How many times can we say it: spring is in the air, and we have gardening on the brain! We're seeing our lettuces, bush beans, herbs, tomato, and tomatillo plants spring to life and begin to grow. They're off to a strong start, but we want fruit.
Which brings us to dwarf fruit trees. You've no doubt heard of Meyer lemon trees being perfect for containers, but what about other varieties?
After some research, we found that there are many varieties of dwarf trees, which can be kept in containers without cramping the roots' style. Apples, pears, stone fruits (plums, peaches, and nectarines), cherries, and citrus are often available as dwarf trees--some thanks to the science of grafting, and some thanks to genetics.
In any case, a dwarf tree can produce a lot of fruit in the right conditions, and greatly expand your container garden's, well, fruitfulness. They do require a lot of work, from pruning to repotting every other year, but we think they'd be well worth the time.
Since every growing region is different, be sure to talk to your local nursery about what dwarf fruit trees will be best for your patio conditions, and then follow their advice for fertilizing and pruning. We're off to the nursery today to pick up one of our own!
For more information, turn to the Backyard Orchardist (Amazon.com, $11.53, or check it out from the library.)
Photo by shockxtrem via sxc.hu.