How to Grow Full-Sized Tree Fruit on Your Deck Garden
Its summer! And everyone loves indulging in delicious fruit during the summer months. For those of you who would rather grow your own apples, pears, cherries, peaches, or other types of tree fruit without starting an orchard in your backyard, there is another option: potted fruit trees on your deck garden. These produce beautiful blossoms in the spring and full-sized fruit when they’re ready for harvest. Because they are dwarf trees, most of their growth “energy” goes into fruit production instead of plant height. This means they bear fruit sooner than the same full-sized fruit tree.
You can grow any dwarf fruit tree in a pot by grafting the branch of a tree onto a compatible dwarfing rootstock. Dwarfing rootstock are cultivated to limit nutrient supply to its upper limbs, which limit their size.
To grow a dwarf peach tree for example, cut off a small branch from a normal peach tree at an angle (not a 90 degree cut). This is called the scion. Then cut off a branch from the dwarfing rootstock at the same angle. Tape the scion on to the remaining branch stub of the dwarfing rootstock. It is important that both cut surfaces of the scion and rootstock must be in contact. Use a pot that’s 12 to 15 inches in diameter and about 12 inches deep for containing the dwarfing rootstock and soil.
Different tree species are only compatible for grafting with certain types of dwarfing rootstock. This compatibility information is available from a specialist supplier. The supplier can also tell you which types of trees self pollinate and which require another tree for pollination. For example most peaches and apricots are self pollinating while most apples and pears must pollinate with a partner tree.
Keep the trees well watered and fed every other week with a potash feed. It is also possible to graft different types of compatible trees onto different branches of the same dwarfing rootstock.
To learn more about how to maintain your deck garden and care for your deck, contact us at DeckMAX.