How to: grow Figs from cuttings

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As I think I’ve mentioned, this part of Australia is, although it doesn’t look it at first glance, a labyrinth of abandoned settler’s orchards. Every farm around here seems to have at least two of these gnarly fruit-thickets over in a back paddock somewheres.

These old orchards are the only sign left of previous shacks and farmhouses which dotted the landscape here over a hundred years ago, during the gold-rush years.

Yesterday I went to my favorite one, which is a couple of hills over from us, because we had heard some tantalizing reports about a Fig tree there – apparently this Fig was still pumping out the fruit most years, and if you could get in there before the birds, you would be in for a tasty snack.

We’re very keen on Figs as they’re pretty perfect for this bioregion, are deciduous, and grow rampantly – or so we’ve heard. And, novice gardener that I am, I’m on the lookout for non-tricky-to-grow trees in a serious way.

150 year old quince tree

So off I went, and I made an episode while i was there… as you can see, I am, as they say, ‘at the beginning of my journey’ when it comes to gardening and propagating effectively… but there is only one way to learn…

We’ve become quite attached to these old orchards as sort of abstract maps, which indicate the activity that was here 4 generations ago. They’re like little mysteries in the landscape – signs of former homes and domesticity in a seemingly otherwise barren landscape of sheep and dry, dusty roads.

Strangely, most of these orchards seem to be doing pretty well, despite a considerable lack of attention (unless you count the sheep, who love them)… and because they’re obviously acclimatised to this area, we’ve been going a little crazy collecting cuttings from here, there and everywhere, in the hope of establishing an orchard of our own.

Anyone got any cuttings advice they’d like to share? I am very open to suggestions…

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