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Southern California Gardening: Fruit Trees

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Small fruit trees are some of my favorite go-to garden gifts for housewarmings or birthday parties.

Potted peach in full bloom
Happy tangerine in terra-cotta pot

I started growing fruit trees in pots over 30 years ago. I didn’t have a garden of my own and depended on large containers for my growing needs. Pots of Meyer lemons, kumquats, guavas, limes, oranges, and tangerines flaunted their fragrant blossoms, plus provided me with a modest harvest and an immodest pride in what I’d grown. These old friends still grace my terrace with their elegant and ever-productive presence.

Mandarin orange blossoms perfume the air.

You won't need much space for dwarf or semidwarf varieties of trees. But if you're gardening on a patio, balcony, or in containers, they'll stay a manageable size and make harvesting an easy chore.

Luscious Meyer lemon

Uh-oh-once you start growing small trees in your garden, you may become hooked. If you're like me you'll end up with dozens and dozens (I have 64), and you won't be able to imagine your garden, or your life, without them.

Tips for growing little trees:

  • Peruse the trees at your local Lowe's nursery.
  • Select the healthiest dwarf and semidwarf varieties.
  • Pick up some fertilizer specifically suited to your tree choices.
  • Pot trees in large containers, at least three times bigger than the containers they're in.
  • Purchase good potting soil.
  • Water deeply after planting.

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