When gardeners start thinking about garden urns they almost never come up short for ideas on how to use them. In fact, given the apparently endless array of options, choosing what to do with them is sometimes the hardest part of working with garden vases and containers!
Let’s say that you’ve exhausted the traditional uses. You have used urns as containers for crawling ivy and bursts of violet. You have used some tall containers to house sunflowers or even cattails. You’ve got some decorative urns here and there that do nothing but enhance the garden’s aesthetic. Now what?
Consider planting a potted fruit tree or two. The benefits are many – they are often beautiful to look at, and of course there is the lovely fruit that they offer in time. We’re talking – depending on your climate – about bright yellow lemons or sweet succulent apples, even the deep cool purple of plums. Is there anything better than a fruit salad made from your own fruit trees? Or your very own apple pie for desert?
If you like the idea, potted fruit trees are actually not as intimidating as they might appear. You want to keep a few important tips in mind. First, be sure that the urn you select is large enough for the tree’s root ball. A smaller urn might work fine when the tree is in the early stages but it won’t work in the long run. You don’t want your tree busting the clay pot it’s in – that’s bad for the urn and the tree!
The root ball – fancy term for the roots that expand under the soil – will be approximately the same size as the tree branches. Use them to eyeball the size urn you are going to need. Remember, there are many dwarf tree varieties that will do just fine in a container.
Remember as well that trees are heavier than most of the plants or shrubs that you might grown. And, trees grow higher than most plants. This weight distribution means that they can easily topple over if you choose the wrong size or shape of urn. Look for a vase with sturdy sides.
Fruit trees like soil that’s laden with nutrients so don’t skimp on the compost and other healthy additives. Water your trees on a regular basis – they need this kind of attention even more than flowers do, because trees get awfully thirsty. The love and attention that you shower on them in the early stages of their lives will pay off big time as they mature. Keep your eyes on the prize – that fresh fruit salad or the steaming cherry pie!