Question or two!!!

Darth-Talon(9)October 21, 2011

Sorry if this is in wrong forum!!! But I had a few questions!

1.) Anyone have any luck with dwarf fruit trees? like peaches, apples, etc. If so, (anyone can answer this) can you successfully grow dwarf trees in a container if it's big enough for the tree's roots?

2.) What are good beginners for container growing for kids?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Yes, any fruit tree CAN do well in a container. HOW well depends on your abilities as a grower much more than on the tree. There is something of a learning curve associated with long-term plantings in containers, and learning the tree's cultural preferences is only one of the considerations. How to maintain trees over the long term is a requirement if a consistently vital tree is the goal.

Ficus carica (hardy fig) would be my choice for you - or one of its near relatives (same family - Moraceae) in the Morus (mulberry) genus. I chose those because they are genetically extremely vigorous, which means they are quite forgiving. Root pruning will be another area in which you'll need some knowledge as it will need to be undertaken at least every other year in order to maintain good vitality.

You might find the link below to be helpful. It's devoted to maintaining containerized trees.

Al

Here is a link that might be useful: More about trees in pots if you click me.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 5:13PM
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Darth-Talon(9)

thank you. I'll check the link out. Not sure on figs... and I'll probably hold off any attempts on potted dwarfs until I try something a little more simple.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 11:38AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I have a dwarf peach in a large container, just planted this Spring.
I used a mix of bark, perlite, and potting soil - along with Dolomitic Lime and a charge
of Osmocote slow-release fertilizer. The peach went from a branchless, leafless stick to
a well-developed bush about three feet round in all directions.

I also keep a fig tree outdoors in a container, same mix, same phenomenal growth.

Listen to Al, he'll guide you to success.

Josh

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 11:56AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

..... and Josh is no slouch, either.

Al

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 8:13PM
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Darth-Talon(9)

lol right on. :) I could use all the help I can get. ^^;

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 4:05PM
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Lisa2011

I just saw (in the Harris Seeds Spring 2011 Garden Catalog)a Columnar Apple tree. The write-up says the tree doesn't produce branches, "but flowers and sets full sized fruit from spurs on the trunk". They say it grows 6-8 feet tall and two feet wide. Sounds interesting.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 7:40PM
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emgardener

"2.) What are good beginners for container growing for kids?"

Mint plants are nearly indestructible as long as they get water and they smell nice.

Beans are nice as they show off a sprouting seed well. You can sprout them on a plate with wet paper towel so kids can see this process. Then transplant the sprouts to a small container.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 7:11PM
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red_chucks(5 (Chicago))

Darth,

I grew Arkansas Black and Northern Spy apples on dwarf stock in 20-inch pots in my back yard. I got apples the first year from the Arkansas Black! They all did very well in what we on this board call Al's gritty mix. [My sister-in-law since has bought a farm and given the apple trees a home in the dirt there.] I think zone 9 is too warm for those apples, but I offer it as an example.

I have gotten peaches and nectarines from mini trees meant for container growing; the fruit is small and good. I got enough cherries for a pie from two dwarf trees and a cherry bush I grow in containers. I have harvested lemons, limes, and kumquats--citrus is easy. My pomegranate sets fruit but they don't get ripe in Chicago. I get a few figs to eat every year, but most are still green when we get a frost.

I envy you the zone 9 weather. Eat a lot of figs for me.

red_chucks

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 11:07PM
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Darth-Talon(9)

Not a big fan of figs, unforuntately. There's a pomegranate tree in the backyard that produces smallish fruits. just sure how to get it to produce bigger fruits with chickens in the yard....

on a side note, since this is a containter forum and thus a container question, maybe you guys can help with t his one.... I have hot pepper seedlings that have sprouted (12 year old seeds none the less. haha! ) they're getting filtered sunlight and water so they don't die. When is the best time to transplant them to a container? How many can I fit into a container? How deep do they need be in the container?

I have the seedlings in an 18 count egg carton (what I had lying around the house). I have 9 sections with sproutlings. .. about 2-4 a space.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 6:04PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I would only pot one pepper seedling per container.

I transplant when the seedling has two or three sets of true leaves.
Where will these be growing?

Josh

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 3:31AM
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Darth-Talon(9)

Kinda indoor and outdoor. I want the peppers year long so I figure if I get them in a container, Move them outside for the needed sunlight and bring them indoors cause temps drop to freezing temps where I'm at.

Will they get their two or three sets of true leaves while they're in the carton? or do I need to find a few bigger containers for them?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 12:31PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The plants won't really produce nice pods during the winter, unless you use extra lights.
But if you can keep them outside as much as possible, they'll be much healthier.

You'll probably want to transplant your seedlings from the egg carton sooner.
The seedlings will run out of room for the roots, and that will stall the seedling
or else cause trauma to the roots when you do finally transplant.

I go from 2-inch containers, to 4-inch containers, and then to 5-gallon containers.

During the winter, I'd go from 4-inch containers to 1-gallon or 2-gallon containers.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 1:36PM
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Darth-Talon(9)

Okay. I'll have to gather my few containers and put some soil in them so they have a little extra room.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 1:35AM
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Darth-Talon(9)

uhh how can I safely transplant them from the egg carton to a small container?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 3:46PM
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