• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Micro Balcony Food Forest

 
Katrin Kerns
Posts: 126
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have decided to start working on a micro balcony food forest since I live in a small apartment on the third floor of my complex. I'm starting with fruit trees that I'm going to try and keep small in containers. So far I have managed to start an apple tree seedling, a mango tree seedling, two avocado tree seedlings and a peach tree seedling. I have to wait to start any more seedlings because they are renovating the complex and they tore apart and rebuilt my balcony. Now I'm just waiting for them to get the painting done and out of the way and I can start moving my plants outdoors. Then I will start another variety of apple tree, though I also have three heirloom Saturn Flat peach seeds germinating at the moment as well.

I'm kind of looking for advice as to what smaller fruits or vegetables do well in containers. I would like to add in more things that would be growing year round rather than having to re-plant each year. I don't mean fruiting year round, just, you know things that I can tend continuously and and not have to plant over and over again. I imagine that I will have some fruit and vegies that I will do that with like tomatoes, peppers and such, but I would really like more things that would just be there. Any thoughts, experience, or idea's would be appreciated.

Thanks much,

Kat
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is a list of 4ft fruit trees, check it out and let me know what you think of it/any assistance that you need.

http://www.pacificgroves.com/patio.html
 
Katrin Kerns
Posts: 126
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the reply and the link, though I'm actually looking more for things like berry bushes that might do well in containers. I have a lot of tree seedlings already, but I want more varieties of plants to flesh out the garden. I don't know if you can container grow blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries, but that's kind of the information that I was looking for.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The link I sent you is for actual container plants that you leave on your patio/balcony. they only get to 4ft tall at maturity(even after having the plant for 11yrs its still 4ft tall).
And they bear regular size fruits. They are not seedlings that are trying to get to 30ft that you have to prune, these ones naturally stop at 4ft.

Yes blueberry can be container planted and they will fruit for years and years.
The have 1ft at maturity blueberry and they have 6ft ones.
All of them will work but the smaller the better.

Raspberry and blackberry will have whips that grow to 10 ft so you are going to have to plan for that.
Strawberry do well, so does gooseberries (mature height is 3ft) and currants (mature height 5ft)
Regent juneberry only get to 4ft at maturity.
Chicargo hardy fig is a dieback in boston, ma zone 7/6. So it never gets over 4ft and it bears 1 crop vs 2 crops with protection
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For containers you can do oranges, lemons, limes. etc. and bring them in for the winter.

I don't know if the trees you started will do ok in containers because, for instance, apple trees grown from seed get to be very big. Maybe if you trim the roots like they do for bonsai it will keep them from overcrowding themselves.

Strawberries are good in containers. And herbs can be grown in windowboxes, along with greens like the small bok choi, lettuces, etc. I used to grow nasturtiums in mine.

If you're good about watering, maybe you could put some wintergreen in the planters with the trees. It's a creeping groundcover that makes tasty berries. You could also plant the smaller herbs with the trees - like thyme, oregano, etc.

You can buy tea plants to grow in containers. They'd need to be brought in for winter too.

I used to have a lot of fish tanks. The fish waste I got from cleaning out the filters, which I did weekly or every few days, was excellent fertilizer for my container plants. They grew better than I've ever grown anything. When you squeeze the filter (I used sponge filters) you get this rich dark brown, earthy smelling water that's full of bacteria and life. With that mixed in with water I took from the tank I could turn sickly plants that were nearly dead to thriving healthy plants even using worn-out years old potting soil. If you think you'd like to go that route, goldfish make the most waste. They can live out on your patio too, in a plastic tub.
 
Katrin Kerns
Posts: 126
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks much for the information both of you!

I have been told that so long as I prune the trees well and trim the roots every two to three years that even regular fruit trees can do well in pots, so I'm not too worried about that. I really like the idea of raising most of what I'm growing from seed. It kind of gives me more of a sense of completion. You know, kind of I get to watch them grow through each stage of their lives and I'm learning quite a lot from it. I like the thought of the wintergreen as a ground cover in the planters, it won't choke out the trees will it? I would love to grow blueberries and currents, didn't know if either of them did well in containers. I will have to see where I can get some of these things. I don't know anything about Regent Juneberries or gooseberries, are they tasty?

S Bengi, I couldn't find any information on pricing in the site from the link you sent. There is at least one of those miniature trees that I would really like to get, the weeping plum, but try as I might I could not find anything on how to get one. Also I couldn't find anything about their growing practices, I really want to stay away from GMO's and go with completely organic if I can.

I need to find what is available and grows in my zone, which I think is 8 or 9.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In that zone, you should look for the book "The After Dinner Gardener" - it's all about starting your own fruit trees/bushes/vines from seeds from your food. Very fun book, but many of the projects are tropical fruits and don't do well where I live.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Check out these guys for berries and such:
http://www.onegreenworld.com/Arctic%20Raspberry/450/

As for the pervious site: They are wholesale suppliers in CA so alot of SW USA nuseries carry their stuff.
I know that millernursery carry a few of their stuff and might be able to get the other ones.
http://www.millernurseries.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=1227
or drop them an email: info@pacificgroves.com

Their trees are not GMO:
They use their own dwarfing root-stock on natural dwarf tops, and they graft/branch at 1ft vs the usual 3 to 4 ft.
 
Katrin Kerns
Posts: 126
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sweet! Once again, thanks much to everyone who responded. I will have to look for the after dinner gardener, do you know how old it is or how much it runs?
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic