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High water table: dwarf fruit trees in raised beds?

My new garden is heavy clay which I hope to slowly improve with grit and organic matter as per advice on the forum. The water table is also quite high where I am so I guess i'm best planting mostly using raised beds with gravel paths/stepping stones between, in the hope of avoiding water-logging. Would it be ok to plant dwarf fruit trees in raised beds too? How deep/wide would they need to be minimum as they are going to need an awful lot of filling? Will I need drainage underneath on top of the existing soil? I'm going to have to do all this myself and being a 63 yr old lass and under 5 foot I would be glad if it didn't involve more digging than necessary!


  • SwissSueSwissSue Posts: 1,447

    Hi Whiteflowers, I am growing a dwarf apricot in a large pot 18in high and at least as deep as suggested by my supplier. As you can see, dwarf fruit trees need to be planted quite deep, so it depends on how deep your raised bed will be. I would recommend you plant them in a pot, in a mixture of compost and garden soil, that way you could move them around if necessary.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,053

    I agree with Sue - it would be much better to plant them in a large pot or tub - if you grow them in your raised beds it wouldn't do them any good to have other plants growing around them, and that would be such a waste of the surface area of your bed. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks for your replies. I had thought of the raised bed being just for each tree, like a little island all to itself. The two and a half feet deep holes for a fence were dug yesterday around my garden and the water is about an inch deep at the bottom, so in a way that is better than I had thought. If you both reckon on a deep pot being ok I could work on that sort of figure perhaps?
  • blackestblackest Posts: 623

    I planted a cherry tree a couple of months back, sits raised in a cornet with a dry stone wall in front of it the garden wall making the other 2 sides. It seems happy the raised bed drains fairly well, GC reckoned it would be fine for around 20 years after that, well it might struggle as it would be getting into wetter ground.   If you have the room why not? A few bumps and banks and hollows makes for an interesting garden.

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