Updated: Friday, July 25 2014, 11:43 AM CDT
DAYSIDE GARDEN:  Figs story image
It's an ancient and historical fruit -- and it's time to plant them along the gulf coast.
Figs are the fruit of the day on this morning's Dayside Garden.

Kathryn Daniel/Reporter;
Usually we shoot our Dayside Garden outside in one of our gardens, but with the rain we have been run inside.  Not a bad day to be inside.
With us is Doctor David Mills from the Escambia County Extension Office.  

Dr. David Mills/Escambia County Master Gardener; "We are having a great day even though it is rainy outside. It's nice to have the opportunity to come into the studio."

Kathryn Daniel; "Yes, every now and then we get to do that, and you have brought us a present today."
Dr. David Mills; "Yes, actually this originated with a request from one of the staff here at the station, and it has to do with a fig.  Whenever I found out they made a request to plant a fig in the garden here, I jumped at the chance to plant a fig cause it is one of my favorite fruity plants.  It has been cultivated for more than seven thousand years.  So it's a very, very old plant, it came to America by the Spaniards in the 1500s, it's something that's very easy to grow here, a few of the varieties.

This is one we have here today, this particular one we are looking at is called a "Brown Turkey."  and it wonderful  we also have a close up here, and this comes from my house, from my tree at home and you can see it has fruit here, almost ripe.

In another day these are gonna be a bronze purpley color, ready to eat, as soon as I eat them before the birds get their opportunity."

Kathryn Daniel; "Right.   Where should you plant a fig tree in your yard?"
Dr. David Mills; "They need to be in full sunlight and you need to give them plenty of room.  This tree here will grow to about fifteen to twenty feet tall."

Kathryn Daniel; "Oh wow."
Dr. David Mills;  "With a fifteen foot spread.  It sometimes is a little frost tender and some of the limbs may die back, but rather than having a true tree,  it tends to be more of a bush.  But generally it's just gonna be loaded with figs.  Even with just minimal care, it tends to be a low maintenance plant on top of that."

Kathryn Daniel; "How long before the fig tree gets fruity for us?  How long before we get fig fruit from this tree?"

Dr. David Mills; "Generally it depends on the season.  And how the season is climatically.  And also the amount of fertilizer you put on it.  But generally about a two month span these trees will usually start fruiting in about four years of age, so you have something that is going to start producing relatively early in its life."

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