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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.

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  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. :)

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  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 :)

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  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.

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