Which figs to prioritize most for growing in short seasons? Views can change as new experiences are gained or criteria shift. My views on this have held relatively steady for years, with some shifts.
Recently I’ve found it useful to think of top figs (and other fruits) for short seasons in groups of seven.
1. Mt Etna (Marseilles Black, etc)
2. Ronde de Bordeaux
3. Improved Celeste
4. Brooklyn White (Naples White, etc)
7. Long Yellow
1. Violet Sepor (Bordissot Grise – possible synonym)
2. Osborn Prolific
3. Figo Preto (Black Madeira)
4. Nordland (Longue d’Aout, etc)
5. LSU Purple
7. Verte (De La Gloria, etc – possible synonym)
1. San Miro Piro
2. Grantham’s Royal
3. Violette de Bordeaux (many synonyms)
5. LSU Tiger
7. Col de Dame Gegantina
These groups represent a highly personalized selection for short seasons. These varieties are not all the earliest to ripen (an often prized trait for cold climes). These groups make for a robust mix of varieties providing great flavor, appearance, productivity, diversity, and other compelling and unique features.
For short seasons, half of the first group contains figs that are very early to ripen, very productive, and very flavorful, while the other figs in the first group provide good diversity.
The second group adds greater diversity in flavor, size, and color.
The third group introduces outstanding breba varieties, along with additional focus on productivity, earliness, flavor, and diversity.