Have you decided to add fruit trees to your garden? Many people choose to do this because they want to get the most from their space. However, it’s often hard to figure out when to fertilize the fruit trees.
If you’ve never planted trees before, you might be overwhelmed by the things you must learn. However, it’s also important to take the time to understand everything. That way, you’ve got the information necessary to ensure success.
You want your tree to be healthy and happy. That means feeding them well but not too much. Here are the things you should know:
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Seasonal Considerations for the Annual Feeding of Fruit Trees
Ultimately, the best time of year to fertilize fruit trees is in spring. Early spring is the most appropriate time to use a more balanced fertilizer.
For most gardeners, feeding the trees with fertilizer is routine maintenance come springtime. You may not realize it, but fruit trees need many nutrients to stay healthy and bear tons of fruit. Therefore, it’s best to use an organic, balanced fertilizer because it’s like a multivitamin for the tree.
Spring is ultimately the best time to fertilize fruit trees. They need tons of energy right now because they’re pushing out new foliage and nurturing the baby fruit.
It’s best to feed your trees right before they come of dormancy. However, you should also fertilize during bud breaking and throughout the growing season.
With that said, June is the last month that you should be applying fertilizer. If it’s already August or July, you’re late. It’s better to wait until the next spring to provide the plants with nutrition.
You can actually give your fruit trees their spring feeding if it feels like wintertime. However, you can also wait until they’re blossoming and producing green leaves before fertilizing them. Many gardeners prefer to do it right before dormancy ends so that they start growing more quickly.
Can You Fertilize Your Fruit Trees in Fall?
Some people wonder if they can wait until fall to fertilize. However, this isn’t recommended. Most fruit tree gardeners stop feeding of all types in the early winter or late autumn.
Remember, the goal of fertilization is to encourage growth. This is the opposite of what you need for the fall months. They should be getting ready to go dormant for the winter.
As fall approaches, the trees should be focused on the cold weather coming in. They aren’t growing leaves and branches anymore. On top of that, if leaves/branches do grow, they’re often tender. When cold weather comes, they’re more susceptible to damage.
It also puts your trees into overdrive. They think they must hurry and produce more fruit and leaves. Therefore, they aren’t calm as winter hits, and that can cause significant issues for next year.
The Type of Fertilizer to Choose
Now that you know you don’t have to rush and fertilize in the fall, you have time to get ready for the spring feeding. What fertilizer is best for fruit trees? You want a balanced fertilizer, and most people choose organic ones to reduce the risk of harsh chemicals.
Make sure that the fertilizer you pick has plenty of nitrogen. Fruit trees need it.
If you don’t want to use regular fertilizer from a store, you can always use soybean meal. It’s highly popular because it offers tons of nitrogen without chemical burns.
However, the fertilizer shouldn’t have too much nitrogen either. This makes the leaves and branches grow too much. With that, the fruit suffers.
Some gardeners prefer to use specialty fertilizers designed specifically for the fruit tree they’re growing. This can be a good choice if you don’t need a lot of it. Remember, these mixtures are often expensive.
You should also plan to underfeed the fruit trees, even if you use an organic fertilizer. The ecosystem appreciates it. Plus, you aren’t as likely to get trees with tons of new shoots and little fruit. Along with that, too much fertilizer can lead to damage later on.
Spring is often the time for fruit blossoms. They can be beautiful and bring a sense of peace to your life. However, if you see them and haven’t fertilized the fruit tree yet, please do so now. June is the very last month to do it!
Is It Possible to Fertilize Fruit Trees Too Much?
Can you give too much food to your fruit tree? Yes, it is quite possible to do this. Generally, fruit trees don’t need to be fed constantly. Just do it once a year during springtime, and everything should be okay.
If you worry that a second feeding is necessary, consider doing a soil analysis beforehand. That way, you can tell if your fruit tree really needs more nutrition of some sort.
Without the soil test, you have no idea what the fruit tree needs. It’s quite possible that nothing is necessary.
The issue is that over-fertilizing is bad for the soil and environment. Extra fertilizer that the fruit tree doesn’t use enters the natural streams and groundwater. This messes with the ecosystem’s balance.
In a sense, the fertilizer could be polluting the earth. This is bad for the wildlife, flora, and fauna of the world. However, it also costs more. Therefore, it’s best not to over-fertilize!
Tips for Fertilizing Your New Fruit Trees
If you don’t already have a fruit tree growing, you might wonder when to fertilize it. Generally, gardeners don’t feed new fruit trees. It doesn’t need those distractions.
You want the tree to get used to the environment and get established thoroughly. Therefore, you should spend more effort on keeping your soil moist. There’s no need to fertilize it just yet.
Gardeners often have good luck when they plant the fruit tree in the fall. It’s good to do it then because the summer’s heat is gone. However, there’s still plenty of time to establish and grow the root system.
From here, you should add a layer of compost to the trees in early spring. Do that for the first few years of life. After that, you should start fertilizing the trees because they’re established and producing enough fruit to warrant it.
Fertilizer is what all plants need to be healthy and grow strong. Fruit trees are often large and produce plenty of fruit throughout the years. Therefore, it’s important to know when to fertilize them and how often.
Now that you know to plant them in the fall and not fertilize for a few years, you can feel more confident as a gardener. After that, make sure that you feed them nitrogen-rich organic fertilizer in the spring. If it’s after July, it’s best to wait until the next growing season.
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