Growing fruit trees at home brings spreading branches for kids, bright green foliage and sweet spring and summer blooms. Even better, those fruit trees bring full summer and fall harvest if they're healthy. In cold areas like Mesquite, Nevada, winter temperatures make many outdoor fruit trees impossible. In cold zones, it's best to grow hardier trees outdoors and keep sensitive fruit trees in pots for indoor winter protection.
Mesquite, Nevada, is an hour away from Las Vegas and falls into a growing zone that regularly drops less than 20 degrees F in the winter with snowfall and harsh storms. This area is not ideal for growing most cold-sensitive fruit trees, which suffer at temperatures less than 30 to 40 degrees F.
In colder areas, it's a good idea to grow fruit trees in pots, so they can be moved indoors during the winter. Fruit trees like lemons, limes, oranges, peaches and cherries grow very well in pots as indoor plants. Purchase large, 30-gallon containers with drainage holes for trees giving them plenty of room for growth while restricting their ultimate size.
All fruit trees require quick-draining soil and plenty of water, so fill pots 3/4 full with a mixture of half quick-draining soil and half compost. Fruit trees require fairly shallow plantings with the top of their root ball at soil level and 2 inches of water every week.
During the Mesquite summer, keep fruit trees outdoors in areas where they'll receive six to eight hours of full sun every day. Water them weekly and bring them indoors only when temperatures drop to less than 50 degrees F or when the first frost occurs.
During the Mesquite winter, keep fruit trees in sheltered locations like the house or barn. Trees should still receive six to eight hours of natural or artificial light every day, but should not sit near fireplaces or heating vents. Although those would help protect the trees from cold Nevada winters, they will also dry out the trees. Keep the trees away from windows in the winter, as they may let in cold air. Water the trees more consistently when they're indoors, as they may dry out more quickly.
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