Fertilizer recommendations please

mrsg47(7)February 14, 2013

I need a good all-purpose fertilizer for my trees. Any suggestions? Mrs. G thanks!

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

I use Gro-Power Flower 'N' Bloom. 3-12-12. It is very high in humic acid and humus . For me with my thinner DG soils, this is great stuff. You probably have much better soil than I do, Mrs. G, but I really like Gro-Power's products.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:37PM
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alan haigh

Sorry, not so simple. It might be helpful to know that commercial growers here use about equal parts potassium to nitrogen for peaches and double potassium to nitrogen for apples- usually with a tiny amount of boron in the mix. This is just a general maintenance mix meant to cover most needs in most soils. It is applied just before or at bud break.

They also often apply sprayable urea at about petal fall for a short blast of extra N to specifically feed spur leaves without feeding vegetative shoots much. Other Micros are often included in this spray. In home orchards I don't bother with micros unless I see a deficiency.

What you need depends on your soil type- sand usually being lean and finer soils holding more nutrients. Also important is your sod management (do you mulch, is your grass often mowed?). Some homeowners don't even consider what's already being fed to the lawn- which if it's fed at all is probably mostly N.- much of it applied at the wrong time for producing high quality fruit as you may not want extra N during the summer months.

Soil samples given to a lab that provide specific instructions for amending for fruit trees can be helpful and at least provide home orchardists peace of mind, but commercial growers fine tuning their regimen rely even more on leaf analysis than soil tests, which by themselves aren't very reliable in determining what the trees are actually pulling out of the soil.

If trees are already healthy, reasonably vigorous and producing good crops they may be getting what they need from the unamended soil. Of course, over time nutrients can be depleted.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 6:04AM
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mrsg47(7)

Thank you both! I need to invest in the right nutrients. I can mix my own, no problem, just needed to know 'what to mix and how much'. I have not fertilized in five years. The lawn in the orchard is mowed, but I prohibit chemicals (fertilzer and herbicides) in the lawn, for fear that my trees would be getting too much nitrogen. I prefer to control the nitrogen. Thanks again, Mrs. G.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:01AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

MrsG47, you might want to contact your local orchard supply or also your local extension office (some extension offices are great, others not so much), and see what commercial growers are doing in your area. Harvestman is right - fertilizing should be tailored to your soil and nutrient needs. I'm just not that detailed, and so far, my fertilizer seems to be working well for my trees. If I see poor growth or less than optimal fruit, I'll take more detailed measures, but for right now, trees are doing well for me with this fertilizer.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:05AM
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alan haigh

CPS is an agricultural supplier with outlets nationwide. They would supply you with soil testing service- at least they do that here.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:39AM
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mrsg47(7)

Thanks all! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 12:38PM
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MrClint

There's another variable to consider - are you looking to grow full sized trees or are you applying BYOC techniques as defined by the DWN site? If the latter is true, you can do fine with little to no fertilizer and a healthy layer of mulch.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 1:09PM
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mrsg47(7)

All of my trees are semi-dwarf or dwarf. Mostly the former. I looked for a CPS in my area and unfortunately there are none in sight. I am in touch with the head of Hort. of the University of RI and she has been a tremendous help. I do use mulch during the summer only and remove it during the winter. Hate the interim weeding that I'm faced with in the spring, but it has to be done. Mr. Clint, I have no idea what your initials refer to. Thanks, Mrs. G

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 2:25PM
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MrClint

BYOC = Backyard Orchard Culture
DWN = Dave Wilson Nursery

Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:22PM
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