A Fig Tree in New York

What The Fig?

I have a big ass fig tree in my yard. I don’t know much about fig trees (I don’t even like figs), but people who do know about fig trees have seen mine and have told me it’s the biggest figging one they’ve seen in New York. They want to know my secret. How did my tree get so big and healthy in this climate? How does it produce so many figs? Here’s what I do…


I’ve heard that little old Italian men grow fig trees in the northeast and they’re small and fragile (the trees are – and maybe the little old men too) and they lovingly wrap them to protect them from the wind and cold of winter and then hope that they survive and then actually bear fruit in the spring.

My tree gets no blanket. No warm milk. No bedtime story. My tree is on its own. My tree is a bad ass. It scoffs at winter. It looks the cold square in the eye and gives it the middle branch. It thrives amidst adversity. In the winter, it looks like this:

Fig tree with no leaves in winter

Dead. But it’s just playing dead. That’s not just a bundle of twigs. When the spring rolls around and my fig tree wakes from its winter sleep, it becomes beautiful. It becomes this:

Fig tree in the spring leafing out

If you think the tree looks bigger in the spring picture, you’re right. The winter picture is from 2011 while the spring picture is from this year. This is two years of growth with me doing absolutely nothing to help.

I get hundreds of figs every season. Hundreds. When I first moved in, I would harvest the figs and deliver them to all of my fig loving friends, but I’m done with that nonsense. I’ve got enough crap to do. Figgedaboutit!

Close up of fig leaves

I get tons of weeds around the base of my tree. I pull them out, but they instantly reappear. (Weeds are the cancer of my crappy yard. I rip them out. They come back. I poison them. They come back. I have considered setting them on fire, but I’m pretty sure that’s illegal. (Or is it…) And they would come back. It’s like Friday the 13th and all of my weeds are named Jason.)

How to Stop Weeds for Good. Maybe.

This past weekend, I tried out a method for preventing weeds that I read about somewhere. Basically, it’s just putting down newspaper and then mulch on top. Sounds simple enough. And it was. I cleaned out the leaves and weeds and then started just laying down newspaper, about ten sheets per stack and overlapping the edges. It wasn’t a windy day, but if it was I would have wet the newspaper to keep it in place.

Fig tree base recently weeded
Fig tree with newspaper around base
Fig tree with newspaper and mulch around base
Fig tree with mulch around base

I used 4 bags of mulch, but I definitely could have used more. A bag of mulch doesn’t go as far as you think it will. Maybe I’ll add to this in the spring, but not now. It’s very cold outside and the cold makes me cry. I’ll be sure to update you in the spring to let you know if my newspaper trick worked. (That’s here.)

Fig tree from afar with mulch around base

Thanks for reading this post to the end. As a reward, I’m sharing a fig appetizer recipe with you. Aren’t you glad you stuck it out?

Figs with Goat Cheese, Pecans and Bacon

Makes 12 stuffed fig halves


  • 6 figs, halved
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
  • 3 slices bacon, cut in half


  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Stuff fig halves with goat cheese. Press pecans into the cheese. Split a strip of bacon down the middle and wrap each stuffed fig half with half a slice of bacon, securing with toothpicks.
  3. Arrange on a medium baking sheet. Broil 5 minutes, or until bacon is evenly brown and crisp and goat cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

I have no idea if this recipe is any good. I don’t like figs, remember? I’m not a fan of goat cheese either, but bacon does make everything better. I don’t know. Maybe I will try it. Probably not. But, if I do, I will update you with a review and a picture. You don’t want to miss that, right? That’s why you have to subscribe in the box below!

*** Time Travel Links! See how my newspaper and mulch trick worked here. And for an update on how my New York fig tree is doing, go ahead and click here. (You might want to prepare yourself. It’s not pretty…)

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  • Minnesota Red

    Damn right I’m cool. I just discovered your blog whilst sitting on my ass in my own crappy house! I LOVE it. So I’m feeding it to my new homepage. You do rock~

  • doesthishousemakemelookfat

    I am totally impressed at your several attends to get the weeds out. I would have ignored them for as long as possible and then, when I couldn’t take it any longer, I would pull them, only to watch them all grow back. I wish I had the time and patience to actually make a plan to get rid of weeds forever.

    P.S. I just recently got a letter from my HOA about the height of our weeds. I suppose that was my way of giving my HOA the middle branch.

    • My Crappy House

      I have done the ignore/grow/pull method for over 2 years. Lots of hours to pull them out and then they grow back in 4.7 seconds. I just got really sick of pulling weeds! I put it off for so long only to find that it was a ridiculously easy method to implement. I really hope it works!

      P.S. If I had an HOA, I would be in HOA jail by now…

    • My Crappy House

      Thank you, but I actually don’t like figs at all. My beautiful tree is wasted on me. I do, however have a friend who also has trees and loves figs. I will pass along your info to him to see if he’s interested in trading with you.

  • D

    Any chance you would send me a branch cutting; I’d like to try to grow a tree here in Minnesota. Don’t know anyone around here with a fig tree that I can lop off a branch or I’d do that.

    • My Crappy House

      I can pretty much guarantee that a fig tree would not survive your brutal Minnesota winters. They’re not even well suited for NY and our winters aren’t nearly as bad as yours. Sorry

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