Figuring It Out

If all goes well, it will be two to four years before my fig tree bears fruit. That knowledge hasn’t stopped me from looking online for stories about figs now.

A New Jersey man named Jim Mellito tells the Independent Press that his secret is to pile vegetable and fruit scraps, such as cantaloupe, at the base of his fig tree. He wraps pieces of mesh window screens around his figs to keep the birds from eating them. The article is accompanied by a series of photos showing Jim in action with his figs.

Bill Finch, director of the Mobile Botanical Gardens, writes a column for the Press-Register. Earlier this month, his column was devoted to keeping figs safe from birds. He says to keep the tree pruned to a height that makes it easy to harvest figs. He also says to pick the figs first thing in the morning, before the birds get hungry at 9:00 a.m. Like Jim, Finch says to put an organic mulch around the tree. He uses autumn leaves as mulch.

One of the Mobile television stations did a segment with Finch and his figs. In the video, he gave some of the same tips while picking some awesome-looking figs.

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