Figs are well adapted to dry areas with high temperatures, and low water availability and have traditionally been cultivated in marginal soils. Nowadays, fig farming in Kenya is increasingly practised under irrigation with different agricultural techniques to increase yield, quality and shelflife.
Fig trees are also successfully grown in open orchards, under shade netting, in greenhouses and in hydroponic systems. In fact, a study in Japan has found that fig trees in a hydroponic system can produce two crops in a year, with a special pruning procedure. Mexican studies have shown that intensive production of fig trees in greenhouse and hydroponic systems produced up to 20 times more fruit than in open-land cultivation.
Fig trees are planted in orchards with trees ideally aligned in a south-north direction to allow for the even ripening of fruit on both sides of the tree. Figs can be planted in sandy soil, but richer soils may yield bigger fruit. It can tolerate a wide range of soil types but prefers a pH of 6 – 6,5.
Fig trees have shallow, spreading root systems, which are sensitive to weed competition. In terms of pests, figs are relatively sensitive to nematodes and stem-borer. Trees may require nitrogen, depending on soil analyses. Drip irrigation is used; regular light irrigation is preferred to weekly deep watering.