Who grows fruits or berries in containers?

melikeeatplantsJuly 4, 2010

I live in the San Fran Bay Area, near San Jose so it's warmer and sunnier than SF. I've had good success growing vegetables and strawberries in 15 gallon containers. I'm really interested in if anyone grows blue/black/raspberries or dwarf citrus/avocado/stone fruit in containers. I am on a month to month lease which is why I don't plant directly into the ground. So the only catch is the container would have to be movable for when I leave. Tell me there is hope for us renters! Pics appreciated as well....

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I don't grow any of those fruits mentioned, but I am growing watermelon in my earthbox. Here are a couple of pix. The watermelon vine is in the foreground of the shot.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 11:44PM
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prestons_garden(9B SZ 22 HZ 6 SoCal)

Here are a few picks, there is hope............

Triplecrown Blackberries

Marketmore 76 Cucumber


Early Girl Tomato

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 1:55AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I have blueberries in containers. Not so sure it's working, because this is only their 2nd year, and it's really hot here. We've had a small handful of berries, and one now and then if I catch it before the birds do. I also have grapevines both in ground and contained. They are doing great in their containers!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 9:32AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I grow a couple of Mangoes in containers. You'll have to bring them in the garage if your temps go below 32.

Taken last summer...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:22PM
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I have had great luck with figs. Just got a pomegranate tree. Both can be pruned to be kept small. I have to put them in the garage for the winter. (Small for me is shorter than the garage door.)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 12:22AM
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I grow all my fruits in containers including; mulberries, raspberries, boysenberries, etc. From what I noticed not a lot of berries do well in containers, they are very touchy with root temps rising.

Certain heat tolerant varieties of berries will produce nicely in containers. From my experience blackberries don't do well. What did well for me was Boysenberries and Caroline Raspberries.

What is working out nicely and producing fruit in a container setting is; Peaches (specifically the genetic dwarfs), Apples (dwarfed by rootstocks), Citrus (dwarf rootstock), Avocados (dwarf rootstock), Yellow Strawberry Guava (one of my best container fruiters), and Pomegranates.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 2:09AM
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buylady(z5b IL)

Hi i grow citrus lemon,lime, orange all dwarf in containers..you may want to check out citrus forum i've learned a lot from the nice folks there..one really interest topic is some thing bout "post pics of your plants partying on the deck" i think is the title wonderful pics n loads of info click the link below

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:05AM
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Thanks for the pics and info guys.....I'm a pain in the butt but what I should have stated was:

What type of fruit do you grow in container?
What is the approximate size of the container?
What is the harvest/production of the fruit bearing plant annually?
Post pics if you got them.

.....very nice looking mangoes/berries/and melons above. I checked out that citrus link thanks buylady. Thanks for all your input guys.....

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 1:42AM
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Most popular fruit trees will have dwarf varieties available that will grow in containers. Many other fruits can be grown in containers is you keep the plants pruned properly, which may include root pruning every few years when they become pot-bound with large roots.

For all the information MeLikeEatPlants wants about different fruit trees, I would recommend one of my favorite books on the subject. You can get it used from one of Amazon's used book dealers for under $6 including shipping. If you want to raise a backyard orchard it is well worth the $6. It is a book that is straightforward and full of information. On Amazon's "Look Inside", you can see the table of contents, a few example pages, and the index. One of the best parts of the book is not shown in the preview. It has a 50 page alphabetic encyclopedia section, which gives almost everything you need to know about a variety of fruits from Apricots to Tayberries. All of the fruits are for small backyard gardens, and all but a few are great for containers. I cannot recommend this book high enough for beginners or experience gardeners who are new to growing fruit. In 160 pages, it has more information about a home orchard, than I have ever seen in one book, even ones many times longer.

By Rodale Press
"Backyard Fruits and Berries: Everything You Need to Know About Planting and Growing Fruits and Berries in Your Own Backyard"

One shortcoming of the book is that it was printed in 1995, so when it recommends specific varieties of plants, it will not have the newest varieties listed. This is not to say that the information is not still valuable. I have a fondness for heirloom varieties that are often some of the best tasting. Many of the advancements with new varieties are not for taste, but for better shipping for commercial growers. Some traits that commercial growers want are the opposite of what a home grower would want. Commercial growers want a plant with fruit that ripens all at once, while home growers often prefer an extended fruiting period.

MeLikeEatPlants, since you live in California, you should look at the University of California (Davis) Agriculture and Natural Resources Division's collection of free information for growing a home orchard.

I live in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the local university's agricultural extension office has a wonderful collection of PDF publications for gardeners and farmers, all of which are available for free to download. I have a huge collection of PDF files I have downloaded from them and other sites as well. The advantage of getting information from a local source is that it will be more specific to your local soil and climate, but there is still very useful information available from sources outside your local vicinity.

Uni. Of Tenn. Gardening Publications

Cornell Guide to Growing Fruit at Home is a great resource for gardeners in New York state.

These are just a few of the many sources of information on home orchards that are available from universities, coop. extension master gardeners groups, and others.

I've never posted photos on this these forums before, I so don't know if mine will work or not. If so, I'm posting pictures of my dwarf Black Tartarian Cherry with Ozark Beauty Strawberries, my Scuppernong grapes, and my Apache thornless blackberry.

While my fruit trees are all dwarf varieties, My tomato plants are definitely not. They have already reached 8 feet tall and are covered with green fruit. We had our first ripe ones for dinner last night. My wife and I have gotten so spoiled by the taste of home grown tomatoes during the summer, we simply do without fresh tomatoes during the winter because the things they ship around the country don't really even taste like tomatoes. I'm so proud of my tomatoes, I've included a picture of them as well. They are technically a fruit and are growing in a 6 foot snap-set kiddy pool, which is technically a 300 gallon container.

Like MeLikeEatPlants, I also rent a house, but I did not want to wait to start my fruit orchard until I can afford to buy a home. In March 2010, I started my "Container Orchard". I wish that I had found Ray Newstead's website about his "EarthTainer" design before I started my little orchard. Between now and winter dormancy, I'm trying to decide how I can adapt my containers to build his design with a bottom watering reservoir, but unfortunately I have already drilled lots of drainage hole in my containers, so they may not work for his design. Replacing my 25 containers won't be cheap, so I'm still working on ideas.

I've planted my dwarf fruit trees, grapes, and brambles in containers so that I can move them when I finally buy a home. If I can buy a home with a yard, I'll put them into the ground then, but if I buy a condominium, I would go stir-crazy without at least a patio for gardening, so my plants will have new home as well. My containers can all be moved with a hand truck, but I'll probably have to make an extra trip with a U-Haul truck just for the plants. When I got the plants in early April, the grapes and brambles were in 3 inch peat containers and the dwarf fruit trees were bare root. Of the 25 plants, all have done wonderfully except for one J. H. Hale dwarf peach tree that died. I'm really happy with the success I've had with them. The excitement of watching them grow and waiting will probably make them taste even better. The dwarf trees will take couple of years, but the raspberry and blackberry brambles should have a good crop next year.

I'm still hoping for a fall crop from my everbearing strawberries. The plants are growing like mad, but I'm not getting any blooms. Ozark Beauty strawberries are said to not make very many runners, but I'm having to cut runners off the plants at least twice per week. Almost every single plant is putting out 4 or more runners per week. This winter I'm planning to move the strawberry plants out from the base of the fruit trees. I've got another one of the snap-set kiddie pools I bought for $5 last fall on clearance that I've been filling up with compost for them. (Others may prefer cream and sugar with their strawberries, but I've always been a bit odd.) By winter, the new bed will be ready for me to move all the strawberries to a place of their own.

Here are my pictures - hopein' it works.

Dwarf Black Tartarian Cherry Tree

Bronze Scuppernong Grapes

Apache Thornless Blackberry

Tomatoes in 6' Snap Set Swimming Pool

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 3:23PM
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Thanks for taking the time to write that out. I appreciate it. I will get that book. I don't think that Tomato Container is going anywhere but I'm sure your lease must be lasting longer than the tomatoes will. What kind of fruit production do you get or expect form grapes/blackberries in those containers? They do look healthy....I linked pictures of my containers below for whoever is interested.

Thanks again.....

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 1:30PM
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I grew two jalepeno plants in two 5 gallon buckets last season. I got more peppers than I ever dreamed of. I was getting peppers well into December until I finally had to pull the plants out of the buckets. I was getting WAY too many peppers!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 10:15PM
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I grow a dwarf lime tree, TC Blackberries, Wineberry Raspberries & a few others in containers. Had great luck with them so far. The two berries are in 25 gallon pots, so they have plenty of room.

- Steve

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 9:16AM
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This is my first time growing berries and due to lack of space, it is growing in big plastic container.

I bought it end of last year as a bareroot and I'm not sure what to expect!

Will let you know if I have any luck this year!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:49PM
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