Who knew figs grew so well in zone 8 Seattle? There are many many varieties that do well both in ground and I containers. I was first introduced to fresh figs by a co-worker who has several Desert King trees in his West Seattle yard. He always brought in some of his harvest to work every year. For several years it was the only fresh fig variety I had tried. It is for sure the most popular variety to grow in the PNW for good reason. The breba figs ripen early, are abundant, large and very tasty. It won 1st place by a landslide in our local breba fig tasting earlier this year and went up against 15 other varieties. You can see a video from that tasting here.
It was in 2020 that I decided to try rooting my first fig cuttings. I had started various other fruits from cuttings before including grapes, currants, gooseberries and elderberries. After watching several videos on rooting fig cuttings, it seemed they might be a little more of a challenge than what I’ve done in the past. Many of the cuttings I started didn’t make it but my first two successes were Desert King and Marseille Black VS which come to find out are two of the tastiest figs you can grow.
Since I started my first cuttings, my fig collection has grown to 16 varieties (2 in ground). Some of them I rooted myself from cuttings and many others given to me by local fig growers. I’m planning to start a few more varieties from cuttings this winter to add to the collection.
On October 3rd we had another fig tasting in Seattle, this time with main crop figs. Everyone brought in some of their ripe figs and altogether had a whopping 42 varieties to try. It took several hours to get through them all! There are a few different fig flavor profiles (berry, honey, melon) and some people like one more than the other. I personally prefer the berry figs but I like having some of each in my fig collection. It was a lot of fun meeting up with other fig addicts and getting to try so many different varieties. It wasn’t only figs we got to try but people brought lots of fun things from their gardens like various citrus, ground cherries and even Sichuan peppercorns. You can see all 42 fig varieties we tried in this video: