Gardening is increasingly becoming more important nowadays. Besides its economical and practical benefits, it is also therapeutic. Some people grow plants to destress and relax from their routines. This is also a simple way of making a sustainable home.
There are hesitations to some thinking that growing plants will sacrifice some space in the house like a patio or play area. But the good news is that you can simply grow some dwarf trees as they only require 8-foot-diameter space – and some thrive in even less, fitting in a pot on a patio.
BENEFITS OF GROWING DWARF FRUIT TREES
- A small tree will grow the same full-size fruit; therefore, you can save space for planting. Most Dwarf trees can be planted only in containers or pots. Harvesting is made easier, and you can easily protect the plants from pests than standard (full-size) trees.
- Dwarf fruit trees often yield more fruit per area, or if you place them in a greenhouse where pests cannot penetrate.
- Seasonal interest – flowers, ripening fruit, possibly fall color.
- Bear crops 1-3 years earlier than standard trees.
CREATING A DWARF TREE
Dwarf trees are not genetically modified trees, but they are only the result of grafting – merging two (or more) trees to create a living, fruit-bearing combination. Thus, it’s purely a horticultural technique. You can dwarf a wide variety of fruit trees such as olive, peach, lemons, apples, guava, fig, and many more. All you need to have are the following:
Rootstock: This is the lower portion of the underground part of a dwarf tree – the roots.
The tree’s height is controlled by the rootstock and is also pick for qualities like winter hardiness, drought tolerance, disease resistance, and soil adaptations. Some rootstocks work for specific fruits or varieties, but not for others. To create dwarf pears, you use quince but doesn’t work well with Bartlett pears. Height control changes across fruits.
Scion Wood: This is the upper, visible part of the tree planted unto the rootstock.
This part is responsible for fruit type and quality. The scion, which is the fruit-bearing portion, is attached (grafted) to the interstem or rootstock.
Interstem: This is an in-between piece. It is grafted between a rootstock and scion wood. The purpose of interstem is to reduce tree size.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TYPE OF TREE
Before buying your trees, determine if you need more than one tree to ensure proper pollination. You can ask someone at your nursery or just read the label when you buy trees. Trees like figs, lemons, and peaches can self-pollinate. Therefore, you only need one tree to get fruit. While Others, such as apples and pears, need another tree for pollination.
HOW TO GROW IN CONTAINERS
Container growing of dwarf trees is advantageous and easy. If you have some soil quality problems in your yard, then container growing is a better option. All you just need to do is buy a quality soil-potting mix to provide the plants the nourishment they need. Growing in containers or pots helps transfer the plants from indoor to outdoor and vice versa to adapt to the weather. Finally, containers allow the growing of certain fruit trees species that are borderline hardy in your region.
Growing dwarf fruit trees in containers can initially be done in small pots about 5- or 7-gallon containers. The tree will establish a rooting system and become as strong as it grows. Repot into a larger container when the tree grows bigger enough for the container’s size because it will become root-bound. A tree is root-bound if it lacks vertical growth. It will still grow leaves and bear fruits but won’t be as productive as in a bigger and a little spacious pot or container.
Check the containers and ensure it has well-drainage or has holes so that excess water can drain and air can access the soil. This prevents diseases from developing, such as root rot.
Add a layer of rock or gravel to the bottom of the container to aid good drainage. Put some soil in the plant roots to rest on, center the tree to stand vertically straight. Add more soil until the plant is appropriately situated in the container. Press the soil gently down around the roots to remove any air pockets.