Skip to main content

Starting a container orchard

Before we bought the new property I had an idea of creating my orchard in containers.  I thought this would be the best way to deal with our weird climate.  I could move the trees to the most appropriate location for the season.  In summer they could shelter under the shade of the gum trees and in winter they could enjoy full sun and plenty of chill hours, or hide out in the greenhouse until the frost was gone, depending on their individual needs.  This way I could grow apples, citrus, stone fruit, mangoes, avocado, mulberry.......just dreaming of all the possibilities!

Now that we have the new property I don't need a special orchard because (we hope) it should be frost free.  The reason we have such terrible frost here is that the house and garden are quite low down the hill.  Our neighbours at the top of the hill have no frost and grow bananas up there!  So we hope (and have been told) that with the new property being on top of a hill it will also be frost free, so I should be able to just plant a nice orchard in the house yard and not worry about frost or containers.

Anyway, when I was planning for my container orchard, I found some useful information here and here, so that may help others with weird climates to start an orchard.  In the meantime, I now own two container citrus plants, a lemon and a lime.  And I can keep them in the pots until we move, so its still a useful idea for people who are renting or not sure if they'll be staying long at their current house.  I won't get all the fruit trees that I was originally planning for the container orchard, but citrus is so useful, I thought it would be worth a try.

I got these trees from the Nanango market from a stall called Mountain Veiws Nursery from Pomona on the Sunshine Coast.  They told me that they breed their own special dwarf root stock and specialise in citrus, so I am hoping that these trees are prepared for local conditions.

I'm looking forward to having access to my own lemons and limes for making ginger ale, and all those times you just need a squeeze of lemon!


Do you use a container orchard?  Any tips?

Comments

  1. I have a lime tree in a pot and just this year it has suddenly got healthy, put on lots of new growth and I have been harvesting limes! I also have a fig tree in a pot but I think I am still a long way off from fresh figs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have been contemplating doing this as well. Our winters are not as mild as yours though. I will be checking into those links to see if I can make it work here. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Africanaussie, that gives me some hope that I can look forward to a similar harvest, there is currently one baby lime on tree, yay!

    Will be interested to see if it works for you Jen, if you have somewhere sheltered to put the trees in winter it might be the solution :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a bunch of fruit two of t trees in pots at the moment (well, four anyway), but at least two of them will be planted out this winter. I've got an orange tree I'm going to keep in the pot for now though, and I'm thinking I might just get one of those half wine barrels and make it it's permanent home, in order to take advantage of the good (apparently) frost free microclimate at the east side of our house, which is all paved.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

** Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about my garden, soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.


The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko a…

Making tallow soap

Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....
For some reason I've always thought that making soap seemed too hard.  For a start the number of ingredients required was confusing and all the safety warnings about using the alkali put me off.  The worst part for me was that most of the ingredients had to be purchased, and some even imported (palm oil and coconut oil), which never seemed very self-sufficient.  I can definitely see the benefits of using homemade soap instead of mass produced soap (that often contains synthetic fragrance, colour, preservatives, and has had the glycerine removed), but it seemed to me that if I was going to buy all the ingredients I may as well just buy the soap and save myself all the hassle.  For the past several years I have bought homemade soap from various market stalls and websites, and that has suited me just fine.