Think you don’t have space to grow fruit trees? Grow them in wine barrels!
Wine barrels are great containers for growing dwarf fruit trees. And at about $40 per half wine barrel, they are a good container for the budget conscious gardener. You can have an entire veggie garden in wine barrels, too! See ‘Six Easy Steps to Create a Wine Barrel Garden’ post.
- Wine barrels (six or more, if you have room)
- Potting mix (I like palm and cactus mix, it drains well)
- Dwarf fruit tree(s), suggestions: 2 Valencia oranges (for juicing), 1 Washington navel orange (for eating), 1 Meyer lemon (for cooking), 1 early peach, 1 late peach (see Dave Wilson nursery list of peaches to help you choose), or your favorite fruit! Just be sure to get ‘dwarf’ varieties
- Organic fruit/vegetable fertilizer
How to Set Up/Plant
- Choose a site that gets 6 hours or more of sunlight a day
- Drill several 1 inch holes in bottom of wine barrel, if they did not come pre-drilled
- Fill barrel part way with potting mix so that root ball of plant sits a couple inches below top of barrel.
- Mix fertilizer into soil according to package directions
- Remove tree from pot, gently loosen roots and place on top of soil. Add more soil around root ball until top of root ball is even with surrounding soil.
- Water well.
- Water regularly. Trees in wine barrels cannot send their roots in search of water, so they depend on you.
- Feed regularly during the growing season. Again, their roots cannot spread out and search for nutrients, so you need to provide.
- Prune and spray the peaches when dormant. See What to do in the Garden: January
- Harvest the citrus only when ripe (taste one to decide), it does not ripen after it is picked.
- For more on care of citrus see University of California recommendations.
- For more on care of peaches see University of Californa recommendations.