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Fertilizer Tips for Fruit Trees

by Shannon Lee, All About Lawns Columnist

When it comes to fertilizing the landscaping and trees around your yard, don't be fooled into thinking that all fertilizers are created equal. What you use for most leafy or flowering trees won't work well for those trees you want to bear fruit!

Fertilizer for Fruit Trees

Most trees do very well with a 4-1-1 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash. But this ratio encourages leafy growth, and that can mean your fruit trees look gorgeous throughout the season, but don't bear fruit for your table. Remedy the situation with a different ratio: 1-1-1 or 1-2-1 of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash encourages a large crop of apples, pears, plums, cherries, and the like.

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Here are a few other tips to help give your fruit trees a boost:

  • The nitrogen component should be half water-soluble and half water-insoluble. This gives the tree an initial boost of health, while the slow-release formula feeds the tree continuously over the course of the season.
  • Want to go with green fertilizer? Horse manure, chicken manure, and compost are all great organic fertilizers for fruit trees.
  • Fertilize your fruit trees in the fall or winter, but do it before they become dormant. Check with your local co-operative extension service for the proper fertilizing times in your particular climate.
  • Learn how to prune your fruit trees effectively. Depending upon your climate and the type of fruit you want to produce in your backyard, pruning your trees properly can mean the difference between a small harvest and a bounty you can't keep up with! Learning to prune well takes time, so expect to wait a few seasons before you see the fruits of your labor.

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About the Author
Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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