Many fruit trees such as Avocado, Apple, Lemon, Lime, Mango, Peaches and Pears can be grafted onto a dwarf rootstock. This means that you can get a smaller tree capable of thriving and fruiting each season in a pot.
The Benefits of Growing in Pots
There are many wonderful reasons why you should grow in containers and one of the best I believe is because you can move them around or even bring them indoors. Also, the plants stay nice, low and compact which makes it really easy during harvest time.
Wherever you live, if you can grow plants then there will be a dwarf fruit tree that you can grow at home. Most nurseries these days stock a wide variety and are coming up with new specimens each and every year.
To find out which type of fruit tree is best suited to your region, visit your local nursery and view their range, and if you are still a little uncertain ask the nurseryman or woman.
SLIDE SHOW BELOW: Marty Ware's container fruit tree range: Blueberries, Avocados, Brazilian Cherry and Lemon all grown right on the balcony in pots!
Obviously the larger the container the bigger your tree will get, but you need to be aware that if it's too big, will you ever be able to move it. When growing fruit trees in pots we need to be able to compromise and consider all the elements. Remember you can also buy wheels for your container and move it around if needed that way!
I like the idea of moving it to follow the sun and out of cold winds, so the fruit tree performs and looks always at it's best.
When purchasing a container or even using some type of recycled container make sure it's free draining and allows for air to circulate around the bottom of the roots. Large Pots such as Terracotta or Wine Barrels perform better when raised of the ground for this very reason.
Potting Mix and Fertilizers
I always recommend a high grade premium mix as this will provide the roots with best airflow, drainage and of course fertilizer for optimum growth.
When potting up the fruit tree make sure you pot up well below the graft to keep optimum health and overall productivity of the tree.
If you used a premium potting mix your really won't have to worry about fertilizers for the first year, but I still recommend a once a week liquid fertilize with a fish emulsion/seaweed mix once a week in the growing season and fortnightly in the cooler months.
Fruits in the first Season
I have found that on grafted trees it is best to remove any flowers in the first season. This will take less strain off the plant and allow for better fruit production on a much stronger tree in the following years, so patients is the key here!
Watering Your Potted Fruit Tree
After transplanting the tree I highly recommend that you water it in well with a liquid seaweed solution to help lower root shock, it really makes a huge difference and you will see the fruit tree bounce back in vigor much more quickly.
The tree needs to not dry out but stay moist, so if you are unsure stick your finger into the potting mix down to the first knuckle and if it's dry, water!
It truly is amazing what can be done once you get started.
Marty & Karin Ware
ps: That's my daughter in the picture, she is a big part of this balcony garden too and loves to learn and grow as well. She is a big fan of Strawberries and Sunflowers at the moment