Tips for Growing a Patio Tree
Today is “Love a Tree Day” and while we encourage you to head to your nearest green area and hug a trunk or two, we wanted to take this opportunity to give you some tips for growing a lovely tree of your own.
Many of our readers live in small spaces with even smaller outdoor areas, making it difficult to add a little nature to their urban dwellings. However, we have found some great tips for growing a tree of your very own right in your own backyard… or back patio, back deck…you get the idea.
Here are 4 things you should consider when you are going to plant a patio tree:
“Smaller species and dwarf varieties of standard species are good candidates for containers,” suggests Oregon State University Extension Service. This can include a number of evergreens and deciduous trees (click here for some options) along with citrus trees, which also work well in a sunny indoor spot. In addition to the size of tree, make sure the pot you use is the right size as well. Look for pots that are about as wide as they are high—clay pots are better for keeping trees stable during windy conditions.
Use the Right Soil
Soil from your garden or yard does not always work in containers—it usually doesn’t drain well and is more prone to weeds and insects. Gardening Know-How suggests using soil-based compost, it is available at most nurseries or you can use your own mixing your compost with potting soil and sand (click here for tips on summer composting). Every spring, refresh the soil by replacing loose, dry topsoil with compost-enriched soil.
Regardless of the tree or container you choose, you need to make sure water has a place to go. Look for pots that have numerous holes big enough for the water to drain out. If your pot only has one hole in the center, drill at least four more around it. We also love “self-watering” containers like these from Gardener’s Supply Company. In addition to reducing your watering chores, these types of pots are great for those who have an upstairs balcony or patio—it keeps water from dripping on your neighbors below.
Tree roots tend to dry out more frequently when planted in a container, especially during the summer months. In addition to making sure you are watering your trees on a regular basis, pay attention to where you are placing the pots. Heat from the pavement or excessive wind can cause soil temperatures to get too hot or dry. Place your trees in a sheltered location where they get the right amount of sun and shade.
Talk to us: What is your favorite kind of tree to grow in a container?