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Growing Fig Trees

Nothing can beat picking fresh figs, still warm from the sunshine from your very own garden, equally delicious when dried so they can be enjoyed even in the winter months. Fig Trees can easily be grown throughout the UK and do particularly well in pots.

When a fig tree gets going in the garden it will grow like topsy, often producing copious leafy growth a the expense of fruit. For this reason it's recommended that when planted in the soil, the roots are constricted. It used to be advised that a fig should be planted in a Gladstone bag! Today however you can easily pick up a root control bag from your local garden centre which does the job perfectly.

  • Start a small fig in a 30cm pot using a John Innes compost with good drainage at the base
  • Figs can be grown as small standard plants, training a stem up to 4ft
  • As shoots grow in spring, take out the growing tips to 4 leaves to create a bushy head
  • A potted fig will require a high potash feed from April to harvest of the fruit and regular watering to prevent fruit drop
  • If your fig is kept outside year round you can expect one crop a year but in a greenhouse this doubles and two crops can be expected
  • A good tip for potted figs is also to overwinter them somewhere cool and sheltered, even a dark garage will do as they will be dormant in the winter months
  • Outdoor figs ripen in late summer and are ready when the fruits droop down. They are said to be at perfection when there is a drop of nectar at the base of the fruit - this is known as 'The tear in the eye of the fig'

Roast figs with pomegranate molasses, cardamom and honey Recipe

This recipe is perfect when you have a glut of fruit or have some slightly disappointing supermarket fruit which never seem to ripen properly.

  • Cut ass half way down the top of 8 figs
  • Pinch them at the base to open them up and stand them nestled closely together on a roasting dish
  • Crush 6 cardamom pods and sprinkle the scented seeds over, rejecting the husks
  • Mix 4 tablespoons of pomegranate molases and four tablespoons of honey together with a squeeze of lemon juice
  • Mix well and pour evenly over the figs
  • Roast in a hot oven for 30 minutes until the fruit have collapsed into an unctuous fragrant mess
  • Serve with a dollop of Mascarpone in the centre of each fig, or some thick cream
Sunday 16th March, 2014