By Teresa Woodard
Gardeners no longer need an orchard for fruit growing. Rather, they’re growing fruits on patios, balconies, and other small spaces.
Thanks to recent introductions in the nursery industry and some ages-old techniques, gardeners have a number of options for growing fruits in limited spaces. Check out these five ideas:
- Columnar apple trees – These trees grow straight up 8 to 10 feet with no side branches. They bear fruit their first year but require two apple or crabapple trees for pollination. Try Northpole or one of the Sentinel varieties in pots.
- Espaliered fruit trees – Fruit trees can also be “espaliered” — trained to grow vertically along a wall. This ancient pruning technique offers beauty and makes smart use of limited space. Learn more from Martha Stewart’s video or Fine Gardening’s detailed instructions.
- Dwarf Raspberry Shortcake — A new dwarf, thornless red raspberry from the BrazelBerries™ Collection has an endearing, rounded growth habit and is perfectly suited to large patio containers.
- Dwarf blueberries – Loaded with antioxidants, these super-fruits prefer soil that’s more acidic (pH above 7). So for folks like me with alkaline soil, try growing blueberries in containers. Two dwarf favorites are Top Hat or the new Peach Sorbet that’s self-sterile and doesn’t need a second plant for pollination. This variety’s evergreen foliage also looks great in the landscape as it changes from green to deep purple in winter.
- Strawberries in hanging baskets – Strawberries grow well in hanging baskets as the plants naturally cascade over the edges with fruit hanging down. Try potting three or four everbearing varieties like Tristar, Mara des Bois or Ozark Beauty.