What fertilizers should be applied under fruit trees and shrubs so that they always delight us with their harvest?
V. Sizov, gardener
Fruit and berry plants grow and bear fruit normally in the presence of a certain amount of basic nutrients in the soil and air: carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, boron, manganese, copper, zinc and other elements.
Most of the plant nutrition is extracted from the soil in a dissolved state through the suction root system.
Most of all they need nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, which make up the group macronutrients, and the first three of them are in demand in large quantities, and the rest - in much smaller quantities.
Nitrogen - one of the most essential batteries. It is a part of proteins and other organic substances, enhances growth, photosynthesis, the setting of flower buds, increases the content of chlorophyll in the leaves, increases the yield and longevity of fruit formations, ensures an earlier entry of plants into fruiting, intense flowering and increased set of fruits and berries.
With a lack of nitrogen, the plants look stunted, the leaves acquire a light green color, the fruits and berries become smaller, the growth of roots and shoots stops, and the yield decreases.
An excess of nitrogen delays the growth of annual shoots, the plants later enter a period of relative dormancy, the ripening of fruits is delayed, their quality and keeping quality deteriorate, and the winter hardiness of plants decreases.
Nitrogen comes from the soil to plants in the form of nitrates and ammonia, which are formed during the decomposition of organic matter (humus) by special microorganisms. However, it is difficult to obtain high yields only from natural nitrogen reserves; therefore, it is necessary to replenish soil nitrogen reserves through the introduction of organic and mineral nitrogen fertilizers.
Phosphorus is part of complex proteins. In a plant cell, it plays an extremely important role - it participates in photosynthesis and the movement of organic matter from leaves to roots; enhances the ability of cells to retain water and increases resistance to drought and low temperatures. Phosphorus has a positive effect on the growth of shoots and roots, accelerates the entry of the tree into fruiting.
Its deficiency weakens the growth of shoots, branching of roots. The leaves acquire a dull color with a bronze tint, the ripening and quality of fruits and berries deteriorate, and the drooping of the ovary increases.
In the soil, phosphorus is in compounds of varying degrees of solubility and moves slowly, therefore, in contrast to nitrogen, it can be applied in higher doses.
Potassium promotes assimilation of carbon dioxide and air, water absorption by plants, metabolism. It ensures the normal division of cells and tissues, the growth of shoots and roots, the formation of leaves and fruits, and increases the frost resistance of plants.
Lack of potassium leads to a change in the color of the leaves - their edges first turn yellow, then turn brown, the fruits become smaller and ripen more slowly. In addition, a lack of potassium leads to a decrease in the plant's resistance to fungal diseases. The soil contains potassium in organic and mineral fertilizers. On light sandy soils, its deficiency is found more often than on loamy and clayey soils. The lack of potassium in the soil is compensated by the introduction of organic and mineral fertilizers.
As for other macronutrients (calcium, magnesium, sulfur), they are in garden soils in sufficient quantity for plants.
Calcium affects the physical and biological properties of the soil, it is a constant component of many plant organs. Lack of calcium in the nutrient medium weakens root growth and causes yellowing of the upper leaves of growing shoots.
Magnesium is a part of chlorophyll, participates in the formation of carbohydrates. Lack of it causes stunted growth, chlorosis or brown spot, premature death and leaf fall. Lack of calcium and magnesium occurs most often on acidic soils.
Sulfur is a part of proteins, vegetable oils, enzymes and vitamins. It increases the resistance of plants to low temperatures, drought, and diseases.
Trace elements - elements necessary for the normal development of plants, but in very small quantities. These include: boron, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, cobalt, iodine, selenium. Their role is varied. They accelerate the development of plants, increase the yield and vitamin content of fruits and berries, improve their quality, improve fruit setting, plant resistance to fungal diseases, and have a beneficial effect on soil organisms. Trace elements are especially necessary when applying mineral fertilizers and lime in high doses.
Their lack causes not only a decrease in yield, but also plant disease. An excess of trace elements in the soil is also harmful, for example, with frequent spraying of plants with Bordeaux liquid, an excess of copper can accumulate in the soil, which will adversely affect the plants. An acute lack of trace elements can be eliminated by introducing them directly into the soil or by spraying the plants (foliar dressing).
The heading is led by Galina Aleksandrova, Candidate of Agricultural Sciences
Errors when fertilizing fruit trees
It is important to know how to properly fertilize fruit trees. So, fertilizers are usually applied to the grooves, which are dug in advance along the periphery of the near-trunk zone, where the suction root system of fruit trees is located. Usually, for young trees up to five years of age, this distance is 1.5 meters from the trunk, and for trees older than this age, it must be increased to two meters from the trunk. If trees are used on dwarf or superdwarf rootstocks, then the distance must be reduced to 1 meter from the trunk, since the roots of such plants do not spread far.
Fertilizer can be dissolved in water if it dissolves well, mixed with water or applied dry. Fertilizers are introduced into the grooves, after which the latter are buried. If it is difficult to dig the grooves, then you can make holes along the perimeter of the near-trunk strip, they need 9-10 pieces, 15-18 cm deep. You can apply fertilizers to them and then seal them up with soil.
When applying fertilizers, it is impossible to mix urea and simple superphosphate, lime, chalk, dolomite flour.
You can not mix phosphorus fertilizers and fluff lime, because lime will inhibit the absorption of phosphorus by plants.
Do not apply fertilizers to dry soil without watering, both before and after application, the effect of such an application will not be visible soon, and in the case of nitrogen fertilizers, this is dangerous: they can begin to enter plants late, thereby activating growth when it is absolutely unnecessary. The soil should ideally be moist. These tips will help you avoid mistakes when feeding fruit trees.
If you decide to carry out foliar feeding, that is, spraying the plants on the leaf with fertilizers dissolved in water, then this can be done only in the evening and if the temperature does not exceed +27 degrees. Otherwise, such dressings will be useless, and if they are carried out in the daytime, they are also dangerous: they can cause burns on the leaves.
Top dressing of fruit trees and shrubs in spring
Spring feeding of fruit trees and shrubs begins with the introduction of nitrogen-containing elements into the soil. In order to saturate the plant with vitamins and microelements, you can use urea or ammonium nitrate. The root feeding process will take place in stages and gradually. Trace elements and vitamins introduced into the soil, with precipitation, will sink to the roots and absorb them.
Each planting has its own system, the so-called feeding with the necessary substances. Thanks to this, you can find out how to feed fruit trees and shrubs in the spring.
Spring care for an apple tree begins in April. When the first leaves are visible, you can start the feeding process using nitrogen-containing mixtures - humus, urea or ammonium nitrate. They are brought into the tree trunk circles. These substances activate vegetative processes. Fertilizers are applied to the soil by digging or loosening it. In this case, the tree root is fed.
The pear also needs vitamins and minerals in the spring. It is fertilized with ammonium nitrate, urea, and chicken droppings.
It is necessary to introduce chicken manure in small quantities, otherwise there is a risk of burning the trunk and roots of the tree.
When mixing saltpeter with water, it is important to observe the ratio of 1: 0.5. Every year in the spring, the amount of fertilizer used should be increased as the tree itself grows and grows.
Before the cherry begins to bloom, you need to feed it. Since there are still few leaves on the tree at the beginning of spring, it is during this period that fertilizers should be applied in liquid form. This will enrich the tree, even before flowering, with all the substances necessary for nutrition.
It is advisable to apply liquid fertilizers periodically if a small amount of precipitation has fallen. Chicken droppings, nitrogen, and organic blends are also good options.
Experienced gardeners and summer residents know that for shrubs, such as gooseberries, currants, raspberries, blackberries, it is also important and needs feeding in the spring. They should be fertilized like this:
- potassium nitrate
- ash-urea mixture
- a mixture of several types of fertilizers.
Fertilization in the spring under fruit trees and shrubs is an important factor in the formation of fruits and their normal development. Digging and loosening the soil, annually, leads to weathering of the earth. Therefore, not only the plantations, but also the soil need feeding. Mineral and organic fertilizers nourish and enrich the soil and trees with the necessary substances. This is necessary not only for the growth and fruitfulness of plants, but also for improving the composition of the soil.
Fertilization of fruit trees and shrubs begins in the spring, before the flowering process. During this period, the plantings are weakened and need initial care. The root system requires nourishment. This is achieved by applying fertilizers to the soil. The very process of feeding fruit trees and shrubs is the first step to a good harvest.
Complex garden fertilizers
For maximum convenience, you can and even need to use complex mineral compositions in the garden. Such fertilizers greatly simplify the life of the gardener and save him invaluable time. Thanks to the means of an integrated nature, garden plants will easily receive all the micro and macro elements they need for successful wintering.
There are quite a few options for complex fertilizers for the garden. For example, you can purchase a product called Autumn. Complex fertilizer called “Universal” is no less popular. A good option is a fertilizer called "Fruit Garden" ... The only thing that is important in this case is compliance with the standards indicated on the package. You need to prepare the drug only according to the instructions, and nothing else. This is extremely important. Because otherwise, garden plants may receive less nutrients or, conversely, get them in excess. And this is also not good.
A competent approach of a gardener and timely fertilization of garden trees and fruit bushes is your key to the productivity of the garden. Such actions of the gardener will protect the garden from numerous problems, starting with the attack of pests and ending with multiple diseases, and will help fruit and berry bushes and trees to winter successfully and without loss.
Types of autumn fertilizers
The following fall fertilizers are recommended:
- wood ash.
Phosphate fertilizers are needed so that the roots are strong, and sugar and protein accumulate in the sap of the tree (50 g per square meter).
Potash fertilizers apply to increase frost resistance trees and shrubs. With their help, excess liquid is removed from the plant (30 g per square meter).
Organic fertilizers - these are dung, manure and humus. With their help, the structure of the soil is improved, its mineralization is prevented and the future yield increases (6–8 kg per square meter).
Wood ash normalizes nutrition and enriches the soil with the necessary substances (250 g per square meter).
Nitrogen-containing fertilizers are not applied in autumn, as it stimulates growth (this is undesirable before winter), easily washed out of the soil and does not persist until spring.
What fertilizers are applied in the fall to the soil
Before the onset of winter, almost any fertilizer can be applied to the soil. Here is a brief description of each type of fertilizer.
- Mineral fertilizers... Plants assimilate nutrients from the soil only in the form of an aqueous solution, therefore, fertilizers are usually applied in liquid form. There are many specially selected formulations: for lawns, fruit trees, conifers, berry and ornamental shrubs, perennials, etc. Tellingly, "autumn" fertilizers should be labeled accordingly on the packaging: "autumn", "for autumn use" and contain a minimum amount of nitrogen. Moreover, they should contain phosphorus, potassium and calcium, which strengthen the immunity of plants and increase their resistance to low temperatures and.
- Manure and droppings... These fertilizers are responsible for the fertility of the soil. Fresh fertilizer is applied for digging, it cannot be applied directly under the plants, otherwise the roots can be burned. The frequency of application of manure and droppings is 1 time in 3-4 years.
- Compost... Slowly decomposing compost has earned the nickname "black gold" among summer residents. With it, the soil remains fertile longer, and its positive qualities are enhanced.
- Peat contains a lot of organic matter and retains moisture well. True, high-moor peat contains few nutrients, and it actively acidifies the soil. Low-lying peat has a slightly acidic or neutral reaction, and there are more useful microelements in it. To find a middle ground, it is best to add peat to the compost and use them together.
- Ash... Gardeners and gardeners have long been using ash as a promising and versatile fertilizer. It is obtained after burning weeds, tops and branches. Like manure, it is brought in for digging every 3-4 years.
- Sawdust, as well as chopped grass, tree bark serve to loosen dense soils and retain moisture - on sandy soils. Gradually decomposing, sawdust turns into humus, which feeds on microorganisms, fungi and worms.
- Siderata... This is the cheapest and most environmentally friendly fertilizer. Siderata are sown at the end of summer, and in autumn the grown greens are embedded in the soil. The following crops are most commonly sown: lupine, alfalfa, vetch, clover, rye and oats.
- Potash fertilizers... This type of dressing is applied in the fall, since during the winter the negative effect of the chlorine contained in them is neutralized, and the plants receive the necessary dose of the necessary substances. Potash fertilizers are often used to feed indoor plants.
The amount of fertilizers applied depends on the degree of soil depletion, sometimes up to 100 kg of fertilizers are needed per 10 square meters
What and how to feed trees in autumn?
During the next growing season from early spring to mid-autumn, fruit and conifers in the garden, as well as the soil around them, are pretty depleted.As a result, the plants weaken so much that if they are left in this state for the winter, they most likely simply will not survive the cold and die. In order to prevent the death of trees, it is necessary to support them with adequate nutrition through autumn fertilization. Moreover, it should be done even before the onset of frost and constant snow cover. Plants must have time to gain strength before the long and difficult winter period.