Many people often long for the opportunity to pick fresh fruit from their garden but will often shy away from the idea, fearing they haven’t got enough space for a single tree, let alone an entire “orchard”. With a bit of careful selection and advice though, it is entirely possible to fit several trees into a small space – and reap the benefits of harvesting your own apples, pears, plums or cherries - even apricots!
Grafted fruit trees are now readily available that will only grow to a maximum height of 6 – 8 ft, with some now classed as “patio fruit” and will max out at 1m (39”) , making them absolutely perfect for container growing. It is always advisable to check the rootstock before purchasing a tree, our Rootstock Guide will help to give you an idea of what to expect from our trees.
To gain the maximum potential from your space, you have different growing options for your trees; If you are able to grow your trees around the edge of your garden against a wall or fence, then training the tree as an espalier, fan or cordon will make good use of the flat, vertical surface. Espalier trees have a series of horizontal branches in parallel tiers, fans are trees that have been pruned to form a fan shape against the wall and cordons are angled or vertical trees that have very short side branches. All of the above sit tightly against the wall or fence and will take up next to no space by intruding into the garden.
Growing trees in large containers will help keep the plant’s growth reduced too, restricting the roots will mean that you will have to feed and water the trees regularly as they will be relying on you to maintain them, very little rainfall will reach the roots, especially when the tree gets larger, and the nutrients in the compost will be used up very quickly indeed.
We have a wide choice of fruit trees available for creating your very own mini orchard, they can be mixed together to create your preferred blend: Our top choices for each type are: Apples: Golden Delicious a versatile variety that will grow in a pot or can be trained, will grow to 2.4m if left to grow on its own, but will stay much more compact otherwise Pear: Doyenne du Comice really flavoursome fruit that is easy to grow, partially self fertile but will benefit from another pear in the neighbourhood. Plum: Victoria Victoria surely the best known plum in Britain, grafted onto a VVA1 stock to make a perfect patio tree that will only grow to approx 1m (39”) tall.
Cherry: Sylvia a self fertile variety that will produce sweet cherries on a small tree if grown in a container. Nectarine: Necta Zee a genetically dwarf variety, making it ideal for growing in containers with delicious crop of nectarines. It’s also possible to grow more exotic fruit like Pomegranite Pomegranite and citrus trees or Apricots Apricot such as Apricot ‘Aprigold’
With such a wide choice of trees now suitable for smaller spaces, there’s nothing stopping you from creating a wonderful fruit cocktail in your own back garden! For more fruit growing suggestions and advice, head over to our fruit hub page.
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