How to plant a Tree or a Shrub in a tub (selfsufficientish)

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How to plant a Tree or a Shrub in a tub

You may have been attracted to this site as you are an urbanite and you don’t have that much room to grow things. …………….

My previous article on container gardening may have given you some ideas, but here a few more for those of you with a small yard or who want to grow things on a patio.

Many plants can be grown in Tubs including edible ones such as apple trees like crab or compact dwarfing apple trees. They won’t grow to the same sizes as they would if planted straight into the ground, but they will still crop and if you ain’t got much room that’s ideal.

Choose a large pot or tub with an inside diameter of at least 38cm (15 inches). To ensure that the Tree or shrub does not topple over in high winds (or just from gravity) you should not use a plastic tub, ceramic or clay tubs are ideal.

Place bits of broken crockery, broken clay pots or chipped bark over the drainage hole.

Part fill the tub/pot with loam-based potting soil, do not use any heavyweight alternatives as the weight is required for sustainability.

Get the plant you wish to pot and knock it out from it’s original pot. If the roots are tightly wound around the root ball then it is a good idea to gently tease out a few so that they will readily grow into the surrounding pot.

Stick the plant into the pot and make sure that the root ball is 2-2.5cm below the rim of the pot. This allows for watering.

Lastly firm the compost around the roots, give the plant a liquid feed and a good watering.

Keep well watered in dry weather. For bigger trees and shrubs make sure that the tubs are packed around some other hefty pots to ensure that they don’t blow over.

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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