Milwaukee, WI (PRWEB) May 28, 2014
Picture harvesting a few fresh strawberries for breakfast in the morning or perhaps picking a few apples from a backyard tree to cook up into a pie. “It’s possible to add fruit to the landscape even if you garden on a balcony or small lot,” says gardening expert and author Melinda Myers. And even if there’s plenty of space, gardeners are sure to appreciate the fun and convenience of reaching out the backdoor and harvesting some homegrown fruit. Myers suggests the following strategies to get the most out of growing fruit in containers.
Strawberries are excellent container plants. Grow everbearing or day neutral varieties, in order to harvest strawberries throughout the growing season. Reduce the 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 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.
Don’t stop there. Add some dwarf fruit trees to patio plantings. A dwarf apple, peach or pear will provide beautiful spring flowers, nice foliage for the summer and fruit for gardeners and their families to enjoy. Select self-fertile varieties, those that only require one plant to produce fruit, if space is limited. Grow dwarf trees in large weather-proof pots with drainage. Those in cold climates will need to provide some winter protection, but the first harvest is sure to make that extra bit of work well worth the effort.
Try 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 be sure to move the potted plant indoors for the winter and back outdoors next season once the danger of frost has passed.
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 the soil can be controlled a great 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, gardeners will more than double their harvest if they grow two.
So get outdoors and survey the patio, deck, balcony or garden for space to add a container or two of fruiting plants that are sure to add beauty to the garden and flavor to meals this season.
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 the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts The 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, http://www.melindamyers.com, offers gardening videos and tips.