Fig and Olive Container-growing Help

I want to plant an olive for dappled shade on or near our sunny deck, and a fig nearby for the fruit and the birds they attract.
However a sewer runs close by (maybe 1.5mm below the surface, horizontal-drilled under the deck) and I worry what damage the olive and fig roots might do to that.
So I thought of containers.
Assuming I get an olive (pictual, verdale?) and a fig (which?) that will suit container planting, what are the requirements for such container set-ups?
Size of container. They'll eventually need to be fairly big. What's the procedure? Buy a small 1m high olive and fig plant and re-pot them into progressively bigger containers, or do I just put each young plant into a container big enough for the adult tree?
Drainage. The containers must drain quite freely - they'd need to be raised up from our clay-based soil. I'd best not sink them into the ground. Is that right?
Potting mix. What do you recommend to start with and what feeding do I do to replenish the mix?
Brian
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Auckland NEW ZEALAND


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Brian,
You can grow either in a tub if you wish but there really isn't any need to if you have the space. PVC sewerage pipes don't usually leak so tree roots should not be a problem.
But if you choose to then don't plant a small tree into a large tub; step up in size as the tree grows.
Figs fruit on new growth so you can prune it hard after fruiting each year and the new growth that season will bear the fruit next year. You can be rutheless with the pruning pretty much.
Olives do OK in tubs but you need to prune them less severely if you wont fruit. They flower on more mature wood so severe pruning is OK but you won't get many olives.
Either way if you go the tub route once they are the size you want gut pull them out over other year and cut about 30% of the roots away and replace in the pot with fresh potting mix. Don't forget to prune to top by at least as much at the same time.
Best of luck
Merry Christmas
Col

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Only a few figs fruit on new growth, like Brown Turkey, celeste. The leaves of these figs are very round while the leaves of thos figs bear on last years wood are more lancet shaped. the picture to the left of the caption "BROWN TURKEY --- RIPE" shows the difference in the leaves. round lobed on top, lancet shaped on bottom of the same picture. http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/figs/figgrove.htm Ingrid

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Thanks for this. How does the Brunoro black bear fruit? I haven't been able to see an example of its leaves.
Brian
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Auckland NEW ZEALAND


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sorry, havent seen this. I dont have that many species.

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Thanks anyway. I planted a Brunoro. As our soil's very shallow and is mainly clay I planted it on top of the ground, on wet newspaper (for the first of the worms) and then banked up the topsoil to the right height. It's only 1 meter high now and has several little figs, so I removed all but 4 fruit.
Brian
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Auckland NEW ZEALAND


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I can only speak to figs. I live in zone 5 (well now zone 6) so I cannot plant figs directly in the ground. Instead I planted in containers so I could haul them inside for winter. I modified the container "protocol" and have large holes in the bottom so roots can grow thru the container and into the ground for moisture and manure. When we move the containers the roots get snapped, sort of root pruning. Fig trees planted in the ground tend to get huge and VERY messy with all the fruit falling. I train the figs in the containers more to bushes by pinching back growth. My figs are young but very productive already. http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/figs/figgrove.htm I now have 9 figs and have maxed out on as there is no more space for them. Fig trees really like water. I would never plant them near a sewer run. Ingrid

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