July Fruit growing tips and advice

Most tree and bush fruit can be grown in containers, even apples and pears. The secret is choosing the right type of plant and training method. Read our advice on choosing fruit for containers for more information. Planting in a container Because it will be very heavy once filled, move the pot to its final position before potting up the plant. The pot should be set on bricks or pot feet to aid drainage. Place crocks in the bottom of the pot for drainage. Mix a loam-based potting compost, such as John Innes No 3, with some controlled-release fertiliser in a large bucket or wheelbarrow and place some of the mix in the pot. Then set the tree in the pot; if the roots are too long for the pot, trim them with secateurs. If planting a fruit tree, make sure that the graft union is level with the top of the pot, and start to backfill with the compost mix, firming the soil around the roots and into the sides of the container. Leave about 2cm (0.75in) between the rim and the top of the compost. Then water the plant in well. Caring for container-grown fruit Fruit in a pot will probably need daily watering during dry periods in the growing season - never allow the compost to dry out. Once the plant starts to flower, it may also need a liquid feed each week with a high potash fertiliser (such as tomato food) until the fruit begins to ripen. Feed annually in spring with a controlled-release fertiliser. Repotting Once established, fruit may need to be repotted every two years. Lie the pot down on its side and gently ease out the plant. Scrape away any excess soil from the rootball and use a knife to cut through any roots that appear to be restricting growth. Replant using fresh potting compost - John Innes No 3 mixed with controlled-release fertiliser. Courtesy of www.rhs.org.uk

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