Friday, June 30, 2017

I love these Self Watering Pots!

Ever since I've started using the Target Misco self watering pots. I've been smitten about the how well they work! Check out these Tauro figs. They were rooted at the same time but look at the growth difference.  The results speak for themselves.

Stocking up

The future fig orchard

This is the site of my future figs orchard. For 2017, I plan on testing some more in the ground.

1. Lattarula
2. Gene's Vashon
3. Gillette
4. Olympian
5. Excel
6. Marseilles
7. Brandon Unknown
8. Grantham's Royal
9. ORourke
10. Dalmatie
11. King Fig
12. Osborne Prolific
13. Gino's Black
14. Battaglia Green
15. Improved Celeste
16. Vasilika Sika
17 Mt Etna Unknown
18. Improved Celeste
19. Florea
20. Conadria
21. JH Adriatic
22. Atreano
23. LSU Gold
24. Stella
25. Jurupa

Blog Photos have been hijacked!

Sorry Folks looks like wants to hold my Photos ransom unless I upgrade to their highest plan of $40 a month or $480/yr. Seem's like a bit of a racket to me!

I do not make any money sharing this info to everyone so paying $480 a year is an exorbitant cost to me.

Please give me time to migrate my photos to another host. I'm quite angry about the whole situation! I'll never use photobucket again! The site is slow and there's nothing but pop up ads which slows down your internet.

Again my apologies for the lack of photos.

Ben B.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Panache Fig Chimera Leaf

The Panache fig and I have a love hate relationship. I love how beautiful it looks but I hate the fact that it won't ripen properly here in Seattle.

Then I go and find a Chimera branch on the tree and I love it again. I'll air layer this guy and see if I can keep the sport as another tree. It's kinda cute if you ask me.

Che Fruit 2017

So I bought a male and female Che fruit from Hidden Springs Nursery. Previous to that my "Self Fertile" variety from Edible Landscape has been dropping fruit 2yrs straight.

I figured I'll take the seeds if it means I can get to eat a fertile fruit. There are reports that the self fertile variety can drop fruit for 8yrs. I don' think I have the patience for that.

Well the tree is loaded this yr! Let's hope they hang on.

The fruit is starting to change color so my optimism is high that we could get some ripe fruit this year woohoo!

The fruit is turning yellow.

BB10 Fig

So much hype behind these BB10 figs from Dan. I buckled and bought some very expensive cuttings. It's acclimating in it's 1 gallon. Definitely time to fertilize this guy. You can tell by the leaves that it's a little hungry for some nitrogen.

Pakistani Mulberry Update

The 2nd yr in ground Pakistani Mulberry is absolutely loaded this yr! Can't wait to start picking some ripe fruit.

Update 6/27/17:

They are ripe! Just picked these yesterday. It's like if you squeezed rainier cherries and watermelon juice over pure sugar. That's kinda what it tastes like.

Brandon St. Unknown Fig

I've sent some of the Brandon St. Unknown figs cuttings to a handful of fig growers and there are reports that it is the earliest ripening breba in their collection. Which is probably why it can ripen 2 crops here in Seattle.

"I've never had a fig (breba) this early in Lancaster...ever. It was raining today and had been a pretty mild spring. The variety was binbin's "Unk Brandon". Binbin has some really BA unknown varieties. Anyway, despite the rain, the fig was really sweet, slight crunch and absolutely delicious. It didn't split, and the flavor was not diluted ( although it was my first one ever, so I don't know if the flavor would be even more concentrated under better conditions). My daughter thought it tasted like a ripe strawberry, and I'm inclined to agree. Prior to today, the first brebas I've had were desert king (June 28) and rockaway green (June 30). "

Bill from

My guess is that this fig is from the Celeste family. What makes it stand out is that it holds it's Brebas and ripens an early Breba and Main crop.

Which is unlike the other celestes that I have here.

Shiro Plum Cross Pollination

Shiro plums are delicious. They are self pollinating but I've noticed that for 2yrs in row the production for this tree has been abysmal. I do have an italian plum tree but it's across the entire yard and not an compatible pollinator for the Shiro. I may have to pick up another variety to help it with the cross pollination and increase the yield. Most likely the Methley Plum.

For cross-pollination, trees must bloom at the same time or have overlapping bloom periods. "Redheart," "Early Golden," "Ozark Premier" and "Methley" cultivars pollinate Shiro plum trees. "Methley" is a low-chill-requirement plum tree with hardy blossoms, making it compatible with Shiro plum in mild-winter locations. "Starking Delicious" is a registered cultivar that shares the same bloom period and cultural requirements as Shiro plum, making this tree a suitable pollinator for Shiro plum. Because these plum trees are all cultivars of the Japanese plum, Prunus salicina, according to the definition of Lerner and Hirst, Shiro plum is self-fruitful. In this case "self" refers to the species, not the particular cultivar. Although a single tree may set a small crop of fruit, heavier crops result from pollination by another cultivar.

Update 6/29/17

I picked up a Satsuma to pollinate my shiro and a green gage plum to pollinate my italian. I also picked up a Lapins Cherry to pollinate my Bing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Super Easy Method to Air Layering your Figs

I've seen and tried a few different air layering techniques. Well this is the simplest and quickest way that I've seen on how to do it.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2017 has been a cool season so far

2017 has proven to be one of the coolest and wet seasons so far. The figs are not loving it. Most of the Brebas have dropped and the main crop is far behind. We might have touched into the 80's for about 1 or 2 days but most of the time we're struggling to hit 70.

This is the sight that I'm getting used to. It's great for the grass but terrible for fruit production.

Because of the wet season, no amount of copper spray was able to save my stone fruit from the dreaded leaf curl disease. My brother's and sister's tree looks just as bad. There's not a single fruit in sight, it's enough to make me want to rip it out.

Black Madeira from KK - Air layer

The Air layer on my KK Black Madeira is starting to root. Which is another great attribute to this strain. I have several strains of BMs and some are super slow growers and very difficult rooters.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Rooting figs in agar. Let's get Nerdy and grow figs via Tissue Culture

Tissue culture plants isn't a new thing but it's relatively new to Figs. I've purchased a few varieties grown in this method and they tend to grow very bushy with lots of suckers. I wanted to try this for rare figs since it would make sense to put so much effort into growing a Dessert King this way.

After some research, I purchased some key ingredients to making the agar gel.


Distilled Water
Plain Agar powder
Kinetin .1 gram dissolved in 100 ml if water. then use 2.5 MLs of that solution
Sterilizing Tablets
Cups with caps

The most important part of this process is keeping your work space super duper clean. Which is tough because I have 2 small boys that are constantly sick and love getting into everything.

After mixing the ingredients accordingly and microwaving the solution until the agar is melted into the water I poured the solution into pre sterilized cups and wrapped them with saran wrap.

The point of this project is to easily reproduce rare varieties without having to lose too much wood from doing cuttings. I pinched my Ponte Tresa (which is somewhat rare still) to induce branching and fig production. I took the tip, washed it in bleach and alcohol to get ride of any mold spores. I then cut the green stem into little pieces and placed them into the agar gel with nutrients.

Keep in mind to spray all of your equipment with your alcohol solution. You cannot be too cautious about that. The last thing you want is a petri dish full of mold.

This is my 1st crack at this and for all I know I could've just made a cultivation for a bunch of bacteria but we shall see. More to come.

Update: 6/15/17
Just as I feared, looks like I did not properly clean the cuttings and I've got a crazy amount of mold growing.

6/25/17 Round 2: This time I'm using a Black Madeira. Cleaned extra long with bleach, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide. I also made sure to clean my tweezers. They may have been the culprit the last time.

Update: 7/5/17
Well I'm really good at growing mold. Keeping a sterile environment is much harder than it seems.

Notching your fig trees to induce branching

Notching is a practice of inducing a plant to grow a new branch. My I 258 fig is getting a bit tall and top heavy. I want to develop it's branching and then probably air layer the tips. I also don't want to sacrifice fruit production so I decided to notch 1st then air layer after it fruits.

This plant has 3 great strong branches. These will become my scaffolding branches for arterial branches.

Here you can see the new bud breaking where I notched it. Notches have to made above a bud where you want the new branch to grow from. This tricks the plant into thinking that the branch has been cut and so it spends it's energy into growing a new branch.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mei Li Ya Fig Cuttings

I took a chance on Amazon and bought some Chinese Fig cuttings called Mei Li Ya. These are suppose to be large yellow figs. Some say it's the same as Jin Ao Fen but I have both so I'll be able to compare next year.

Another try at Muntingia Calubra the Cotton Candy Tree (Jamaican Cherry)

I'm giving this tree another shot. This time I bought it through etsy and it's a smaller tree than the previous ones I've purchased.

AKA - Kerson Fruit, Jamaican Cherry

Well the good news is, is that it survived the shipping, unlike it's predecessors. Hopefully I can keep this one alive long enough to taste the fruit!

Update: 7/30/17
I've read that this is a fast growing plant and it sure is. Here it is 1 month later. it's doubled in size in 1 month.

Update: 8/16/17

This tree grows faster than I can believe. It started off at 12 inches and 2 months later it has hit 36 inches.

Quartz Crystal Digging at Hansen Creek in Washington State

Other than figs I love collecting crystals. So I was excited to finally get a chance to go hiking at Hansen Creek in North Bend, WA. It's where you can find a quartz and amethyst crystals. Its about a 45 minute drive from where I live and only about a 2 mile hike to the site.

The digging is simple all you need are clothes you can get a little dirty in and a small hand shovel.

We brought along the kids. My 3yr old loved the hike.

The views are quite spectacular.

After a couple of hrs you can come home with a fair amount of crystals. It's especially easy to collect after a nice rain storm, the crystals just shine back up at you and all you have to do is pick them up.

To get to the big crystals you have to dig but most of the little ones can be found fairly close to the surface.

Here we are sorting out 2 hikes worth of crystals.

Once you clean them and shine them up they are quite beautiful.