Generally, figs do not suffer from insect or disease problems
in North America. Keep birds away with netting; spread wood ashes around the base of trees to keep ants from climbing up to fruits. Keep plants well watered to avoid leaf drop, especially when they’re growing in containers.
Harvesting: In warm climates, you can harvest twice—in June and again in late summer. In colder areas, expect one harvest in late summer or fall. Make sure you know the color of your fig’s fruit when it’s ripe. Some figs turn brown when ripe, while others are gold or even green. Check trees daily for ripe fruit in season. Ripe fruits are soft to the touch; skin may begin to split. Figs will keep up to 1 week in the refrigerator, but spoil easily. Cook figs by simmering them with a dash of lemon and honey for about 20 minutes, mashing them as they cook. Then puree in a food processor, blender, or food mill. The puree freezes well and makes an excellent cookie filling, sauce for ice cream or poached pears, or spread for toast. You can also dry figs in a food dehydrator for nutritious snacks.