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What To Grow In a Big Box

Hi - I hope somebody can advise ! I recently collected a large black plastic water reservoir-type box that was being thrown out (it measures 72cms deep and 52cms along each side) and am desperate to reuse it as a planter of sorts (once I have created drainage holes in the bottom). Would this be useful for a small dwarf apple tree or a fruit tree or would it suit something more decorative such as cherry ? All suggestions very gratefully received as my head is in a spin as to the possibilities ! Thanks x



  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,872

    That is much bigger than most planters, I have roses in ones about 50cms deep. I think it might manage a dwarf apple tree. My daughter has an olive tree in a planter about that size. You will have to feed and water it though.

    The other tree that could work is Mirabelle de Nancy on a semi dwarf stock, will grow to about 8 foot. I had one in a pot for 2 years before I planted it. I could have just potted it on, it was in a much smaller pot than yours. It is self fertile. Don't forget apple trees need to be near other apple trees of the right sort for fertilisation. Ask the supplier.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,443


    Utah, USA.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,264

    I grew some broad beans in something like this and they turned out really well.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Thanks everyone ! I was also thinking of a dwarf apple tree - would this work ?

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,872

    Did you read my answer above?

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,264


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,165

    tee hee at Edd. Always the crusader.image

  • Oops - yes I did : sorry Busy-Lizzie ! It would be the only Apple tree in the garden though I am afraid.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,739

    You could buy a 'family' apple tree as those have 3 varieties grafted onto one rootstock with the varieties being chosen so they flower at the same time and so cross-pollinate each other.  Google "family apple tree in container" and check that the ones on offer state that they can be grown in large containers.  It is too late to buy bare-root trees now, so you will have to get a pot-grown one, which will be a fair bit more expensive, but pot-grown trees can be planted at any time.  Use John Innes No.3 compost which is formulated for permanent plantings and is heavy enough to prevent the tree being blown over by the wind. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks, Bob - apart from pruning, are they fairly low maintenance ?

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