Do you want to have fruit trees in pots? There is nothing like being able to take the fruit from the tree and eat it right there, right? In fact, there are those who say that it does not taste the same if you choose to taste its flavor at home. It is true, it may sound a bit strange, but the reality is that when you are surrounded by plants, it seems as if everything looks much better, and as a consequence, the sense of taste will become a little more sensitive.
The most interesting thing is that, even if you don’t have a garden, you can also grow fruit trees in pots. It is not difficult to always keep them in a container. So if you also want to know how nature tastes, follow these tips.
A Little History
Fruit trees have been grown in pots for several centuries, so much so that, while in Japan the bonsai technique was perfected, the Europeans had fruit trees planted in pots decorating patios, terraces, and even gardens.
You might think that thanks to this we now know when and how to prune, since one of the most important tasks to do when keeping a tree plant in a pot is precisely the pruningsince otherwise we would end up losing it.
What care do potted fruit trees require?
Although they are not very different from the ones we would give them if they were on land, we do have to take into account a series of things so that they do not have any problems. To get healthy specimens and thus guarantee an excellent harvest, you have to take care of them respecting the natural cycles that each tree has.
Watering is very important for all plants, since it is thanks to the water that its roots can absorb the nutrients from the earth. Depending on the climate of the place, we will water more or less frequently. Generally, it will be watered 2-3 times a week in summer, and 1 or 2 the rest of the year.
Fruit trees fear waterlogging, therefore it is necessary that let’s check the humidity of the earth before watering. Thus, we will introduce a thin wooden stick to the bottom and then we will extract it to see how much substrate has adhered to it: if it is a lot, it will not be necessary to water; On the other hand, if it comes out almost clean then it will be necessary to water.
The water with which we irrigate has to be no lime. The most recommended is rain, but not all of us can store enough for our plants, but that is not a problem. Actually, it will be enough to fill a bucket with tap water and let it sit overnight so that the heavy metals stay at the bottom of it. The next day, we will have water for our fruit trees.
Another option is to water with mineral waterthat is, the one that we drink, or acidified. To get the latter you have to add the liquid of half a lemon to a 1l bottle full of water. In this way, you will also prevent the fruit from having a lack of iron.
Where to put the potted fruit trees? Very easy: in an area where they receive sunlight if possible all day. They need to feel the sun in order to grow healthy and strong, and also for their fruits to ripen properly. Now, there are some that adapt well in semi-shady places, such as lemon or orange trees, as long as they are located in a very bright area.
We cannot forget about the wind. Although they will be potted, the wind is still one of the main problems that the gardener has. If it blows softly, nothing happens, but if it blows with great intensity and for many days in a row … it must be taken into account when growing fruit trees, since although it will not hurt them, they could throw them to the ground, break some of them. branches, or endangering the harvest. One way to protect them is putting one or two tutors on them, and placing them where the wind does not hit them directlyfor example, behind a tall garden hedge.
Plants need soil where they can grow and develop. When it comes to growing them in pots, it is essential to choose a good substrate, such as 60% black peat + 30% perlite + 10% worm humus. To further improve drainage, first add a layer of volcanic clay. A) Yes, the roots will always be aeratedachieving that the water they have absorbed reaches the trunk and subsequently the leaves.
Fruit trees in pots also need to be able to have all the possible nutrients and minerals. Only in this way will we ensure that we can savor delicious fruits. Because of that, You must always use new substrate and change them with each transplant.
We already have a fertile and porous substrate, but we can still do something else so that our fruit trees do not have to worry about anything: fertilize them. Since we are talking about plants whose fruits are going to be destined for human consumption, it is highly advisable that we use natural fertilizerswhich can be bought in nurseries and / or agricultural stores, or made at home.
Worm humus, manure, guano, eggshells, compost … there are countless things that serve as compost. But yes, if you decide and you fertilize them with guano, you must follow the instructions specified on the container, since it is the only natural fertilizer capable of harming the plants if we exceed the dose; on the other hand, it is the one with the fastest effect.
Over time, the roots run out of space and the substrate runs out of its nutrients, so it is advisable to transplant dwarf fruit trees every 2-3 yearsdepending on the species and its growth rate.
If you don’t know how to do it, take note:
- Towards the end of winter or the beginning of spring, remove it from the potbeing careful not to crumble the root ball. If it’s difficult for you, tap on different sides of it a few times.
- Then you must cut a maximum of 1/3 of the root ball with pruning shears or a handsaw previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol. Also prune the taproot (It is distinguished from the others by being the thickest and longest of all), since as it develops, it makes the tree to be able to come out of the pot; so if we cut it off, we avoid having problems in the future.
- Then fill the pot with a new substratemore or less halfway.
- Put the tree right in the centerand add more substrate to finish filling the pot.
- Finally, all that remains is to give a generous watering adding a few drops of Benerva (sold in pharmacies) so that the root system recovers as soon as possible after pruning.
But this is not all. We have been working with its roots, but now we have to do the same with the branches, so we will have a perfectly balanced plant. But, How is it pruned? So:
- Cut off all those branches that they intersect o look sick and / or weak.
- Trim those that have grown excessivelydeteriorating the appearance of the tree.
- The rest, you have to trim them, allowing 4-8 pairs of leaves to grow, and removing 2-4.
How to avoid and / or combat pests and diseases?
Fruit trees can be attacked by pests and contract diseases. The best way to avoid them is by keeping the plant well cared for and fertilized, as it is practically impossible for them to weaken overnight for no reason. But sometimes we fail at something, and the tree’s defense system begins to struggle to keep it healthy. A) Yes, all kinds of insects and fungi can start to damage them.
The most common diseases are Roya and powdery mildew. Both can be successfully fought with natural fungicides, such as sulfur or copper, if the specimen is not severely affected. But it will be necessary to resort to chemicals if the weakening of the plant is noticeable.
The insects that cause pests love a dry and warm environment, so it is common for plants to have to deal with them during the spring and summer. The most common are cochineal, Red spider, White fly and aphid. Although it may seem otherwise, they are easily solved – albeit with time – using natural and homemade insecticides. There are many that we can do, with hardly spending money. For example: infusions of garlic, onion skin or nettle, or make a preparation with baking powder, which is prepared by adding a tablespoon of powder and another of grated white soap to 1l of water.
Even so, if you see that time passes and the pest is advancing fast, making the plant look worse and worse, it is convenient to consider the use of chemical insecticides specific. If you find yourself in this situation, follow the recommendations indicated on the container, and in the event that the tree bears fruit, do not pick them until the safety period has expired (it is usually about 30 days from the application of the product to that can finally be harvested).
So now you know, if you want to be able to enjoy dwarf fruit trees in your patio, with these tips you will achieve it . Tell us how you take care of your fruit trees in cement pots (that you can build yourself) or the care that keeps it healthy and full of color.