Container growing with fruit trees is a marvelous idea for gardens or yards that have poor soil, plus the fact that you can move them around to protect them from freezing conditions.
Container growing with fruit trees can be done with regular sized fruit trees, but only for a couple of years and then they need to be planted into the ground.
Growing fruit trees in containers is more suited for the dwarf varieties and it makes caring for them much easier. The vast majority of common fruit trees have their own dwarf varieties, though for some reason, citrus trees seem to be the top pick for a lot of folks.
Two of the most popular dwarf citrus trees to grow in containers are the Meyer lemon and Dwarf Kaffa lime. The Meyer lemon is sometimes believed to be a cross between a mandarin and a lemon.
This particular lemon has a very sweet flavor and is not as sour or acidic as a true lemon. The Dwarf Karra lime rind and its double-lobed, sweet-smelling leaves are often used in cooking.
Today while wandering through the home and garden center, I discovered many dwarf fruit trees other than citrus. There were peach, several varieties of apple, plum, pear, and Bing cherry. The fruit on dwarf fruit trees produce regular sized fruit and the tree will grow anywhere from 5 to 8 feet tall.
Planning on purchasing a bare-foot tree or two? In that case, don’t forget to examine those trees as soon as you receive them at your place. You’ll want to ensure the condition of the roots is solid and that there’s moist present in the packing.
Remember, these are bare-root trees we’re talking about here, so prior to being planted; the roots must not be dried out. When potting fruit trees that have a bare-root, just about any type of container can be utilized, but it must contain drainage holes and is big enough to accommodate the tree.
Opt for 6 – 9 inches for a tree up to about 2 years old, and 10 to 16 inches in diameter for a full grown dwarf fruit.
Place some gravel in the bottom of the container for drainage, then mix a few handfuls of compost with potting soil and fill the container half full, or you can half fill your container with a light potting mixture that is well drained.
You now need to make a mound of soil in the containers’ center and place the root ball of the tree on top, spread the roots, and cover with more potting mixture.
You may want to place a stake in the soil in order to help the tree remain sturdy and straight while the roots establish themselves.
Water the tree to keep it moist, and use a fruit tree fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and place in full sun that has a southern exposure.
The one nice thing about container growing with fruit trees is the fruit, will usually appear a season or two ahead of the garden planted trees. You will not get as much fruit on these container fruit trees as you would on the garden planted ones.
For the gardener who wants to grow fruit trees and has a limited amount of space in a garden, container grown fruit trees is the answer as they can be placed them on a deck or a patio, and can be moved around when needed.
Tips to Help You Grow a Dwarf Peach Tree in a Container
Again, container growing a dwarf peach tree has the advantage of being able to move it around to any part of your garden or patio. Container growing also gives you the ability to bring the dwarf peach tree indoors, to protect it from a late freeze in the spring, or a winter freeze in the Pacific Southwestern part of the United States.
Peaches are very susceptible to an early bloom of flowers that produce the fruit; so early that the frost can harm them. You can select a dwarf peach tree from your local garden nursery, home and garden center, online, or a garden catalog.
If your desire is to grow a peach tree in a container for its entire life, the dwarf variety is the only way to go. A full-sized peach tree probably will never reach maturity in a container.
Most of the dwarf peach tree varieties will have a varying height between 5 feet and 15 feet, and a little smaller breadth than its height. The dwarf Red Haven peach trees produce delectable fruit and grow to about 15 feet high.
Golden Glory dwarf peach trees will only grow to about 5 feet tall and still creates mouth-watering peaches. When you purchase your patio peach trees make sure the container is large enough for the expected height of the tree.
If you are going with a 5 foot tall tree such as the Golden Glory, you can use a five-gallon container; if choosing a 15 foot tree such as the Red Haven, you will need a larger container of 15-gallons.
The container must have several drainage holes in the bottom, so your peach trees have complete drainage and will not get water logged during the spring and summer months. You want to place the container on a drainage tray and fill it with about 2 to 3 inches of gravel or small pebbles.
This will allow the water to drain easier, and the peach fruit tree roots will not be sitting in standing water. Next fill your container about half-way with peach tree soil or a loamy compost soil. Place your peach tree sapling in the container and fill around and under the plant.
Once that is done, fill with soil a couple of inches from the top making sure the graft line is not under the soil. The graft line is where the dwarf was grafted onto the parent; if the graft line is under the soil, roots will form at that point and may develop into a full sized tree.
You want to completely soak your freshly planted fruit tree with fresh water in order to remove any air pockets that have been made around the roots. It is best to add the advised amount of tree fertilizer that was provided by your nursery or home and garden center.
Some nurseries will provide you warranty for a year if you use their particular brand of nutrients. Thoroughly soak the freshly planted tree with fresh water to remove any air around the roots that may have been created by the planting process.
It is better to place your dwarf fruit tree container in your garden or patio where it will receive about 6 hours of sunlight per day. These container-grown dwarf fruit trees depend on us, the gardener, for its nutrients because it cannot spread out and search the soil for them.
We need to apply liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks, and water them completely when the soil gets dry. You want to give them enough water so there is standing water in the drainage tray and only water again, when the tray water has evaporated.
In colder climates, you will want to bring your dwarf peach tree container indoors and place near a window during December through April. A two-wheeled handcart is an excellent tool for moving these dwarf peach tree plants around.
When doing container growing, you always want to keep extra potting soil on hand because some soil may get dislodged or seep out through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
If you want your peach trees to grow larger peaches, you can pinch off every other small peach. The peaches will be smaller the more peaches you have on the tree.