Feed fruit trees

first_imgBy Dan RahnUniversity of GeorgiaDon’t wait any longer to fertilize your fruit trees.”It’s best to fertilize fruit trees just before or during bloom,”said Gerard Krewer, a horticulturist with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Butif your trees have finished blooming and you haven’t alreadyfertilized them, go ahead and do it now.”Fruit trees need fertilizer in the spring, Krewer said. It’sespecially important that they get nitrogen, the nutrient mostcrucial to growth. But the trees need phosphorus and potassium,too.”Take a soil sample to your county Extension office to find outexactly how much fertilizer you need,” Krewer said. “If you don’ttake a soil sample, use a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10.”Problem with guessingIf you spread just the right amount of fertilizer under yourtree, you’ll get tasty, well-developed fruit and enough growth inthe tree itself to keep it healthy.If you don’t use enough, you won’t get proper growth in the fruitor the tree. If you use too much, the tree will produce longshoots that will have to be pruned back.A rough rule-of-thumb is to spread 1 pound of 10-10-10 for eachinch of diameter of the tree trunk up to a maximum of 5 poundsper tree, Krewer said. Then add another half-pound to 1 pound perinch after harvest, up to a maximum of 5 pounds per tree. Use thelower rate if the growth is lush.Best betThat may not be exactly what your trees need. The soil samplemight tell you to cut down or skip the phosphorus or potassium.But don’t just skip the fertilizer.”Fruit trees need fertilizer in the spring every year,” Krewersaid.Fertilizing fruit trees in the spring keeps the trees healthy andassures a healthy crop of fruit this year, he said.Fertilize again after you harvest the fruit. That will boost thenitrogen in the tree and help it get ready for next year.(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *