagged as JHA. But it does not produce any 3 lobed leaves. So I do not know if this is JHA. But definitely an “Adriatic” fig. Maybe the Lake Spur.

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@Redsun… perhaps the opinions vary so much because they are being grown in such different climates ? I expect that is part of it anyway… A fig that does great at my location may not do so well for you. My climate, yours, and hambone… are all quite different.

That is why I give some weight to the millennial gardener youtuber in NC…
His climate should be quite similar to mine… he may be a bit more hot and humid than me but similar.

You mentioned Olympian being good for breba crop… and I have never had breba figs with my CHF… probably because of how I cut most of the wood off when it goes dormant (to protect just a couple feet of stumps). One year I did have a breba fig appear very early… but it never developed… after about a month of no increase in size I just pulled it off.

So that might be another bonus for me with the Olympian fig variety… possible decent breba crop.

I just watched another youtube vid from MG where he talks about Olympian fig… and he said it was the most productive variety he has and he showed it on vid and it was loaded with figs. Some whoppers too.

image

He had a ripe Olympian fig on July 20… so he said it is most productive, large and early.
I have read that it can take temps down to zero, so is quite cold hardy too.
I think adding a Olympian possibly next spring will do me for now.

I will have to study those Adriatic figs more (@hambone I have a note on Rockaway Green from Long Island) in my try next time notes. If I add Olympian and after a year or two still want more, I will consider adding another.

I grow all kinds of berries… strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, loganberries, raspberries (red, black, gold)… so I get plenty of berry flavor thru the year.

I no longer grow peaches… so if Olympian gives me a little peach flavor… that will be nice.

Thanks all.

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@ TNHunter

You certainly watch YouTube a lot and you your own YouTube favorite. That is great.

There are many fig varieties suitable for your climate. Maybe about 200-300 that you can obtain without breaking your bank. The choice is pretty much endless. I’d like to trial on my own and I do not like to watch any of those YouTube videos. It is just me. It is always someone else’s opinion. Our taste is always subjective and can differ greatly.

For Olympian, definitely give it a try and compare with your HC. It can be easily obtained at cheap price.

Here is a “sucker” unknow fig that I carried for about 6 year. Never gave me a single fig. So I put it in ground two years ago. Now look at what it gave to me:

The plant was killed to ground over winter, but set heavy crop. Average fig is about 65 grams and it does not split in the rain.

You just need to plant a bunch of fig plants and choose the one you like. Form your own opinion other than listening to mine, his, hers or someone else’s.

Fig is always fun. There are so many varieties and it does not take very long to get fruits. Very few pests too.

There are only so many hours in one’s life. Using the knowledge of those that came before is one of life’s greatest gifts.

@TNHunter Olympian is a great fig. It has been extremely precocious for me with a very unique taste and I’m in pretty much the exact same zone/climate as you. I’d definitely put in a vote for it

Sure, life is short. How about we go out to plant some trees. Instead of watching all those “expert” videos?

There are so many experienced fig growers here.