You might think the idea of growing a tree in a garden planter is overwhelming. Where do you start, how does this work? All good questions that are easily answered. Growing a tree in a garden pot is not as difficult as it sounds. Container trees are an easy way to add size, and color to your garden area, patio or porch. Don't have a lot of room at your home or living in an apartment and want something besides the flowers you find at a local nursery center, then a potted tree is the solution for you.
Of course the most important place to start is selecting the garden planter. Any planter no matter what it is made from must have a drain hole. Fill the base with pot filler so that the drain hole remains open and doesn't become clogged with soil. We recommend a light container since the tree itself will add the weight needed to keep it from blowing down. The lighter weight containers will make it possible to move it around if necessary.
Make sure the planter is twice the volume of the tree's roots. Plant it at the same depth as the nursery pot it was growing in. Use a good potting mix made for trees. When it comes to watering, fertilizing and care of the tree refer to the tag that comes with tree from the nursery.
We recommend a few types of trees. They maybe dwarf varieties or just ones that don't mind being potted and tend to do pretty well.
Japanese Maple - Because of their slow growth rate these do well in containers. With a smaller root system you can limit the size of the planter needed. Just don't place the pot in direct sunlight or they will burn.
Dwarf Fig - These are adorable and if you and if you want it to produce fruit get a self-fertile one. They like the light so place that pot where it will get 7 hrs of full sunlight. Yellow leaves mean to much sun not over watering.
Olive Tree - These types of trees love pots and lots of sun. They have a long life so make sure you place the planter in a spot you really like. Once it grows you won't want to have to move it. If you live in cold then bring it indoors or at least the garage for protections.
Bay Tree - These are really pretty with bright flowers, berries and lush leaves. They make great topiary trees and love being potted. Lets the pots soil dry out a bit between waterings.
So, find a large pot that you truly love, take a trip to the nursery and get a nice healthy potted tree and come home and create a look you thought you could never have.
While growing flowers & veggies in planters can be easy, growing fruit trees & berries take a little more thought. You will need to become familiar with such things as root stocks, pollination, and climate control. We discuss all of those items in this blog post.
Growing your own fruit in a garden planter is really fun and rewarding. Nothing tastes better than homegrown fruit picked at peak ripeness. Imagine the pleasure of adding a handful of berries to your morning cereal or making an apple pie with fruit from your potted tree.
Many types of fruits and berries adapt nicely to growing in containers. Plant breeders continue to develop compact varieties especially suited to garden pottery, and they have many advantages as well. Probably the most important point is the mobility that container planted trees provide. If frost threatens, you can move your fruit trees under cover for some protection.
Before you get started on this fun adventure - you need to learn a few fruit gardening terms and concepts that will keep coming up. Remember how pollen moves from the male part of the flower to the female part, fertilizing it and causing fruit to grow? Well some fruit trees like Peach have compatible male and female flower parts. This means if you plant a peach by itself it will produce fruit.
Other fruits including apple & blueberries produce more quantity if they are cross pollinated. This means they receive pollen from another variety. You can still grow one blueberry or apple plant and get some fruit but you will get a lot more if a different variety grows nearby.
The root stock is the below grow portion of the plant. The scion is above ground. If grown on their own roots get huge. Much to big for a container. But, if grown on dwarfing root stocks they are ideal for planters.
When it comes to selecting planters make sure they are large enough with a drain hole in the bottom. In fact the more holes the better. You don't want to be re-potting your trees every year. Terracotta is always best because it breathes and is the best for air circulation around the roots. However, terracotta is meant to break down over time so it never hurts to go with a glazed or high fired planter.
What to plant this time of year? Just when everything looks bleak and bare we have some good suggestions for still getting out there and working the yard!
Bare root deciduous fruit trees - continue planting them thru February. Encourage reliable fruit tree harvest by choosing varieties that require less then 400 hours of chilling, a normal period of cold weather necessary for trees to produce fruit.
Proven performers include 'Anna' and "Dorsett Golden Apple". Gold Kist Apricot, Santa Rosa Plum, Tropic Snow white flesh peach and Wonderful Pomegranate. Plant them in decorative glazed planters and stage them around your patio area, for color and fragrance. Yummy!
Transplant easy to grow sun lovers such as calendula, dianthus, gazania, marigold, pansy and viola.
There is still time to sow cool season culinary favorites such as beets, bok choy, carrots, chard, collard and mustard greens, endive, green onions, lettuce, leeks, peas, radishes, spinach and turnips.
Transplant broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower into new larger planters. Sow or transplant cilantro, dill, garlic, parsley, and thyme. Use decorative containers to add a bit of pizzazz to your garden or patio area.
Prune as needed now. Spruce up shade trees, conifers and summer blooming shrubs by removing dead, diseased, broken, crossed or weak branches
Cut back established roses by one third. Wait to prune heritage roses until after spring blooms. Hold off pruning first tender potted plants like citrus, hibiscus, natal plum and bougainvillea. Just take your time and keep working it and you will have great success and beautiful potted plants.