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Growing Apples in Containers

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:05 am
by Dwain

I was thinking of getting a Cox Orange Pippin (m26 rootstock) - as it's been regarded as one of the "best" apple varieties in the world.

The problem is, my back yard is concreted so I need to grow it in a pot. I have a spare pot lying around but it's kind of narrow: 35W x 90L x 32H (CM). The pot holds approx 100 liters of soil, but I don't know, given the size of it, if it will become pot-bound. If anyone can offer any thoughts on this, it will be greatly appreciated!



Re: Growing Apples in Containers

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:01 am
by OrangePippin-Richard
The environment in a container is much tougher than you would find in open ground, but M26 is quite a good rootstock for container-growing.

The container will naturally restrict the tree, so it will be smaller than it might otherwise be.

I think 100liter capacity will be pretty good, and should keep the tree happy for 5 years or possibly much longer. The dimensions of your container mean that it is unlikely to be blown over. The only problem is the soil depth sounds like it will be pretty shallow, only 32cm if I understood correctly. However fruit trees are quite adaptable so I think you will have to see how it goes.

A less vigorous rootstock such as M9 might be worth considering. In any case I think it will need a permanent stake to support it.

Cox is (IMHO) probably the "best" flavored of all apples, but it is a bit fussy over climate and does not like long hot summers (if you have ever visited England, you will know why). Rubinette and Kidd's Orange Red are good substitutes that have a wider climate range.

Re: Growing Apples in Containers

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:31 am
by Dwain
Richard, you are definitely right, it will eventually outgrow the pot - it's just a matter of time. I think I'm better off planting it in a large container (like a wine barrel) - that way it will give me a better crop and I don't have to worry about it getting pot bound in the next 5 or so years.

Re: Growing Apples in Containers

Posted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:29 pm
by malinda
You can buy cheap greenhouse/containers from ebay

Re: Growing Apples in Containers

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:47 am
by Skipley
When the voles started eating my 2 year old Bud-9 rootstock grafted trees in the nursery I moved them into pots- 5 gallon, basically the same size as you speak of. The trees did very well the first year, ok the next and then I planted most of them out to a permanent field but many I left in the pots to grow on and resell. They we're constantly blowing over and fertility management was basically fish. Some varieties do very well while others really suffered. Cox Orange is a weaker growing variety if I recall and in my soil it will grow about 8'. In the pot it was half that. I like Rubi
nette flavor but boy is it scabby. My favorites in the Cox class are Mother and Kidd's Orange-Red-both mosty free of scab. The "best" flavored is subjective. It doesn't win the blind-folded taste test here.

Re: Growing Apples in Containers

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:00 pm
by sgbotsford
While you can buy cheap containers from ebay, the transport kills.

A better way to get nursery containers is to go visit the bigger landscape contractors. The most I've paid is $50/pickup load. Often they are free. Now the larger pots are harder to find. A #25 is about the biggest I've gotten.

A plastic barrel takes about 15 mintues to convert into two pots, equivalent to about a #35 pot. You could use the full depth of the pot, if you bolt some stabilizers to the side of the pot to keep it from blowing over.

A third option is to get this:

Re: Growing Apples in Containers

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:31 pm
by mmi
i was thinking of bench graph some apple and put them in pots maybe sell some . do i have to bring them in side 4 winter i am in zone 5