Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Growing tropical fruits in Seattle without a proper greenhouse is a bit of a pain.  They tend to prefer much more acidic soil and high humidity.

However I've had a bit of success with a few of my plants.  I've made it to the next step of acclimating my 2 longan plants to our Seattle summer weather. They've been living in a very humid indoor greenhouse and it's put on about 6 inches of growth in a couple of months.

The keys to success have been:
Low PH Soil 5.5 or lower + High Humidity (60+) + Low PH water + Light and long days = Great growth.

I've been lowering my PH with Azalea fertilizer, Sulfur, and Coffee grinds. I initially used peat but it attracts way too many fungus gnats.

Try not to use tap water to water your plants with. It's a quick way to kill them.

In the colder months when you have to keep them inside, use a clear bin or plastic greenhouse to keep the humidity up. Buy a $9 humidity gauge. It's worth every penny.

I don't think I can expect fruits from these trees. It's more of a test to keep them alive here.

Silica Experiment on Figs. First Entry.

Silica Experiment on Figs

Will Silica help figs become more disease resistant and more hardy to winter frosts?

First of all Silica can be found in most soils. Silica Blast helps strengthen plant tissue allowing plants to flourish in adverse environmental conditions such as heat, drought and frost. Silica Blast is a beneficial nutrient supplement to be used in conjunction with Botanicare nutrients or your preferred standard nutrient program. Silica Blast is ideal of sue in container gardens or soil-less hydrogardening applications. Derived From: Sodium silicate, Potassium silicate. The silicate in Silica Blast encourages the formation of a silicate matrix which reduces transpiration and may allow plant so continue photosynthesis under increased temperatures by strengthening plant cell walls. Benefits: Helps plants flourish in extreme environments, Useful in multiple growing environments, Continued photosynthesis in hotter environments, Strengthens stems, Increased dry weight in most plant varieties, Stabilized pH in recirculating hydrogardens.


Now for most of us in the cooler regions of the US, they main concern is to protect the Breba wood in the winters months from dying.

My hypothesis is that Silica Blasts should aid in the strength of the Fig plant's ability to withstand the winter. Or atleast prepare the new growth achieved during the summer to better fight off the winter frosts.

So in theory, if the plant does better to fight off the cold, it should yield a better Breba crop.

The experiment:

I will take 2 Desert King fig cuttings and grow them in the same medium, pot size, and watering schedule. The difference will be one will be fed with Silica the other won't be.

Monday, June 29, 2015

My Updated Fig Collection



Black Madeira

Black mission

Brown Turkey x2

Celeste / Malta / Tennessee/ Violette

Chicago Hardy

Col De Dame Noir


Cordi Stella (Adriatic?)/Ventura

Desert King

Green Jolly Tiger


JH Adriatic

Kadota x 3

King DK?

Latarulla/italian honey/ marseilles

Peters honey Lg 

Longue D'Aout

LSU Gold

LSU Purple

Marseilles Black VS

Maltese Falcon


Mission Small

Negronne suckers

Negronne VBD

Oregon Prolific/Marseilles /Latarulla

Peters honey

Petite Negri/Black Jack/Black Spanish/Aubique

Red Lebanese

Ronde Bordeaux x4



Ventura Strawberry

Verns Brown Turkey


Viet's Figs x3 DK

Violet De Bordeaux/negronne

Tissue Culture

Olympian x2

LSU Purple

Black Mission


Panache x1

Peters Honey x1

Black Mission x3

Brunswick x3

Kadota x3

Desert King x1

LSU Improved Celeste/O'rourke x5

Alma x10

DK Franklin x9

DK Viets x15

Stella????  X3

Afgan Seeds

Marseilles Black VS x5

Want list



Danny's Delight

Granthams Royal / Dauphine

Kathleens black



Raspberry Latte

Sals Black

Sals corleone


Syrian Long

Vasilika Sika


Valle Negra

Black Bethlehem

Salem Dark




Galicia negra

Maltese beauty

Col De Dame Gris

Desert King - From an old local tree in Seattle

My brother and I received a generous amount of Desert King cuttings from a local tree in Seattle. The owner did not eat them sadly and said have at it.

This is a very large and prolific tree.The fruits were all very large and every branch had atleast 20+ figs on them.

We processed these branches into manageable cuttings and oh boy I did not expect to pot up this much. Over 90 new cuttings going into the bin to be rooted.

Does anyone want any figs. LOL.

Peter's Honey fig going in the ground.

This weekend I took the time to put my 3rd fig tree in the ground. Peter's Honey. So far I have the negronne and the desert king in ground as well. They have survived my winters here in Seattle, which makes them good candidates for growing in the ground.

I hate the soil they used in my yard it's full of rocks and oh so hard to dig into.  I had to reconstitute it with compost, 10-10-10, bone meal, micorrhizae, and home made compost.

Big Max Pumpkin Update 6/29/15

Today's update on my Big Max. He's reaching cantaloupe size and putting on weight hourly.

This is the same pumpkin 2 days ago.

Chandler Blueberries

Being the fruit nut that I am, I leave no stone uncovered in my quest to grow as many varieties as my time and space will allow me.

I found Bruce off of craigslist and so far I may have purchased 6 different fruit trees from him. He probably has the best prices in town and sells out of his Kent home.

I purchased some Chandler Blueberries from him and I'm glad I did. They have got to be one of the largest blueberries I've ever seen.

Bruce's Fruits

Friday, June 26, 2015



Last year I thought I bought some true Cassabanana seeds from Amazon. I was thinking wow this thing was doing amazing the vines were large and long. However to my dismay a cantaloupe developed from the vine. I was Bamboozled!

This year however I managed to get my hands on some good seeds and now I have 2 plants that look like they are going to do great.

They supposedly need a long season to fruit. I feel a bit late into the growing season with these but oh well let's see what happens.  Maybe I can get one of these monsters to grow like this.

Unfortunately our season is too short here and these guys did not make it.

Spondias June Plum Ambarella

The June Plum or AKA Ambarella AKA Spondias Dulcis. In Vietnamese these are called Chai Coc. They are primarily enjoyed green and tart dipped in some salt and red pepper mix. Just thinking about it makes me do the sour face pucker.

WIKI on June Plum

However since these are a prized fruit amongst many of my family members, I bought this little plant on Ebay in mid March to see if I could grow it. They generally grow pretty fast and fruit within a year so things looked promising.

However, it was on the brink of death when it arrived all the way from Puerto Rico.

Three months later It's now looking great. I nursed it in a little green house in the house to keep the humidity high. I also watered mainly with acidic water about 5.5ph. It has sprung back to life.
Now that it's mid June and in the 80s It's only fitting that I'm acclimating the June Plum to go outdoors.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

How I root fig cuttings with 80% success

This is a diagram of how I root my fig cuttings. So far this year I've had 80% success or more with this method.

Step by step:

 Week 1
1. Once you receive your cuttings wash and scrub them lightly with a bit of anti bacterial soap to kill off any mold spores (I'm not a fan of thin tip cuttings. I find that they do not have enough "meat" to sustain new root growth and will dry faster. Try to get get finger size cuttings from brown wood)
2. If they are too long cut them down to about 6 inches right above a node. Cutting it above the node helps to reduce amount of bare twig that sticks out when the new branches develop. It's more of an aesthetic thing.
3. Root in clear cups so you can see the roots form
4. Use the diagram above for soil requirements
5. Water it with dechlorinated water (I have watered straight from the tap as well and have not seen much difference) Let it drain completely before placing them into the humidity bin, too much water will cause root rot. If the cup is still dripping when you pick it up it's not completely drained. You can use a spray bottle as well on the soil medium. Spray until it is moist not wet. Try to avoid over drenching your cups.
6. Once drained, place the cuttings in a bin or plastic bag to keep in the humidity. Do not water again until they form leaves and the soil dries out

Week 2
7. Once the root and leaves form open the bin slightly to allow for air circulation and hardening off. Do this for about 2 weeks. ( I stick a little PC fan in the bin to help keep the airflow)

Week 4
8. After a couple of weeks the leaves will appear stronger and more vigorous.  The slightly open bin should have acclimated it to a less humid environment.  You may see some dried or moldy leaves. These will fall off and new ones will take it's place so do not fret.
9. Take them out and place a bag loosely over it and place by a light source. It could be a window or greenhouse. Do not place the new tender plant in full sun... yet
10. Remove the bag once the leaves have hardened, this should take about 1 week
12. Keep the plants in their cup and water only when the cup dries up. You can usually tell by how light the cup feels or use a moisture meter to see if they need to be watered. The leaves are also a good indicator.

Week 5
12. Let the new plant develop some strong roots for another couple of weeks before up potting them to a 1 gallon pot.
13. Once they are in the 1 gallon I take them outside to a shaded area that only gets morning sun for a couple of hours. There they will sit for 1 -2 weeks to acclimate to the elements. If you put them in direct sunlight right away the leaves will burn and they may not recover.

Check out those crazy roots

Because not all cuttings root at the same time. One you can see leaves and the root structure take out the individual cup and loosely place a bag over the leaves for a few days until they harden off.

Feel free to let me know how you propagate your figs.

If you love figs as much as I do don't forget to join my fig addiction group
Fig Addiction

I've since created the LASAGNA METHOD which works even better.

Rolling River Nursery Fig Order


Rolling River Nursery | info@rollingrivernursery.com

PO Box 332
Orleans, CA 95556

Today I received my Fig order from Rolling River Nursery. I purchased a 5 figs from them.

+ a reasonable $32.50 for all 5 plants. I figured this is a steal compared to the prices Ebay figs have been going.

They arrived well packed in a single long box. Individually labelled and much taller than I had expected. I'm very pleased with the order. The trees themselves are about 3 ft tall!

OOh baby the strawberry Verte Already has figs on it.

These will sit in a shady spot for a week before I set them in full sun. Being in box for a few days stresses out the plants a lot. Full sun will simply scorch the leaves.  On top of that we have 90 degree weather on the weekend. They'll need all the nursing they can get.

Here they are up potted and in their new homes.

Nurseries that sells figs

I have been going a bit fig crazy. Ebay is a great source but the price can be somewhat elastic and sometimes nuts. Nurseries are a great source for figs that have a reasonable price. I've looked up dozens of nurseries and what varieties they carry. Let me share what I've learned below in no particular order.

Northwest Nurseries:
Burnt Ridge- (Great nursery in WA, they also sell at the Olympia farmers market. I purchased some figs from them and highly recommended. Most of the plants were about 3ft tall)
432 Burnt Ridge Rd.
Onalaska, WA 98570

Atreano, Cordi Stella, Desert King, Hardy Chicago, Italian Honey (Latarulla), Olympian, Violetta,  Violette De Bordeaux

Raintree (Great source for NW figs and other fruits. Good amount of tested PNW figs. I would buy from them again)
Raintree Nursery
391 Butts Road
Morton, Washington

Black mission, BT, Conadria, Dan Favorite, Dauphine,  Desert King, Excel, Flander's, Hardy Chicago, Lattarula, Mary lane, Nordland, Olympian, Osborne Prolific, Panache, Peter's Honey, Petite Negri, Tashkent, TX Blue, Violette de Bordeaux, Desert King

Calendula (Call first family nursery)
5111 36th Ave E,
Tacoma, WA 98443

Stella, Peter's Honey, Lattarula, Negronne, Desert King, Vern's BT

One Green World
6469 SE 134th Ave
Portland, OR 97236

Atreano, Black Spanish, Desert King, Lattarula,  Negronne, Peter's Honey, Stella, Vern's BT

Portland Nursery (Multiple sites. I visited one of their stores and was impressed with the selection of plants.)
Portland, OR

Atreano, Black Spanish, BT, Lattarula, Negronne, Oregon Prolific, Peter's honey, Stella, TX Ever bearing, Verns BT, King

Northwest Harvest (Operated out of someone's home)
10470 NE 6th Dr,
Portland, OR 97211

Atreano, Black Spanish, Chicago Hardy, Conadria, Desert King, Lattarula, LSU Purple, Magnolia,  Negronne, Peter's HOney, Petite Negra, Stella, Vern's BT, Black Jack, Black Mission, Celestrial, Italian Everbearing,  Osborne Prolific, TX everbearing, Ischia, Olympian, White Kadota, BT

Sky Nursery (I've visited this place a few times, no online list of plants, best to wait for the 30% off sale that happens often.)
18528 Aurora Avenue North
Shoreline, WA 98133

From what I remember. Chicago hardy, Desert King, Petite Negri, BT, Violette De Bordeaux, 

Mclendons (They have a couple varieties and only in small qtys. If you like  BT or Desert King that's about it)
Locations throughout WA

The Grange (This is a co-op and is hit or miss but great quality for a good price)

Lattarula, DK, BT, Peter's honey

Kent Hill Nursery (great nursery with a good selection of fruit plants, only a handful of figs)
116th Ave and 240th St
Kent, WA

Atreano, Peter's honey, Desert King Stella, BT

13625 NE 175th St,
Woodinville, WA 98072

Not a lot of selection and sells fast. Desert King, Olympian, Violette De Bordeaux

Flower world Been here many times. It's a huge nursery. Lots of everything and only a handful of figs
9322 196th St SE,
Snohomish, WA 98296

Black Spanish, Desert King, BT, Peter's Honey

Furney's They only get figs in around March. The plants are large but somewhat pricey. Upwards of $50+
21215 International Blvd,
Des Moines, WA 98198

Panache, Desert King, BT, Black mission

Reputable Online Nurseries: 

Rolling River (I made a purchase the other week I have a review on this blog. I'm very pleased with the purchase the trees are very tall and established)
Orleans, CA

Alma, Atreano, Barnissotte, Nero,  Beall, Black Jack, Black mission, Black Spanish, BT, BT South, Bursa Siyahi, Calimyrna, Celeste, Chicago Hardy, Conadria, Dauphine, Deanna, Desert King,  Emalyn's purple, Excel, flanders, Hollier, Ischia White, Kadota, Latturula, LSU Gold, LSU Purple, Marrabout, Monstrueuse, Nazarti, Negronne, Normon's Yellow, Osborne Prolific, Panache, Peter's Honey, Snowden, Tena, TX Everbearing, Ventura Strawberry, Vern's BT, White Genoa

Just Fruits and Exotics - (Prices are a bit high)
30 Saint Frances St.
Crawfordville, Florida 32327

Alma, Beall, Black Jack, Black madeira, BT, Celeste, Champagne, Conadria, Flanders, Green ischia, Hardy Chicago, Hollier, Hunt, Mary Lane, LSU Gold, LSU Improved Celeste, LSU Purple, SLU Scotts Black, Miss Hall, Nero, ORourke, Panache, Smith, St Peter;s Tena, White Tx Everbearing

Almost Eden  (Great prices and great selection)
Almost Eden
1240 Smith Rd
Merryville LA 70653

 Alma, Calvert, Atreano, Banana, Beall, Bisirri, Black mission, Brooklyn White, Brooklyn Dark, BT, Capelas, Celeste, Champagne, Conadria, Creech Family Sugar fig, Cucumber, Danny's delite, Delcon, Dr. Monticeillos, Deanna, Excel, G and A Violette, Gillette, Hollier, Ischia Black, Jack qtr pounder, Jurupa, Kadota, Kathleen Black, LSU Gold, LSU Pruple, LSU Gold, Lyndhurst White, Magnolia, Marylane Seedless, Mega Celeste, Negronne, Nero, New Dan, Osborne Prolific, O'Rourke, Pan Tiger, Peter's Honey, Purple Passion, Red Italian, Salem Dark, Salem White, Sal's Fig, Smith, Stanford Fig, Stella Cordi, Strawberry Verdonne, Syrian Long, Yellow Magnolia.

Edible Landscape I've purchased my Che fruit and jujube from them. They were very healthy looking plants
361 Spirit Ridge Lane
Afton, VA 22920

Hardy Chicago, Celeste, BT, LSU Purple,  Conadria, Violet De Bordeaux, Petite Negri, TX BA-1, Latarulla, Verte (Green Ischia), Black Mission, Kodata, Panache, Marseilles, O-Rourke

Hidden Springs They only ship from Nov to April.
170 Hidden Springs Lane
Cookeville, TN 38501

Celeste, LSU Gold, LSU Purple, Chicago Hardy, Magnolia

Encanto Farms (runs figs4fun)
San Diego, CA

Too many to list. Here's the link. Encanto Figs

 721 American Legion Hwy. 
Roslindale, MA 02131 

Paradiso or Genova, Whiter triana, Votata, San Peitro, Tarantella, BT, LA GOCCIA D'ORO, black triana, Black Mission, Petite Negra, Italian Honey

Figrific Another great micro nursery with rare fig varieties, sells mainly on  ebay. The actual site seems to be under construction
North Carolina

Atreano, Black Madeira, Galicia Negra, Genovese Nero, Jolly Tiger, Maltese, Martinenca Rimada, Mary Lane Seedless, Red labanese, Souadi, Sals Corleone, Zingarella, Ronde De Bordeaux, Marseilles VS black, Black Greek , Col De Dame, Violette De Bordeaux, Markopoulou, LSU Purple, Sals Gene

Bay Flora
 1563 Solano Avenue, 
#428, Berkeley, CA 9470

Janice seedless Kadota, Panache, Lattarulla, White Genoa, Negronne, Peter's Honey, Black Jack

Three Fold Farm ($100 minimum order for shipping, no limit on pickup orders. Sorry, no shipping to AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, or WA)

Adriatic JH Fig, Atreano Fig, Black Madeira Fig, Bryant Dark Fig, Dark Portuguese Fig, Col de Dame Gris Fig, Col de Dame Noir Fig, Latarolla Fig, Florea, LSU Gold Fig, Kathleen's Black Fig, LSU Tiger Fig, Keddie Fig, Longue D'Aout Fig, Lyndhurst White Fig, Macool Fig, Malta Black Fig, Maltese Falcon Fig, Marseilles Black VS Fig, Neri 1 Fig, Nero 600m Fig, Niagara Black Fig, O'Rourke Fig, Panache Fig, Takoma Violet Fig, Large Negronne Fig, Petite Negri Fig, Ronde de Bordeaux Fig, Sal's Corleone Fig, Smith Fig, Tim Light and Vista  

Figs Galore - Backyard grower

Charlotte, NC

Alma, Black Italian, Celeste, Dark Portuguese, LSU Black, Lyndhurst White, Marseilles, White, Mary Lane, Osborne Prolific, Petite, Negra, Purple Passion, Red Italian, Salem Dark, Southern BT, Strawberry, Syrian Long, Violet De Bordeaux, White TX Everbearing, Wuhan

Trees of Joy Has a great selection of rare figs. Also sells on Ebay
Bethlehem, PA

Varieties Link

Willis Been around for 22yrs

 200 McCormick Road
Cartersville, GA. 30120

Black jack, Black Mission, Italian Everbearing, Conadria, Desert King, Peter's Honey, White Kadota, Brown Turkey, Celestrial Fig, TX Everbearing,

Trees of Antiquity  Heirloom fruit trees
20 Wellsona Road
Paso Robles, CA 93446

Black Jack, Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Conadria, Flanders, Genoa,  Osborne Prolific, Peter's Honey, TX everbearing, Verte, Violette De Bordeaux, White Kadota

Petals from the past  Focuses on growing old world plants
 16034 County Road 29
Jemison, Alabama

 Celeste, Green Ischia, Lemon fig, LSU Black, LSU Purple, O'Rourke, White Marseilles

French Fig Farm - Family grower, Specializes in french figs
Battaglia, Calliopes Red Greek, Col De Dame Blanc, Col De Dame Blanca-Negra, Dalmatie, Doree, Blanquette, Frank's Salermo, Dauphine, Italian 258, Longue d'Aout, Madeline De Saisons, Negronne, Pastilliere, Sucrete, Ronde De Bordeaux, Volette De Bordeaux, Violette De Sollies

Ebay Sellers:

Driveway Farmer

This list is by far not complete and will continue to grow. Feel free to comment on nurseries that you know of.

The varieties and stock may change yearly so be sure to visit the sellers website for the latest.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Red Plumeria

Today I received my red Plumeria cutting from Ebay. These are native plants to the Central America, Mexico, Brazil and certain tropics.

The perfume on these flowers are said to smell amazing. They should do well with pot culture but should be brought indoors in the winter. I can't wait to root this.

They are suppose to have flowers that look like these.

Seed Grown Pomagranate

As a child every time I ate a fruit with seeds I planted it in the ground or some dirt. I especially enjoyed the tropical varieties as well as the kind that do not grow well here in Seattle.

I guess I'm still that same little kid from many years ago. I planted some pomegranate seeds last yr and this is how they look today.

They CAN survive our Seattle winters so do not be afraid to put one in the ground.

I have about 6 of these plants around the yard.

Update on Figs in Air pruning pots

I'm not sure if the air pruning pots are making much of a difference on the figs. They seem to be growing at the same rate as the others in regular pots.

Let's see if it will outgrow the control plant on the right which is actually larger at the moment.

Here's how they looked 3 weeks ago. Only time will tell. Let's check in on these in July.

Air pruning pots #1.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015



Last year 2014 I planted a bunch of mexican Papaya seeds and subsequently ended up with a bunch of Papaya seedlings. These guys are relatively easy to grow. It just takes about 1-2 months to germinate. So be patient. Mexican papayas tend to be larger plants but mine have been in pots all their life and they have stalled a bit.

They seem to do better in morning and  afternoon sun then partial shade in the afternoon heat here in Seattle.

I overwintered just 2 plants indoors and they are still thriving and doing well. Who says you can't grow tropicals in Seattle?

Here they are at 2 yrs old. They are about 3ft tall

Smith and JH Adriatic Fig

Today I met a great new friend. Someone who appreciates figs as much as I do. My new friend David was nice enough to part away with his 2 yr Smith and JH Adriatic Fig plants to me. These plants look amazing. Very healthy and already pushing out main crop figs.

I'm glad i met David. He's been growing figs for years and seems to have such a genuine passion for them. He's definitely a person I can sit down and chat with for hours. There's so much more to learn.

I love the looks of fig leaves. You can spot them from a mile away. Makes fig hunting relatively easy.

I'm so excited to taste these new figs.

here they are sitting in their new home. I'll probably up pot the Smith this weekend.

Update: Negronne air layer

My Negronne is pushing out a ton of side shoots since I started the air layering on it. It was what I intended  to do, so that's a good thing. It was growing too tall and bent. I prefer a bush form in my figs.

Still do not see any new roots yet so It's just a wait and see situation.

Update 8/24/15

It took 4 months but the roots finally grew big and strong on the air layer.

I decided to cutoff my air layer today. I threw the top into a 2 gallon and snipped off the larger leaves so that it would have an easier time adjusting to living off if its own roots.

Here's the base still in the ground. This used to be a twig with no leaves. Now it's lush with branching.

Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

Illinois Everbearing Mulberry.

I was at Sky Nursery and they had these guys on sale for 50% off. So I bought one for me and another for my brother (who is also an avid Gardener and chicken guy).

Prior to this I've never tasted a mulberry. I was thinking it should taste like a blackberry, but boy was I surprised when it reminded me of melons and cherries. I lacks the acidity but has plenty of sugar. Man was it good! I want more.

Blake, my son, perfectly timed his drum hit while I snapped this photo.

I was snapping a photo of the fruit while holding my 21 month old son. He timed it perfectly and got his drum stick in the shot as I snapped this.

Fig Hunting in Seattle

I had spotted this giant fig tree in Seattle a couple years back. I'm sorry I didn't snap a photo of it because it was just huge! I spoke to the owner and she said that it has been around for at least 40yrs. She mentioned I was free to take cuttings but at the time I wasn't interested in figs. Last week I happened to drive by the tree again and it was just loaded with figs. So regressing on my prior invitation I snapped off single branch off the tree.

The figs, although not ripe were ginormous! What a prolific tree. Definitely worth a cutting to grow in my own yard. The variety is most likely a desert king.

I hated to waste such delicious fruit but the tree probably was loaded with hundreds of pounds on it.