Fruitful Container Gardens
By Melinda Myers
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[May 29, 2014]
Picture yourself harvesting a few fresh
strawberries for your cereal in the morning or perhaps picking a few
apples from your own backyard tree to cook up into a pie. It is
possible, even if you garden on a balcony or small lot. And even if
you have plenty of space, you will still appreciate the fun and
convenience of reaching out the backdoor and harvesting some
Strawberries are excellent container plants. Grow everbearing or day
neutral varieties, so you will be harvesting strawberries throughout
the growing season. Reduce your workload and increase success with a self-watering
hanging basket (gardeners.com).
Or dress things up a bit more with a decorative container. The haystack
hanging baskets have
the beauty of the coco fiber lined planters, but require half the
watering. The AquaSav™ liner is a combination of coir and recycled
plastic designed to conserve moisture. This means better results
with less watering.
But don’t stop there. Add some dwarf fruit trees to your patio
plantings. A dwarf apple, peach or pear will provide beautiful
spring flowers, nice foliage for the summer and fruit for you to
enjoy. Select self-fertile varieties, those that only require one
plant to produce fruit, if space is limited. Grow your dwarf trees
in large weather-proof pots with drainage. Those in cold climates
will need to provide some winter protection, but the first harvest
will make that extra bit of work well worth the effort.
Or try your green thumb at growing lemons, limes and other citrus in
a container. The fragrant flowers and glossy green leaves are a
beautiful prelude to the tasty fruit. Even cold weather gardeners
can put their green thumb to the test by growing a Meyer lemon,
Kaffir lime or other citrus in a container. Just move the potted
plant indoors for the winter and back outdoors next season once the
danger of frost has passed.
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And don’t forget the blueberries that are high in antioxidants and
flavor. These nutritious beauties require moist well-drained acidic
soil. Something most gardeners do not have. This makes growing them
in containers, where you control the soil, a good option.
Blueberries provide seasonal interest with their nodding white
bell-shaped flowers in spring, colorful fruit in summer and yellow,
orange or red color in fall. Though only one plant is needed to
bear fruit, keep in mind that your harvest will more than double if
you grow two.
So survey your patio, deck, balcony or garden for space to
add a container or two of fruiting plants that are sure to add
beauty and flavor to your garden and meals this season.
[Text received; Melinda Myers]
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist
Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience
and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t
Miss Small Space Gardening and
Gardener’s Handbook. She
Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and
the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments. Myers is
also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds
& Blooms magazine.
Myers’ web site,www.melindamyers.com,
offers gardening videos and tips.