container fruit for the summer
With the new year underway, I've (of course) been thinking about spring and summer gardening. I have very little in-ground space that gets good sun, so I use it for annual veggies, since I'll only live in this location for another year or so. The best sun is on my large deck. It is south-facing and gets full sun most of the day.
I'm very interested in container fruit gardening. I received a 'Meiwa' kumquat in a ~3 gal pot recently; I researched obsessively and then transplanted it to a ~12 gallon container with a airy mix of topsoil, peat/compost, and perlite, and mulched with pine straw.
My reading indicates that there are a LOT of fruit tree/shrub varieties that can be grown in pots. I've been looking at Raintree Nursery, and everything looks so great, I want it all! But it's semi-expensive, so I must be wise in my purchases. I'm interested in blueberries (but I think they take a while?), raspberries (really any berry, I'd guess), as well as various apples and citrus (meyer lemon looks promising, and 'Moro' blood orange!), not to mention the much smaller strawberries. Unique things like pomegranates and honeysuckle (apparently some have edible fruits?) are also exciting to me. Some of these listed take years to start fruiting, though, and that's not ideal for me yet.
All of the available information is overwhelming, much of it conflicting, and I don't know which fruits would actually be best for my situation. For instance, I plan to move away from here (Louisiana, zone 8b) in August, which is kind of prime time for fruiting for lots of plants (very frustrating!); therefore, I would much prefer fruits that will produce this year, and the earlier, the better (May-July harvest would be beautiful). The smaller, the better, too, since I'd like to bring most of my perennials with me when I move. However, smaller means less fruit, so I guess I mean 15 gallon pots are really pushing it. Also, I'll probably move somewhere slightly cooler than here, but only zone 7ish coastal areas, and I'm willing to bring any containers inside for winter months as necessary. I'd like to eventually grow plants that may require a few years of growth before production, but not until after moving.
So, with all of this in mind....
Have you grown any fruits in containers? What are your favorites, and why? Any suggestions for my situation? (extra points for tastiness, bounty, and hardiness).
Any other advice you'd give a novice gardener, like potting sizes/media, online nurseries, feeding regimens, what not to do, whatever?
Thanks for any help!
Here is a link that might be useful: Raintree Nursery