Hello everybody, I'm a new fig enthusiast and it's my first time posting. I thought some of you might be interested in hearing about my experience growing figs in Zone 13.
I'm an ex-pat living in Haiti and in my spare time I like to grow tree seedlings in my little rooftop tree nursery. I especially like to grow trees that aren't commonly found in Haiti so if the locals like the fruit, I can give away seedlings and bring something new and different to my little part of the country. I first bought some White Italian fig cuttings on ebay in May 2012 not knowing if I would have any success. The cuttings shot up and started giving some small fruits that were SO good. The little trees went in the ground a year later and here are some pics of the biggest one from this week:
I'm a guy who eats mangos and bananas and soursop out of my own garden all the time, but these homegrown figs have become my fast favorite. You can see I even get figs in January/February!
The climate here is pretty much hot all the time. This winter has been the coldest we have had in several years, and the lowest temperature we had was about 73-74*. The hottest it will get in the summer is maximum 94-95* and very humid. We have a dry season from December through March/April. Sometimes there won't be a drop of rain during that time. We typically get sun every day unless there's a hurricane.
In addition to the White Italian, I have a half dozen Brown Turkeys in pots that a friend made as air layers and gave to me. They don't have any figs on this winter but a few weeks ago they started pushing out new leaves again.
I have met a total of 3 other people growing figs in Haiti, all American ex-pats. The Haitian Creole word for "banana" is "fig", which can cause a certain amount of confusion. The true Creole term refers to "french figs".
I'm interested in expanding my new collection to include other varieties that are likely to perform better in this climate. I would love to receive some wisdom from more experienced members of this group in regards to what varieties to plant and how to get the best results in my climate. To get new varieties, if we have someone flying in soon I can make an order online and they can bring scions in their luggage. There are no restrictions for agricultural products coming into Haiti.
The idea of trading scions sounds like fun to me, but I don't think I'm allowed to bring scions back to the US, and they wouldn't be dormant anyway. The best I could do would be to send mango or other tropical seeds, of which Haiti has many delicious varieties. I've also been homebrewing for a long time and I've made an art form out of it. Anybody willing to make a bottle/scion swap would not be disappointed. Patience required - we have to coordinate this kind of thing with friends and family flying back and forth from the states.