I suppose the first question is "why grow your own fruit at all?". Well, I answered most of that question in an earlier post on the many reasons to grow your own food...."Why bother..." To that article I would add that fruit is particularly worth growing yourself as the stuff you buy in the shops, unless it's organic, is almost tasteless. I have gradually been more and more disappointed by the strawberries you get in supermarkets which are bright, shiny and perfectly shaped, but without any taste.
I've only started growing small amounts of fruit in the last couple of years but I've been encouraged to expand a bit more every spring as a result of the mouth watering raspberries and strawberries we've already had. You don't need that much time in order to grow your fruit as the same plant will go on for between 5 and 50 years! Once it is established there is very little you need to do except water it, add some organic fertiliser every so often and once or twice a year, prune the bushes and trees.
Our raspberries beginning to flower...
It is generally recommended to build up your fruit collection slowly in order to calmly learn about how to look after each one. Obviously the temptation is to go and get 20 different types because you love them all, but you may get overwhelmed at the start and loose a few plants.
Back to the question on why to grow fruit in pots. Well, most fruits will do better if they can be planted directly into the ground however this may not be suitable for everyone. For example if you rent your house you would probably like to take your plants with you when you move and it would be very difficult to do this unless they were in pots. Also, if you don't actually have any "ground" or soil to plant into as a result of living in an apartment or house with a paved garden you can still plant up a few pots and get your juicy fruits all the same.
Fruits like figs, grapevines, physalis, oranges, lemons etc are regularly grown in containers so they can be moved into the greenhouse in the winter or at other times in order to ripen up the fruits if it's not warm enough outside. Cherry trees, if kept small can be moved into the greenhouse in order to prevent birds from eating all the lovely red cherries.
Also, figs actually fruit better if their roots are restricted in a container. And lastly the soil in each container can be tailored specifically to suit the requirements of each fruit so that the best yields can be achieved.
In general, however I have found it fairly difficult to get information on growing fruit in containers. As yet I have found only one book that dealt just with fruits in containers but it was not very good at all. In general there may just be a small comment here and there about container growing in a book aimed at growing fruit in the ground. So I have gradually gathered any scraps of information that I've found and now I have enough to get started with and over the next few months I'll be writing posts about specific fruits and how to grow them. I will also add in any things that I have learnt myself along with plenty of pictures of the plants at different stages of growth.