Your fruit harvest will bring you much flavor and nutrients. But your trees need a lot of nutrients to give you that delicious and nutritious crop. Over time the soil can become depleted. Feed the soil and your trees will thank you with more fruit.
Your trees need three main nutrients to produce fruit and resist pests – nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Nitrogen ensures leaf growth. Phosphorous promotes flower and fruit production, and so is vital for fruit trees. And potassium helps your trees fight disease and it coaxes fruit to ripen. You’ll find these “N-P-K” elements on fertilizer packaging, and they list the percentage by weight of each nutrient it offers. For example, 23-6-8 refers to 23% nitrogen, 6% phosphorous and 8% potassium. Fertilizers may also contain other ingredients, such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur and trace elements of boron, copper and iron, among others.
You can replenish the soil with fertilizer or organic matter. Fertilizer can be either organic or synthetic, and organic matter can be either compost or manure. It’s your choice.
Fertilizer provides a concentrated, quick-acting source of nutrients, and are available in powder, liquid, granule or pellet form. Synthetic fertilizers are extracted from minerals or developed by a chemical process. Organic fertilizers are made entirely from plant or animal material.
Compost is made up of decomposed plant material, and can help break up compacted soil. Manure is also a good soil enhancement. Once your fruit trees are well established, it’s best to add compost or manure as surface mulch. Then just let the worms do the work of moving it down into the soil.