Tribeca Terrace Garden New York, NY
Tribeca Terrace Garden by The Artist Garden
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Care Tips for Growing Trees in Containers Put the right plant in the right place. As with any plant, choosing a variety that thrives in your climate, sun and moisture level is the only way to ensure it will thrive in your garden. With container-grown plants, you have the advantage of being able to move them. If the first placement isn’t working (not enough sun, for example), move the plant to another spot. Choose dwarf varieties, if available. In general, smaller trees make better varieties for containers. If you see dwarf hybrids of trees that are not on this list, such as dwarf apples, gingko and others, they may make good container plants. Ask for advice at your nursery before buying a tree to grow in a container. Start with a large container. Once you bring a potted tree home from the nursery, repot it into a larger container than it came in. Grow a tree in the largest container you can, aiming for a soil depth of at least 2 to 3 feet. Make sure the container has a drainage hole. June Scott Design Watering. Plants grown in containers dry out more quickly than those planted in garden beds. Set up a consistent watering schedule for your potted tree to give it the water it needs; better yet, put it on a timed drip irrigation system. Fertilizing. Trees grown in the same container for many years can deplete the nutrients in the soil and run out of the ones they need. This is particularly common with citrus, which are all heavy nitrogen feeders. Regularly fertilize potted trees during the active growing season with a diluted solution of organic fertilizer. June Scott Design Rotating. If you’re growing a potted tree against a wall or fence, chances are one side receives less sun than the other. Rotate trees once a month (pots on wheels make it much easier) if maintaining an even form is a priority. Repotting. If you’ve grown a tree in the same container for multiple years, or if the tree shows signs of stress (yellowing leaves or dieback), it may be time to repot. To do so, choose a new container that’s at least a few inches wider and deeper than the existing pot. Remove the tree, root ball and all, from the existing pot, prune the roots and place it in the new pot filled with fresh potting soil. Soak to water. Red Squirrel Architects Root pruning. Any plants grown for multiple seasons in the same container are at risk of becoming pot-bound, the condition when roots circle around the interior wall of the pot, ultimately forming a mass of roots. While you’re repotting, take advantage of the tree being out of a pot to prune the roots. Using sterilized pruning shears, cut back all outer roots about an inch deep into the root ball, particularly any that have formed ropes or masses in the shape of the pot. This can help prevent the plant from becoming pot-bound and reinvigorate feeder root growth. Planting out. If a potted tree has lived in a container for multiple years and is starting to outgrow the container or your patio size, it may be time to plant the tree out into the garden. You can plant a tree at any time of year, apart from when it’s very hot out or the ground is frozen, but the warm soil and increased rain in fall make the autumn season a great time to plant. Choose a spot in the yard with the right light exposure for the type of tree and where it will have plenty of room to grow to its mature size. (Remember, trees stay smaller in containers. Once they’re planted out, expect them to reach full size.) If you have limited space, you can also offer the tree to a neighbor or check for local tree donation organizations.