In recent years container gardeners have been able to enjoy their own small orchard. There are a variety of ultra dwarf fruit trees that thrive in container gardens, providing ample fresh produce. Ultra dwarf fruit trees have the added benefit that you can reach all the fruit produced and it does not ripen at once, so there is less wasted fruit. These dwarf trees mature in one to two years compared to semi-dwarf and full size fruit trees that mature in three to five years. Care for container orchards resembles the care for full-size fruit trees grown directly in the soil.
Mix potting soil and compost together in equal parts. Fill a large planter with soil mixture.
Plant the fruit tree into the soil at least 12 inches into the soil. Tamp the soil around the base of the tree and place mulch on top of the soil. Place it in a sunny location that receives six to eight hours of sunlight per day.
Water ultra dwarf fruit trees at least once per week during the growing season. More frequent watering may be required in warm areas or areas with high winds.
Remove any fruit the first year to encourage root development.
Prune the main leader (tree trunk) the first year to 30 inches above the ground. Remove all other branches during the second year, except the sturdiest four branches.
Use a high nitrogen content fertilizer to fertilize ultra dwarf fruit trees once every four to six weeks.
Wrap the trees in burlap to protect them from cold winds in the winter. If possible, move the trees to a protected area such as a garage or covered porch.