[NAFEX] Oiling figs; searching Pomona?

Richard Moyer ramoyer at gmail.com
Tue Sep 8 21:37:25 EDT 2009

Miekal wrote:
"Oiling was recommended here a few years back.  I tried it on some, a few
ripened & most didn't.  Perhaps I needed to have done it earlier.  What I
didn't like is even the smallest amount of oil was still  present to the

Did you consider something other than used motor oil?
Seriously, we have used food grade oil successfully on Hardy Chicago for
years.  Olive, Canola, Corn, etc.  Brings them in several weeks earlier in
late Sept and early Oct, and in mid-late Oct to first hard freeze, ripens
many that would not otherwise.  I only oil those that that are full size,
with a cotton swab, trying to apply just enough oil to seal over the tiny,
closed eye.  This apparently traps the ripening hormone ethylene in the fig,
and promotes ripening.

But it's at least a week before we eat them after oiling, sometimes more.
If too early in the season, they ripen too close together.

Did your oil enter inside some figs with an open eye?

Ray Givan, NAFEX Fig Interest Group Coordinator, has evaluated a number of
figs re: their response to oiling.  Can't remember where I read that, I
think he published an article in Pomona.  Some figs were responsive and
others not.  Hardy Chicago also responded well under his conditions.

Ray welcomes questions through his website:  http://nafex.org/figs.htm

Richard Moyer
Zone 6, SW VA
Picked Korean Giant pears and first Mammoth Black Twig apples today.
Jujubes just starting to ripen.
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