Autumn feeding of fruit trees is one of the mandatory seasonal procedures. A plant that has expended nutrients in fruit production will "rest" the next year. For many gardeners in the past, the situation "this year is dense, next year is empty" was normal due to the fact that there were no high-quality fertilizers even on the collective farms. And in private hands they were practically not sold. The use of less concentrated natural organic fertilizers was precisely what caused the trees to “take time out”.
The importance of feeding fruit trees in autumn
For fruit production, horticultural crops consume a lot of potassium and phosphorus, approaching wintering quite depleted. To prevent the tree from “fattening”, nitrogen is limited to it in the summer, feeding it with potassium and phosphorus. As a result, by autumn the plant needs autumn fertilizers for fruit trees. It is impossible to transfer the feeding time to spring, since the plant must also enter full of strength in winter.
The time must be calculated so that the plant has time to assimilate the introduced nutrients. The fertilizers themselves should also be easily digestible.
Sometimes the autumn feeding of fruit trees is carried out not in the fall, but in the summer. It all depends on when the crop was harvested from the plant.
Important! In autumn, horticultural crops are fed only after harvest.
The tree needs potassium and phosphorus in autumn not only in order to successfully endure frosts, but also for the formation of buds for the future harvest. Without these elements, the plant will rest next year.
What fertilizers to apply in the fall under fruit trees: organic or mineral
The main need for horticultural crops in autumn is mineral fertilizers. Therefore, superphosphate and potassium sulfate are introduced under the fruit trees in the fall when digging.
Sometimes, in late autumn, nitrogen fertilizers are applied simultaneously with potash and phosphorus fertilizers. But this is already the groundwork for the spring and such fertilizers should not be easily digestible. Therefore, humus or compost is used as nitrogen.
Important! Ammonium sulfate should not be used in the fall.
Finished mineral fertilizers
What is good about ready-made mineral fertilizers is that you do not have to wait for their gradual dissolution. The tree will spend very little time for their assimilation. It is enough to dissolve the finished product in water, which will be watered to the plant.
But in this easy assimilation there is also a certain danger: it is necessary to use ready-made fertilizers in strict accordance with the instructions. Otherwise, it is easy to overdose them.
Nitrogen provokes the growth of green mass and will be required for garden crops in the spring, when new shoots will grow. If you "give out" nitrogen fertilization in the fall, the tree can begin to expel shoots, which will inevitably freeze in winter. In spring, shoots and leaves will begin to grow after flowering. Thus, the tree does not particularly need nitrogen until spring. For ready-made nitrogen fertilization of fruit trees, the best time is spring. The tree will be able to grow new shoots, but will not start growing in the fall.
These include "long-playing":
- wood ash;
- bone flour;
- chicken droppings.
These fertilizers “give” nutrients to the soil for a long time and slowly. It is difficult to overdose them (if it is not fresh litter) and they are often applied in large quantities. At the same time, it is recommended to carry out autumn fertilization with organic matter once every 2 years, that is, it takes at least two years for the complete decomposition of the applied top dressing.
This explains the periodic "rest" of fruit crops in times of total deficit. In autumn, there was nothing to feed the crops except humus, and there are not so many nutrients in organic matter as in ready-made industrial fertilizers, and they pass into the soil for a long period of time.
Only the owner decides what to choose for his garden. When all natural and organic are in vogue, the owner of the garden will opt for organic. If he needs a crop, he will prefer ready-made preparations.
What are the ways of feeding
There are two ways to feed fruit trees in autumn: root and foliar. At the first, autumn fertilizers are applied to the ground over the entire area of the root system.
Important! The root system occupies an area 1.5 times more than the crown.
For autumn root feeding, organic fertilizers are mixed with the soil. Ready-made industrial ones are laid in the dug holes according to a certain scheme:
- holes 20 cm deep;
- put potassium sulfate down;
- sprinkle with a layer of earth;
- fall asleep.
This whole structure is thoroughly spilled with water, at the same time carrying out water-charging irrigation.
For fruit trees, complex fertilizers are used only in autumn or spring, when it is necessary to fill the soil. The rest of the time, such feeding only hurts.
The same ingredients are dissolved in water. This method is more convenient for two reasons:
- in late autumn, the tree will receive the entire portion at once and retire;
- it is necessary to feed crops with early ripening fruits;
- you need to feed young seedlings of fruit trees with a poorly developed root system.
Since the autumn portion of fertilizers for fruit trees is applied after the harvest, you can somewhat facilitate your gardening work by feeding cherries and apricots in the summer. Watering these types of horticultural crops until the dormant period will require several times, so it is convenient to dilute the drug in one of the waterings and give the plant a nutrient solution.
Young seedlings, planted in spring, have not had time to develop the root system, and it will be difficult for them to "pull" nutrients from gradually dissolving fertilizers. It is also convenient for them to give out "feed" by watering.
Foliar dressing of fruit trees
It is used when the foliage has not yet fallen on the trees. It can be used at any time with an obvious deficiency of some element. But here opinions differ. Some believe that nutrients are absorbed better through the leaves than through the roots. Others - that fertilizers are assimilated, but the effect of "first aid" should not be expected. Only one thing is clear: there will be no harm from this.
Foliar dressing is a good way to fertilize fruit trees that produce early yields:
- early varieties of cherries.
For mid- and late-ripening varieties of cherries, fertilizers can be applied in the fall as usual.
Important! If you spray the crowns of trees with a weak solution of potassium permanganate, you can simultaneously disinfect the plants and feed them with calcium.
Feeding is carried out in the same way as spraying the garden from pests. But it is not an insecticide that is added to the spray bottle, but a strained solution of fertilizers. An important condition: the foliage should still be "working", and not preparing to die off in the fall.
When to fertilize fruit trees
The timing of top dressing depends on the region and type of plant. According to average statistics, garden crops are fed at the end of September or in October. The procedure is carried out in parallel with other gardening work.
Autumn feeding table for fruit trees
If you want to get a good and bountiful harvest, you cannot use the averaged tables from reference books. Otherwise, agronomists would have long been out of work. For each area, a separate fertilizing table is calculated, taking into account climatic conditions and soil quality. In tables, the average data is often very different.
An example of the autumn needs of fruit crops per plant.
Another example of the autumn demand for manure in fruit crops.
The data in the tables vary. Moreover, both tables may be correct, but for different regions and soil compositions.
Top dressing of fruit trees by months
It is better to apply fertilizers for fruit crops in the fall, dividing them at time intervals. Of course, if there is such an opportunity. The potassium-containing preparation should go first. Potassium is a rapidly assimilated element, and the tree needs this macronutrient during the ripening period and immediately after harvest.
With a break of 2 weeks or more, superphosphate is added to the soil. Phosphorus will be absorbed more slowly.
And already counting on the next spring, nitrogen is the last to be introduced. For nitrogen-containing fertilizers, the most long-lasting type is usually chosen - humus.
Top dressing of fruit trees in August
Apple trees and pears, on which the fruits have not yet ripened, are fed with potassium-phosphorus fertilizers in August. Nitrogen is contraindicated at this time. Phosphorus improves the flavor of the fruit, while potassium reduces the percentage of volunteers. At the same time, plants begin to build up a root system.
Top dressing is added to the soil by dry method or by diluting mineral preparations in water. The dry preparation is scattered along the perimeter of the root system.
How to feed fruit trees in September
In September, fruit crops are given what they did not have time to give in August. Or there was no opportunity for feeding. This is the same autumn complex of minerals + nitrogen-containing organic matter. The latter is brought in during the digging of the garden for the winter.
Do I need to feed in October
In October, minerals are added if, for some reason, they have not done so earlier. Usually this month, fertilizing is already combined with autumn water-charging irrigation. If the minerals were introduced earlier, only humus is added to the soil in October.
How to feed fruit trees in autumn, depending on age
The amount and types of minerals in autumn feeding vary depending on the age of the plant. Gardeners have their own age gradation of horticultural crops:
- Seedling. The tree is up to 2 years old in the first year after planting.
- Teenager. Already established, but not yet producing plant.
- Young tree. Already bearing fruit, but not yet producing at full strength.
- An adult plant. Productivity is at its maximum and has stabilized.
- Aging tree. Productivity drops.
Depending on the stages of development, they regulate the amount and type of fertilizers.
Fertilizing seedlings after planting
After planting, the seedlings are fed only with water, since all the necessary preparations were added to the pit during planting. In the second year, 6 g of a nitrogen-containing or universal preparation is added.
Important! If the seedling suddenly decided to bloom, all flowers or ovaries must be cut off.
When buying seedlings in a store, this happens quite often. There you can even buy a seedling already with fruits. Chopping flowers and feeding in the second year with nitrogen fertilization are necessary so that the tree spends energy and nutrients on the development of the root system.
How to feed young fruit trees in autumn
From the third year of life, during the autumn work, the soil is "filled" with a full set of phosphorus and potassium. A small nitrogen content is also allowed, but the main amount of the nitrogen-containing preparation is applied in the spring. In the growing season, they are additionally fed with a full complex of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizers. In a lean year, intermediate seasonal feeding is excluded.
How to fertilize fruiting fruit trees in autumn
It is better to feed adult fruit trees only in autumn, without forcing the spring filling of the soil. During the growing season, trees are fed once every 2 years.
Old trees with declining productivity are refueled in autumn and spring as long as it suits the owner. Further, if desired, they are either cut down or left for beauty.
Caring for the garden after feeding
If the garden was fertilized in the summer - at the beginning of autumn, then the following follow:
- foliage cleaning;
- digging up the soil;
- winter watering;
- protection of plants from frost.
If the autumn filling of the soil took place in late autumn along with watering, then it will only be necessary to insulate the plants for the winter.
Autumn feeding of fruit trees is the main procedure aimed at obtaining a rich harvest next spring. This is an operation that the grower cannot neglect if he wants to get the best out of his horticultural crops.