Backyard orchard fertilizer

I’m wondering what people use to feed their dwarf apple/pears and stone fruit that’s low in Nitrogen? I’d kind of like to pick up a big bag and be mostly set for a couple years.

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I pee on mine.

Southern States should carry this… you cant buy it at most places because people cant be trusted to not make bombs.


Milorganite should be at every box store its low dose and slow release but it works and its cheap.

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You must be taller than me, or train them really close to the ground. :wink:

For men, it is easy to use a small gasoline can to collect ones own urine which is high in quickly available N and K as well as holding adequate amounts of P which is seldom functionally deficient in soils anyway, it is more common for it to be in excess from years of fertilizing lawns with fertilizers containing it.

Urine is great to encourage vigor in most plants but its high amount of K may become a problem with bearing age apple trees as too much of it can tie up calcium and cause corking in susceptible varieties. I mostly use it on stone fruit trees in my orchard and when establishing my vegetable plants.

I do not believe that this product releases enough N to be terribly effective and it also contains heavy metals so I don’t recommend it on edibles. The beauty of faster release N for fruit trees is that it allows you to time when the trees have access to it. For bearing age trees the only time you might want supplemental N is in early spring to feed spur leaves without encouraging excess vegetative growth.


I use only organic fertilizers…

My own compost
Black Kow compost manure .05 .05 .05 NPK
Blood meal
Bone meal
Epsom salt

I also use some all purpose organic fertilizers with NPKs like 555… (Jobs and other brands available at local walmart or lowes). If you can wait until late fall to purchase… they are often offered at discounted prices then… ideal time to stock up.

A few weeks ago a friend that manages our local coop… told me about a big delivery of mushroom compost they had just got in… i had him deliver me truck load… so have a big pile of that to work with this year.

Also have a big pile of woodchips.

On new fruit trees… the first 3 years or so… i will rake back the chips and apply 50-100 pounds of compost… then rake those chips back on top and add more chips.

Other than that… i give them some all purpose balanced organic fertilizer + epsom salt, greensand, gypsum early spring before budding.


I trust your experience…however they do have a tab for fruit applications.


I’m not sure about the legitimacy of my concerns, but I am echoing a frequent expressed viewpoint. I just did a search and my concerns appear to be outdated.

Thanks, I love being corrected. Not just to update my knowledge but it probably helps push my persona to a little more humility, which is certainly helpful in my case.


It is hard to keep up with all the changes in things…

Believe Nothing you Hear, and only Half of What you See - Poe

Most people think that milorganite is just a bag of human feces…

Most people think that human urine is too barbaric to use as well. Same folks have no issue with manure.

Chop and Drop Mulch…that would involve letting things grow to an unsightly level… and would cause snakes or some kind of myth im sure.

I know people go crazy over fish emulsions in their holes… my dogs want nothing more than to figure out how a dead fish got at the bottom of that hole… they cant resist. I tried it on tomatoes one year and they were obsessed with it.

The nitrogen loving people will likely ask about what to spray for aphids later on… so theres that.


I grow a thick mat of clovers under my trees for a natural way of providing nitrogen that only nature has to pay for. Legumes of your choice are the best way to keep the soil nutrient rich plus the roots of clover go deep into even hard clay soils to help create better moisture penetration and retention. Each year add a thin layer of horse or chicken manure compost for the other trace elements that fruit trees need. I then use 3-16 applied during spring rains but I never used straight nitrogen. A balanced commercial fertilizer is best.
Kent, wa


Urea is not the N fertilizer that could be used in bomb-making, like Timothy McVeigh’s delivery van bomb that blew up the Murrah Building in OKC, or the huge 2020 Beirut explosion - that would be ammonium nitrate (NH4N03)

I used to buy ammonium nitrate for use on hayfields, sidedressing corn at ‘lay-by’, and around my pecans. I don’t know that I could get it any more… most of the high-N fertilizers I see anymore, are ‘super-kicker’ types, comprised of urea and ammonium sulfate.



ok thanks for that explanation. However im fairly well read and have a chemistry background.

This is way off the subject but in case anyone cares here goes…

Also in the National Library

Thanks! Now, I’ve learned my thing for the day! Can I go home now? lol.

I took enough chemistry in undergrad to almost qualify as having a minor in chemistry… but I never enjoyed it and have largely forgotten the bulk of what I may have been exposed to…(not saying I actually learned much of it… but it has been over 40 years…)

So… I’m surprised the ‘government’ has not restricted access to urea to those of us in agriculture, just like they did ammonium nitrate - though it would make crop production much less… productive.
Google &/or the three-letter .gov agencies evidently don’t want me looking at info on explosive reactivity of ammonium nitrate vs urea nitrate… slowing loading to the point that it’s not worth my time to wait… and all I wanted to find out is if one were more reactive, and more prone to accidental detonation. No evil intent here… really…

my chemistry lessons are a little longer ago. but it whether ammonium nitrate or other nitrate salts.
the oxygen atoms on the nitrate make it explosive.
because…(I don’t want to explain it further in the public forum).

please if you don’t want unwanted attention don’t look it up. it is not worth it…. Of course I’m exaggerating, but it’s not worth it.

Nitrogen is a gas but is essential not only for plants but also for humans and must be bound somehow in order to use it.
it. but does not have to be delivered in dangerous form.

Milorganite is full of industrial wastes like pfoa, pfos and such forever chemicals. I wouldn’t put that on anything


I only use it as a browse deterrent until i get fences up on new plantings.
I have insane deer pressure.

I think most of its sales is for Deer Feed Plots… which deters the deer until the food plot grows out… which the deer later eat…which the hunters later eat…

So in your statement a hunter is literally poisoning himself?

There was a huge discussion about this from our elders here.

According to Milorganite they are above and beyond safe and use the EPA as their shield.

As far as Urea Nitrogen goes… the super cheapo anything for a buck feedlots feed it to cattle. But we shouldnt think about those things.

Yup. It goes right up the food chain. Their citing old EPA research that didnt test for such substances.

Ammonium and Urea Nitrates are made from Natural Gas… so if we ever go fully green with no fossil fuels im not sure they will be able to make Nitrates anymore.

It usually takes doing a bad thing to end up with a good thing.

As far as the illegality of this or that… its legal to make and own Napalm.

As far as blipping radar… i think its 50lbs. So you can buy 50lbs of nitrate and 50lbs of gunpowder and be a normal citizen.

Sudafed- If you buy more than 9 grams in a month you are blipped.

Curious stuff huh?

if someone pees on compost every time, at some point saltpeter will be produced.
but it makes no sense, takes too long, low yield…
I also don’t know how effective it is as a fertilizer.

When stinging nettles grow, you know that there is too much nitrogen in the soil.

From what I learned in Prescribed Burn training, Napalm is basically a mixture of 60% diesel and 40% gasoline, which is what we use in the drip torch. Tannerite is what I am surprised is still legal. That stuff can really pack a punch.