How to Pot a Fruit Tree That Will Adorn Any Space

When you pot up a fruit tree, you can savor springtime blossoms and feast on fall fruit anywhere—on a deck, on a patio, or even on a sliver of balcony. A dwarf fruit tree needs sunlight and almost no growing room. You can move it, although once the container is full of soil and the tree gains bulk, you may not wish to move it often. You also will want to keep the potted tree within reach of the hose for easy maintenance. Otherwise, get set for easy pickings of apples, pears, figs, or other fruit, no matter how limited your space is.

Choosing a Tree

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  • Start your tree-potting project in early spring, while the trees are still dormant. Bare-root trees work especially well, although potted nursery stock can be used, too. Shop a mail-order company with a good reputation, or use a high-quality nursery. Shop between late January and March for the best selection of bare-root trees.
  • Look for trees that are vigorous, whose wood looks good, and trees that are not desiccated, scuffed, bruised, or split. Check the graft union (the bump near where roots meet trunk). Has it healed? Are there cracks or dead tissue or peeling bark? Sometimes the graft doesn’t take, so it’s smart to take a few minutes to examine the joint. If it’s not a solid union, it may break years later from the load of the fruit.
  • Choose a tree with a balanced shape, such as a tree with four to five solid, evenly spaced branches. You may not be able to see the roots, but they are important. There should be plenty of undamaged, fine white roots (known as hair roots). The more healthy hair roots on the tree, the better the chance of transplant success because these are the tree’s lifeline to nutrients and water.

Good Fruit Tree Choices for Pots

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You can choose either ornamental or fruit-bearing fruit trees for your container. Here are some choices:

  • Crabapples (‘Red Flash’ and ‘Centennial’)
  • Any apple on M27 or P22 rootstock
  • Genetic dwarf plants, such as peaches and nectarines
  • Figs (they actually like being root bound)

Choose a Container and Soil

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Think big. Don’t squish a tree into anything smaller than 18 inches in diameter. Preferably, choose a pot 20 inches or wider. Containers can be plastic, terra-cotta, wood, or ceramic.

Large half whiskey barrels and plastic pots offer low prices and high durability. Plastic is lightweight, making it easier to move your tree. In most cases, a dolly or a pot with wheels will be helpful, since you should move the tree into a sheltered area—a garage or shed—during the winter to protect the tree and to keep the container from freezing.

Choose good-quality potting soil for your container. Ask at a local nursery, and look for nutrients to mix with the soil, such as bonemeal, blood meal, and bat guano. Garden soil will be too heavy, may not drain well, and may have insects, weeds, or other problems.

How to Pot a Fruit Tree

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1. Add soil. Make sure drainage holes are clear in a pot at least 18 inches wide. Add commercial planting mix with a pH of about 6.5. Firm the soil and moisten slightly as you mound it up in the middle of the pot as a base for the roots.

2. Prep tree. Tip the tree and gently work it loose from the nursery pot—don’t pull it by the branches. Tease the roots apart, or use a hose to rinse the soil out of the roots. Trim off overlong or damaged roots.

3. Set tree. Use a straightedge to center the tree on the mound. Let roots drape down around the mound. The graft union of the tree should be just above your planned final soil level. Adjust the mound level until it sets correctly.

4. Backfill. When the tree is set, fill the pot with potting soil around the roots up to the graft union. Work quickly, so the roots are exposed as briefly as possible.

5. Water. Soak the soil and let it drain. This eliminates air pockets around the roots. Add potting soil if settling occurs. Repeat.

6. Add support. Support the young tree. A 1×1 trellis anchored in the pot works well, or use bamboo or other stakes. Loosely tie the tree to the support. Rigid tying can harm the tree.

Maintenance

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  • Set the pot in a sunny site out of the wind. Wind can be hard on a young tree and will dry out containers quickly. When the soil dries out to about an inch deep, water the tree thoroughly.
  • Limit pruning to severely damaged, broken, diseased, or crossing branches.
  • Remove a tree from its container every two or three years, and prune the roots so they do not circle around inside the container. Replace the soil with new potting mix. Then replant the tree in it. The hardest task may be waiting.
  • For the first two or three seasons, let the tree flower, but pinch off developing fruit. If the tree bears fruit too soon, it will not establish sufficient roots and wood strength. It may grow lopsided, new branches may not develop, and the tree eventually may break.

How to plant and grow patio fruit

We all know the health benefits of eating fresh fruit and there’s nothing nicer than being able to pick your own fruit from the garden. It will also taste much better than supermarket produce! Whatever the size of your garden it’s very easy to grow your own fruit trees and plants, even on your patio or balcony.

Patio Fruit Trees

These dwarf patio fruit trees have been grafted on to a dwarfing rootstock to restrict their overall size (this doesn’t affect fruit size).Take a look at our range of dwarf fruit trees for sale to choose one for your own garden. These easy to grow fruit trees are ideal for smaller gardens.

Planting fruit trees

When growing dwarf fruit trees on the patio, you need a reasonable size container to grow them in – at least 30cm (12in) diameter. Fill your container with a soil based compost such as John Innes No. 3 as this will add stability to your container and won’t dry out as quickly as multi-purpose compost. Plant miniature fruit trees at the same soil level as they were in their original pots and water in thoroughly.

Position

A south facing aspect is preferable for growing fruit trees and produces the most abundant crop. Plum trees, peaches and nectarines all flower early in the spring so ideally their blossoms need protecting from frost by throwing fleece over the tree at night or bringing it under cover. Remember to leave access for pollinating insects during the day.

Care and maintenance

When growing fruit trees in pots you will need to feed your patio fruit tree with a balanced fertiliser during spring and summer to replace nutrients used up from the compost. After flowering and during fruit swell, feed your container fruit trees with a high potash feed every 2 weeks. Make sure the compost doesn’t dry out in hot weather as this may be detrimental to fruit production. After 2 years, remove your fruit tree from its container and comb out as much soil as possible from the root ball using a hand fork. Trim the roots back and replant the tree back into its original container with fresh John Innes No. 3 compost.

Pruning fruit trees

Pruning isn’t as difficult as you might think! Prune your patio fruit tree if there are any damaged or diseased shoots, or any that are crossing (as these may rub together and encourage disease).

Sweet cherries, plums and peaches need little or no pruning. If you do wish to lightly prune them to keep their shape, then do this in the summer to minimise the risk of silver leaf disease. When you prune shoots, always cut to just above a bud or where the shoot joins a main branch.

Apple and pear trees in containers will need pruning each summer to encourage fruit buds. Prune all the new season’s growth back to 2 or 3 leaves. In the winter, check your tree hasn’t become crowded with fruiting spurs (short branches covered with fat fruit buds) – if there is heavy congestion then they will need thinning out to continue producing quality fruit.

Thinning out the fruit

In July, if your patio fruit trees have a very heavy crop of fruit it is worth thinning them to get better quality fruits and prevent stressing the tree. Aim for each fruit to be spaced 5-8cm apart.

Patio Blueberries

Blueberries can be expensive from the supermarket but are very easy to grow at home! Choose a container of at least 30cm (12in) diameter and fill it with a mixture of ericaceous compost (compost for acid-loving plants) and soil based compost such as John Innes No.3. Plant the blueberry plant at its original soil level and water it in thoroughly. Place the container in a sunny position for the best crops, although make sure the compost stays moist. Blueberries need acid soil so water your blueberry bush with rainwater rather than tap water. Feed your blueberry bush throughout the growing season with a special ericaceous plant food.

Pruning Blueberries

New blueberry bushes don’t need pruning for 2 or 3 years. Only prune out any weak or wayward horizontal shoots in the winter, cutting to just above a bud or where the shoot joins the branch. On established bushes prune out the oldest wood (4 year old growth) during winter, at the base of the plant, to encourage new stems to grow.

Patio Strawberries

Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow and there are a range of patio containers to suit any space. The advantage of container-grown strawberries is that they can be moved indoors to produce an early crop. Try a Strawberry Planter for your patio or balcony, or even a Vertical Garden Planter to grow your strawberries in a small space! You simply fill your chosen container with multi-purpose compost and plant your strawberries so the crown is just showing above the soil. Before planting, it’s best to add a slow release fertiliser to the compost for a heavy crop. Give your strawberries plenty of water, especially during dry spells. Cut off any runners (baby plants) that your strawberry plants produce as this will weaken the parent plant. See also our How to Grow Strawberries guide

Patio Raspberries

Even raspberries can be grown in containers on the patio as long as the container is of a reasonable size – about 60cm (24in) diameter. Use John Innes No.3 compost and plant 6 raspberry canes around the edge of the container. As with all patio fruit make sure the compost doesn’t dry out and feed your raspberries regularly with a high potash fertiliser throughout the growing season to encourage lots of delicious fruit.

Pruning Raspberries

If your raspberry plants are summer-fruiting then cut the fruited canes down to the base after they have finished cropping. Leave the new green canes as these will provide next year’s fruit. If your raspberry plants are autumn-fruiting then cut all the stems back to the base in February to stimulate new growth for the coming autumn. After 3 years plant the raspberry canes out in the garden.

Dwarf Fruit Trees

To grow dwarf trees in containers, follow these simple tips for success. Depending on the maturity of the plant and growing conditions, it may take several years for plants to bear fruit.

Pick the best pot. Always choose a container with good drainage. Use a pot with an 8- to 10-inch diameter for a one-year-old tree; use a 12- to 14-inch diameter pot for two- and three-year-old trees. (Dwarf citrus flower better when their roots are slightly constricted.)

Use the right soil. Begin with a basic potting mix (without fertilizers or wetting agents). Don’t put gravel or small rocks in the bottom of the pot.

Water wisely. Give trees a thorough watering at first, then add 1/4 to 1/2 gallon of water every five to seven days. Apply plant food as directed on the plant tag.

Find a good location. Place your tree in a spot that gets at least eight hours of direct sunlight each day. (Citrus grows best when temperatures are between 55 and 85 degrees.) If your home gets dry during winter months, place the pot on a saucer filled with pebbles, and add water to the saucer. During warm weather, acclimate your pot in a sunny, wind-free spot outside.

Fruit Bearing

Grow Your Own Healthy Fruit

How would you like to reach out to pluck a fresh pear, peach, persimmon, fig, avocado or apricot from your very own tree? Heavenly!

If you’ve ever picked and eaten an apple right from the tree, you know about the incredible flavor and health benefits of home-grown fruit. More people are looking to plant nut and fruit trees and plants now than ever before.

But you may not be happy with the selection of fruit trees at the big box stores. Nature Hills offers improved fruit tree species that offer both a quality appearance and delicious tasting fruits.

Nature Hills supplies backyard orchards with commercial orchard-grade, vigorous fruit trees and bushes. Our fruit trees produce fruit for cooking, baking, or fresh eating straight from the tree. We offer a wide mix from the beloved cultivars like ‘Honeycrisp Apple’ that you see on grocery store shelves, to the more unusual heirloom varieties.

Best of all, we ship these gorgeous fruiting plants straight from our experts directly to your door. With the proper care, our nut and fruit trees and plants will produce just as well as those grown in professionally managed orchards.

You may want a dwarf lemon or lime tree to grow in a patio pot, or spring-flowering fruit trees that give you many seasons of interest. Many landscape designers are now using edibles, such as blueberries bushes in front yard gardens. Looking for a self-pollinating variety of cherry?

Simply filter for the type and variety to find what you are looking for on our site. Have questions? We are here to help! Call our plant experts at (888) 864-7663.

Fruit Trees

Home-grown fruit, no matter where you live.

Imagine delicious fruit, grown right from your home, in a wide variety of colors, flavors, and types, from sweet to tart and exotic. Fruit Trees can be planted in your garden, backyard, or in a container for your patio or indoor spaces. Several of our Fruit Trees are self-fertile, but for those that aren’t, we have the perfect pollination partners for large harvests.

How to Plant Fruit Trees

Though specific directions will depend on the Fruit Trees and Plants you purchase, all Fruit Trees must be grown in the proper growing zones. After you’ve determined your zone, keep sunlight and watering needs in mind.

From there, planting is generally the same across all varieties. Find an area with well-drained soil, dig a hole large enough to accommodate the tree’s root ball (with a bit of extra width for growing space), place your tree and backfill the hole. Finally, water to settle the tree’s roots and mulch to conserve moisture.

When to Plant Fruit Trees

We recommend planting your Fruit Trees at some point in early spring – this is the ideal season for most parts of the country. However, you can container-plant Fruit Trees nearly any time of year, especially if you keep them on your patio or move them indoors during cooler weather or excessively hot weather.

How Far Apart to Plant Fruit Trees?

Spacing and Pollination Tips

Generally, how far apart to plant your Fruit Trees depends on their mature size and pollination information. If your Fruit Trees are container-planted, they won’t grow as large, allowing them to fit into tighter spaces. If you’re planting outside and have a Fruit Tree that exceeds 10 feet in height at maturity, simply ensure you plant your trees away from structures.

Many of our Fruit Trees are self-fertile, but you’ll almost always have bigger harvests by planting more than one. And for those that need a cross-pollinator, we’ve recommended the best pollination partners. However, you can buy Multi-Packs to make pollination even easier!

Here’s how pollination works: Bees help spread the pollen of one tree from bloom to bloom, helping fruit emerge, or bees carry the pollen from one tree to another tree, helping both varieties fruit.

When to Prune Fruit Trees and Pick Harvests

Wait to prune until your Fruit Trees are dormant – usually, this will be in the fall and winter seasons. At this point, remove diseased or broken branches, suckers and most competing branches on your Fruit Trees. And always ensure you’re making your cuts with a clean, sterilized pair of shears.

As far as harvesting goes, different fruits will ripen in different seasons, but here are harvest times for our most popular selections:

Growing Fruit on the Patio

Patio Fruit – An Introduction

Growing fruit close at hand on the patio or paved area is both an extremely attractive proposition – and a practical one too. With gardens growing ever smaller the increased yield and the diversity of the crops that can be grown there is valuable indeed. Plus it is far easier to protect the fruits from pests when grown nearer to the house, and to harvest the crops at the optimum time.

Fruit trees and fruiting plants are, by there very nature, attractive. The concept of arching boughs laden with tempting slowly ripening fruit is in itself tempting & satisfying. Plus the joy of fragrant early Spring orchard blossom produced on a scaled down miniature tree is an unrivalled delight. With the advent of a host of miniature rootstocks that now covers most types of fruit tree it has never been easier to cultivate fruit trees in pots. There is really no limit to the range that can be grown – it has been said that absolutely any plant or tree of any kind can be grown in a container – here I concentrate on those that are the most appropriate the most attractive and which will give the most pleasure and reward.

Some practicalities

Choose a size of container that is right for the crops you are growing. The majority of fruit trees on miniature rootstocks will require a container not less than 18″ in depth and circumference; up to 24″ is ideal. Absolutely any type of container is suitable as long as it is adequately drained. Terracotta is the most aesthetically pleasing but the genuinely frost-proof kinds are expensive; plastic is perfectly acceptable as are wooden barrels. The compost we would recommend for trees is soil based compost such as John Innes no 2. It has more heart than a peat based compost and will provide a more satisfying long-term medium for a tree. Such trees can remain container subjects indefinitely; after 5-7 years or when yields start to diminish, the tree can be removed from its present container when it is dormant, tease some of the roots out and remove some of the old compost and re-pot and top dress with fresh. The tree will be rejuvenated and start to perform to it its greatest capacity again.

Smaller subjects such as soft fruits will be more appropriately planted in a good proprietary general purpose or container compost that is peat based. A container of around 15″ is adequate for a single soft fruit bush such as a currant or gooseberry. Subsequent feeding is of course important for all long-term subjects. The easiest way to provide adequate nutrition to ensure continuing good crops is by the use of those handy singular Osmocote tablets. One or two tablets will last the entire season and provide all that is necessary for good health and productivity. You might also care to provide additional feed with a good foliar feed such as Maxicrop which is a type of seaweed extract. The benefit of the latter is that it also enhances the foliage and makes it look particularly lush and pleasing.

The number one priority for all containerised subjects is of course that of watering. During the growing season it will be necessary to water well each day with a hose or large watering can. This can be time consuming if a number of subjects are being grown so it might be wise to invest in one of the many automatic systems available or perhaps a length of ‘leaky hose’ as it is called. Remember that during the summer even if it has rained it may still be necessary to water by hand because the area of compost exposed to the rain is relatively small and the foliage canopy often stops most the rain from penetrating. Plants and trees in pots need more water because the compost heats up much more than the soil in the ground does.

Apples

Best time to plant apple trees uk – Apples on the M27 rootstock make charmingly picturesque naturally miniature trees that look like perfect scaled down miniature orchard trees. Crops can be very heavy – up to 30ibs per tree when fully established, and they yield early in life too, often from the first season. The fruits actually tend to be larger than they would normally be too and maintain the genuine characteristics & flavour of the variety chosen. After the first year or two little pruning is required and these tend to be very low maintenance subjects. The joy of scented appleblossom on the patio is incomparable! You can choose any variety that pleases you on the M27 stock as long as the basic pollination requirements are observed. You may to stick to those that are self fertile to avoid such considerations and these do also tend to be the most satisfactory varieties. Our choice would be Limelight, Greensleeves, Saturn, Redsleeves, Red Falstaff, Hereford Russet and Red Windsor – and the self fertile form of Cox’s Orange is also suitable. There are no self pollinating cookers at present but Bountiful is easily pollinated by any of the above and a precocious compact little tree. Where a range of apples is being grown together in pots then you could consider a Bramleys Seedling and it makes a phenomenal tree on the miniature M27.

Pears

There is one number one choice for a Pear tree on the patio and that has to be Concorde. It is a naturally compact short jointed little tree that is self fertile and heavy yielding. On the Quince C rootstock is it very easily contained and precocious too Its flavour is sweet and moreish and the many fruits ripen from early October. You might also wish to grow the stalwart Conference on the Quince C rootstock (an explanation of rootstocks can be found here) and this too is self fertile. If your hankering is for the delectably sweet and juicy Williams type pear then this variety can be grown with the companionship of either of the above varieties for pollination, again on the Quince C rootstock which remains the most compact stock for Pears.

Such trees can be kept to 6-8′ in a container and actually seem to yield more heavily than counterparts grown in the open ground. Pear blossom is very early and the most prone to late frost damage; as the climate near to the house is just that little bit warmer they are more likely to escape damage – and it is also more convenient to grow some fleece or sheeting over the tree if the night threatens to be cold.

Plums, Gages & Damsons

These are all inter-related and all are grafted onto the superb ‘Pixy’ rootstock which has at last made it very possible to cultivate these most delicious and versatile of fruits in a container, a practice that had hitherto been impossible. Most gardeners consider the concept of their very own dwarfing Victoria plum – considered the queen of all plums – in a pot on the patio as the ultimate gardening joy. However consider a number of variations that can be enjoyed. Victoria itself ripens mid-late August; why not ring the changes with the useful little ‘Opal’ which ripens much earlier from late July. This jolly little scarlet and yellow plum has an excellent flavour and can be enjoyed for dessert or culinary purposes. At the other end of the season the majestic large Marjorie’s Seedling plum ripens very late in late September bringing first quality fresh plums deep into the Autumn. Its juicy golden flesh is well flavoured and suitable for all purposes; this variety is also self fertile.

Another Plum variety highly recommended on Pixy is Jubilee. This super-hardy Swedish raised variety is possibly the finest plum tree of all for general cultivation and it excels on Pixy rootstock. It’s self fertile and the quality fruits tend to be much larger than Victoria; its eating qualities are similar and Jubilee is definitely the most reliable Plum variety you can grow.

Gages tend to do well on the patio because these are fruit trees that enjoy the maximum amount of sunshine and a warmer atmosphere – both tend to abound on the Patio. A freshly picked Greengage is a delectable joy indeed. The Oullins Golden Gage is the sweetest by far and is also self fertile and would be our first choice of variety. A secondary recommendation is the new Stella’s Star, a precocious and compact variety that is bound to do well in a container.

Lastly you may have a desire for an old fashioned Damson tree, the fruits of which are blessed with such an intense flavour that can be turned into wondrous pies and preserves. Damsons are hardly ever available to buy in the shops. The Shropshire Damson makes a dense twiggy little tree that generously produces a host of small deep black purple blue-bloomed fruits all along the branches. Ripening in September, this Damson is self fertile and easy to grow.

Cherries

The new Gisele 5 rootstock has revolutionised the growing of Cherries in the UK. The first reliable and genuinely dwarf/miniature stock for Cherries has ensured that these most delectable of fruits are now within the scope of all to grow and that the fruiting Cherry tree has firmly been brought into the realms of patio growing. Gisele loves being cultivated in a pot; within only 2 years these precious and fast-maturing little trees become laden with boughs dripping with the most tempting fruit! The combination of Gisele and a host of more recent reliable self fertile varieties has resulted in the ideal patio tree. Such trees will mature to only 5-6′ in a pot.

Sunburst, Summer Sun and Lapins are all large black dessert cherries with impressive quantities of juice and very sweet flavour. Stella is an older variety which still deserves the widest cultivation. Its large deep dark red fleshy fruits have an outstanding flavour. You might also like to try an acid cherry for the production of wondrous cherry pies preserves and juices; when was the last time you saw cooking cherries available to buy in the shops? Its got to be worth cultivating a Morello! All of these varieties are self fertile and on the Gisele rootstock will require the minimum of pruning.

Peaches & Nectarines

These fruits were just made for the patio. Not only are they rather attractive with early large rose pink blossom but they are naturally compact as well and probably at their best when grown in containers. There is a preconception that they might be a little tender but they are infact entirely hardy. They are all also self pollinating so there are no pollination requirements to take into account. Peaches and Nectarines are precocious, almost invariably yielding the first summer following planting. You will be genuinely amazed at the difference in texture and flavour between your own home-grown produce and those you buy in the shops. Shop and supermarket specimens of Peaches and Nectarines have suffered alarmingly at the hands of commercial cultivation. Because they are difficult to transport they are harvested far too early, before the flavour, sugars and juice content have developed properly, and this is why the texture is so often rubbery or dry, and the flavour dull and tart. Left to ripen fully on the boughs, and freshly picked and eaten in the summer sunshine, your own Peach and Nectarine yield will, we promise you, be a revelation.

The number one most popular, famous and satisfactory Peach is a variety called Peregrine. That it is white fleshed as well – the sweetest most ambrosial kind – only cements its reputation still further. Other varieties provide a welcome addition to the range – Red Haven produces sumptuously coloured velvet-skinned beauties, and Rochester has a mouthwateringly deep and tender golden flesh; Amsden June too is well worth mentioning because it is very early ripening and finely flavoured too. Amongst the Nectarines look no further then Lord Napier which is by far the most reliable cultivar.

The above varieties can all be maintained at an even 6-7′ in a container, with ease and they will provide 20-30 full sized fruits when established. There are however, also 2 truly miniature varieties you might like to consider. Garden Lady and Nectarella are naturally miniature with a formal rounded head grafted onto a perfect small standard stem of 3.5′ in height. They produce full sized fruits and whilst not as heavy cropping as the above, they were just made for the patio and do not require any pruning whatsoever, being naturally dwarf.

Peaches and Nectarines do have one Achilles heel that needs attention. They will almost certainly get a disease called Peach Leaf curl, unless protected from it. This disease is not fatal, nor does it affect cropping too much; however it is rather disfiguring. The easiest way to keep your trees free from it is to protect the newly emerging leaves from water by moving them under cover as the leaves emerge, or covering for a week or two with a sheet. You can also spray against it with a copper based fungicide. This needs to be applied very early, before the leaves start to emerge, as well as during. Once the leaves are fully emerged then the trees are usually safe from the disease. This disease is relatively easy to avoid and even if the worst comes to the worst and your tree get it, it is invariably shrugged off as the season progresses so don’t let it discourage you from growing these hugely rewarding and otherwise easy fruit trees.

Mulberries

Very slow growing trees of character, they adapt very well to container growing. The large fringed leaves are attractive and turn to rich golden amber in the Autumn and the trunk becomes fissured and textured as it ages. The Black Mulberry the white Mulberry and their varieties are all equally suited. Black Mulberries are the most prized and have an intense, sharp flavour that makes fantastic preserves and pies, and can also be simmered and served with vanilla ice cream! The White Mulberry is milder and sweeter. As the fruits of Mulberry trees will attract the neighbouring Blackbird population like a magnet the trees are much easier to keep an eye on when grown close to the home and the trees much easier to net when grown in a container. An interesting and elegant variation is to grow the Weeping White Mulberry in a container; its waterfall like cascading curtain of glossy foliaged stems forms a striking mushroom headed tree and it will crop with quantities of sweet pinkish white fruits.

Figs

Figs love being restricted in a container and actually crop more heavily because of it. They are so attractive with their attractive large lobed leaves, extremely easy and undemanding, and will crop virtually from the word go. The later fruits will ripen fully in the Autumn with the benefit of a warm sunny patio. All varieties are suitable. Brown Turkey is always considered the most prolific and by far the most oft-grown.

The value of the vertical accent

Climbing Fruiting Plants

There are a number of climbing fruiting plants that you can train up posts, arch or the pergola/gazebo or even around the doorway. Grapes, Tayberries, thornless Blackberry and Loganberry all make fine subjects. The ornamental Kiwi fruit or Chinese Gooseberry, with its large felt-like heart shaped leaves is also ideal and extremely attractive. Remember to plant a male and female vine for fruiting potential as they always like to be planted in pairs. The Japanese Wineberry too is worthy of planting as an ornamental, with its striking bristly red stems making an attractive feature especially in the winter. The vermillion berries are served as a decadent treat sprinkled with a little red wine! The above are all easy to grow, train and tie in as you see fit and to accommodate in the available space.

Soft fruits

Currant bushes and gooseberries are not, let’s face it, terribly attractive. However there is no practical reason why they should not be grown in containers, if desired and all varieties are suitable. Blackcurrants, Whitecurrants, Red’s and Goosberries are all easy to grow in containers. With gooseberries it might be a good idea to stick to the thornless variety ‘Pax’.

Blueberries

Possibly the most ideal of all fruiting plants for the patio, with the twin advantages of elegant beauty and a precocious free-fruiting liking for containers. Blueberries are virtually alone in the fruiting plant world in requiring an acid/ericaceous compost or soil. This is easy to satisfy in the confines of a container – simply buy a bag of proprietary ericaceous compost. Use a 15″ pot and away you go. Blueberries nearly always fruit the summer following planting.

As they are extremely expensive to buy in the shops there is a strong economic argument for growing your own, with an established bush yielding several pounds of fruit for years and years. Blueberries are often planted for their ornamental value; the drooping pearl-white bell flowers in May and the vivid scarlet orange and ochre-gold Autumn leaf colours rival many an ornamental shrub. These are tidy upright, twiggy growers than need little or no pruning and are perfectly simple to grow and, with commercial plantations of many years standing in Poland – entirely hardy too!

Strawberries

One of the most popular of fruits for the Patio. They are versatile and can be grown in a number of ways. They can be planted as an understorey to miniature fruit trees, in grow bags on their own, in a hanging basket, or in tubs. All varieties are suitable and the basic cultivation requirements contained in our Cultural Guide Booklet observed. The pants should only be cropped for one season when grown in any containers, and then planted out or replaced. With planning you can pick ripe strawberries from your garden from late May right through to the frosts by planting a range of varieties. Emily is the very earliest ripening in May; Honey and Cambridge Vigour provide standard early fruits, Pegasus/Eros and Elsanta are maincrop varieties, and Aromel will yield from August right through the Autumn, especially with protection.

I hope the above has whetted your appetite to embark on the whole-new-world that is growing fruit on the patio; the possibilities really are almost endless and, as mentioned previously, if your favourites aren’t described above don’t be discouraged – you really can grow anything in a container.

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