Ask a Question forum: Using mulch or growing other plants in with fruit trees - containers.

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Name: Jannah
(Zone 8b)
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roundgecko
May 1, 2017 12:02 PM CST
Hi, we have some fruit trees in containers (22 inch) in our backyard and was wondering if it would harm or benefit the fruit trees (nectarine, lemon, plums) to have something else grow in there with them (flowers herbs etc) or just to use mulch instead .... the reason we need something is that the neighborhood cats love to use our pots to poop in and that just aint right :)

I recently listened to a gardening podcast that talked about not mulching in beyond the drip line on trees because they have surface roots and keeping them covered is not good, that would mean no mulch in the pots, but does that go for plant cover too? Any way, any advice would be great.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 1, 2017 1:50 PM CST
Your fruit trees need all the water and nutrients their containers will supply, so I definitely wouldn't plant anything else in there with them. Yes, the feeder roots are often near the soil surface, but a layer of mulch won't hurt, especially for the summer, when it will help to keep the soil cooler and retain moisture.

To keep the kitty cats out of the pots, buy a package of plastic picnic forks and stick them in the pots, handles down and the tines facing upwards. I had raccoons getting into a little tub/water garden and did this - worked great!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jannah
(Zone 8b)
Image
roundgecko
May 2, 2017 1:00 PM CST
Ok, sounds good, I think I am going to go with the awesome fork idea and do a layer of mulch to keep some more of the moisture in - thanks dyzzypyxxy!

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