Fertilizing Fruit Trees, grape vines, and fruit bushes

I’m pretty much locked in to fertilizing my fruit with liquid sprays.
QUESTION: The Spray-N-Grow catalog has something called “(Bill’s) Perfect Blend Kit” which appears to be a 3 component source of plant nutrients to be mixed and sprayed on.
Has anyone ever tried it? Results?

I’ve used it before, but haven’t noticed any difference using it as a foliar feed versus some of the cheaper organic options out there.

It is generally much cheaper to mix your own from bulk ingredients vs the pre-mix ones they sell.

For example one mix I use has 1t Ammon-Sulfate, 1T phosphoric acid, 2t Pot Bicarb as the main ingredients, and a bit of some Ca and trace minerals and fish emulsion. I haven’t calculated it out, but probably less than 0.20 per gal. And when you mix your own, you have the ability to tailor the solution for particular plants (more N or P, etc).

Thanks. What have you used?

Holy cow.
It makes sense but I’m afraid you’re light years ahead of me with your knowledge of this stuff.
I’ve been using sprays mostly for insect and disease control.
Lime Sulfur is an example and that stuff smells real bad.
Does Ammonium Sulfur smell just as bad?
Tell me, how often do you apply that mix you mentioned?

Glad to see a thread on foliar fertilizing (maybe the thread title should reflect that?)
Anyway I use more foliar nutes than insecticides or fungicides and have come to the conclusion that bugs don’t like foliar fertilizers as I have seen them drop off or disperse and not return after application. My base is usually soluable seaweed. To which I might add others depending on what you want the plant to do.

I generally mix up 4 gal worth of the materials in a qt of water, then dilute that right before use; 1 c of concentrate per gallon. It is just sprayed on, sometimes with an insecticide if I’m using one of those at the time.

I should mention the full formula since otherwise one could end up with a pretty acidic spray from just the the first two ingredients or alkaline from just the last two. It calls for 1/2t of hydrated lime for the Ca. That is important because it and the potassium bicarb will neutralize the acidity of the ammonium sulfate and phosphoric acid. If you leave those out you will end up with a VERY acidic spray or visa versa. It will be pretty obvious in that the water will foam up very strongly when you add those in. I mix in a large container for just that reason. Start out with water, add the ingredients one at a time mixing well til dissolved. Be careful adding in the last two ingredients as they will cause a lot of foaming/bubbling up. And always add acid to water not the other way around. I also add 1T of vinegar per gal after all the other ingredients, again to balance pH.I also throw in a few granules of zinc sulfate and manganese sulfate, because my soils are low in those trace elements.

Now that I write it all out, it seems more complicated than it is. Really only takes 5 min or so to mix up a jar or two of the concentrate. I do not add the fish emulsion until I am about to spray (about 1T per gal), that way the concentrate will last a long time. If you put the fish emulsion in the concentrate stuff will grow in it fairly quickly.

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It does sound complicated … and the amounts in the mix demand some attention to detail … even the order the ingredients are applied. You must be getting pretty good results.

Do you do the same kind of thing Steve333 does?
I really like the idea that the fertilizer you use might also tend to discourage insects too.

I have some of those things but don’t usually resort to them. Perhaps because I’m a gardener 1st and somewhat new to orcharding, but, there is a lot of crossover. The components in the sprays I make up are comprised mostly of plant or animal material, like vermicompost tea for microbial issues and I’ll use milk sometimes too; Sea-based formulas like Sea Magic has given me good results as has MaxiCrop. MaxSea Red and Bloom & Root are the main nutes. To those I may add Chelated Manganese or Zinc, Calcium Nitrate or ammonia, depending if I want to grow or fruit something; Neem is a nice ‘anti-feedant’, as is tobacco vape. Sometimes I’ll add a few drops of copper, or eucalyptus for fungal issues. If you pay attention to the marijuana forums you get some good insights. They grow for the same goal I do: quality produce. (I don’t grow mj)

Dr Reams used to say the higher the brix, the less problems you have with insects. Brix applies not just to fruit but to the plant material too.

I’ve had excellent results with this product and it’s a lot cheaper than Spray n Gro.



Sounds like a possibility.
The label said to use it once or twice a week.
Do you do that?
What do you use it on?

Everything and every two weeks as a foliar feed except when in bloom. I still fertilize the roots with an organic granular or compost/manure every 6 weeks.

If you have alkaline growing conditions or alkaline water, you’ll need to use iron/zinc sprays or acidfying fertilizers as well.

I keep a few rabbits, used to be my daughters pets but shes not interested in them anymore, now they are just fertilizer machines primarily. I shovel a few scoops around the base of my fruit trees in the spring and they seem very happy, grow like crazy. Foliar feeding and stuff like that seems unnecessary for me, they are doing great.

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Foliar feeding seems to be most effective in areas that are generally have unfavorable growing conditions for the trees that you are trying to grow or if you’re trying something radical like growing in a soil-less medium.

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I do it with a backpack sprayer because they’re too far for a hose.
And with root feeding I’m never sure they would all get enough.
I might be off base but foliar seems like a way to make sure they’re getting fed.

By the way, were you suggesting possible damage to blooms or interference with bee activity?

That’s funny, cute, cuddly, and suggestive of very productive rabbits.

If you can root feed, Id say thats the best way, its how plants evolved for millions of years. Plants will tell you generally if they arent getting what they need. I see there might be situations where foliar feeding could be necessary, but id say its not preferable unless it is necessary, like if you are missing a certain element and amending the soil isnt possible or practical, etc.

Fertilization during bloom can significant affect fruit set.

Trees have evolved to get most of their nutrition through the ground. Foliar feeding can supplement but is not a substitute for good, fertile soil.