Fertilizing Schedules

This is my present fertilizing schedule,that is saved on Notepad.It is not complete and I don’t follow every thing completely,because of weather,temperature and other variables where the original information came from,might be different than my situation and locale.But I think it’s a good general guide.I can always change or add to it as I add plants or find new or better ways of doing things.
I think Scott and or someone else may have posted theirs at one time.If anyone else has something,please share yours. Brady
PLANT FERTILIZING SCHEDULE

BLUEBERRY

Fertilizing-Hollytone-1st time-Early Shoot Growth-April 1st
2nd time-May 10th
3rd time-June 15th
OR
1 teaspoon Ammonium Sulfate in 2-3 Gallons water-Once per Week
OR
1 Gallon Water to 1 oz.Molasses-1/4oz.Liquid Kelp-2oz.Fish
OR
Cut above FKM in half for Foliar Feeding-Repeat every 7-10 Days-Stop 3 Weeks before Fall

Mulberry

Fertilizing-Citrustone -1st time-February
2nd time-May
3rd time-Late July/August

Pineapple Guava

Fertilizing-Citrustone -1st time-Late February
2nd time-Late May
3rd time-Late July

Serviceberry

Fertilizing-Hollytone -1st time-April 1st
2nd time-May 20th
3rd time-July 4th
4th time-August 15th
5th time-October 30th

Apply Half Dose for New Plants

Pawpaw

Fertilizing-Hollytone-1st time-February
2nd time-May
3rd time-Late July
OR
20-20-20-Through June-Every 2-3 Weeks

Honeyberry

Fertilizing-10-10-10-1st time-May
2nd time-October

Quince

Fertilizing-Citrustone -1st time=February
2nd time-May
3rd time-Late July/August

Evergreen Huckleberry

Fertilizing-Hollytone or Ammonium Sulfate-1st time-March 10th
2nd time-May 10th
3rd time-June 14th

Lingonberry

Fertilizing-Hollytone or Ammonium Sulfate-1st time-March 10th
2nd time-May 10th

Cornus mas

Fertilizing-All Purpose-1st time-Feb 10th
2nd time-April 10th
3rd time-May 15th

Plum

Fertilizing-10-10-10-1st time-April
2nd time-May
3rd time-June
4th time-July

Nectarine

Fertilizing-Balanced-1st time-April 1st
2nd time-May 10th

Blackberries

Year One

Fertilizing-10-10-10 or similar

March-Sprinkle 1/6 cup(1.3oz.) evenly in 24 inch circle around each plant

June-Sprinkle 1/4 cup(2oz.)over a 30 inch circle

Year Two

March or bud break and June-Sprinkle 1 cup(8oz.)over a 5 foot circle around plant

Year Three And On

March-Sprinkle 2 cups over a 6 foot circle

June-Sprinkle 1 cup over 6 foot circle-If single canes are over 12 feet in new growth,omit this application

Fig

Spring-Mix 1 part Super Phosphate,5-10-5,Bonemeal and lime.

Make 4 holes on outside edge of pot-1 inch diameter-3 inches deep and fill with mix and water.

One month later-Use balanced fertilizer every 20 days until mid August.

October-Top dressing of 1 part Super Phosphate,Bonemeal and lime.

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Hey Brady, what does the molasses do in the the liquid fish/kelp mixture for the blueberries?

From what I’ve read,it feeds the microbes in the soil.I found the recipe on an organic growers website,when first starting to grow Blueberries.I tried the method and it seemed to work okay,but there was a lot of mixing involved,so I switched.Your question has me thinking though,why spray molasses on leaves,when the microbes are in the soil?
Here is the website link to the grower. Brady
http://www.backyardberryplants.com/almanac/index.htm

Boy Brady, I wish I was as organized as you, that it quite a detailed schedule you have. Wanted to ask you why you start of with Hollytone on Pawpaw’s, do you have high alkaline soil? From what I can remember, Hollytone is for acid loving plants but has lots of minor elements.

For my own trees I only go by my own schedule for young trees I’m trying to accelerate the growth of, mature trees have to tell me what they need. That’s a dance to try to help the tree maintain moderate growth and it involves a lot of variables including weather and cropload of the previous season.

For young trees that grow evenly throughout the spring and summer in my nursery I find 90 day coated urea to be the ticket to encourage rapid growth. For bearing age trees, one usually wants something quick release in spring when it helps fruit quality but is gone when it starts to hurt it (by encouraging excessive vegetative growth during the summer months), but this is in cases where they are giving you adequate growth to feed your crop and generate new fruiting wood.

I rarely use a triple 10 for anything because soils around here usually have adequate P.

In the early fall I apply enough K in orchards I manage to replace what came out in the crop with some boron and half the N as K in the coated urea form. This is when I apply N for bearing apple trees. Peaches need another hit in the spring.

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Some of the fertilizer information came from different sources and the one for Pawpaw is on Just Fruits & Exotics website.It is their opinion that the pH should be 4.2-5.5.I think that is a bit low,but KSU recommends 5.5-7,which is probably more realistic.
I think Hollytone is fairly mild and shouldn’t lower the pH very much.If that was the case,then people could just use that instead of bringing it down with Sulfur or some kinds of acid,when growing Blueberries. Thanks,Brady

soil test show that my orchard area was high in K and low in P so I will not use a balanced fertilizer.

In Nov-Dec, I fertilize with P (0-32-0) since I read that it helps build healthy roots. The thinking was to add the lacking P to the soil, do it while trees were dormant and concentration/growth is only in roots and to spread out the amount of minerals being added to the trees at one time.

In Jan, I Lyme the trees since soil test show I needed it for proper PH.

In Feb-Mar, I use fertilome’s fruit tree fertilizer (19-10-5). It also contains small amounts of Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese and Zinc (all of which the local coop recommends).

May-June I will add nitrogen to most of the trees.

I will get another soil test in Sept-Nov in hopes to simplify my fertilizing schedule. I hope to get to a single round fertilome in the spring and maybe lyme every other year. For supplication, I fertilize all the trees the same.

Soil tests are the way to go.Something I need to do. Brady

alan which coated urea fertilizer do you use? curious if the depot has the stuff you use?

I agree. From my limited experience with them though, they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be unless your planting row crops. Still better than guestimating though in almost any case I’d reckon.

I buy it in bulk from Crop Production Services for a fraction of the cost of anything similar in big box stores. Here, Home Depot has exploited buyer ignorance and stopped carrying low cost lawn fertilizers. A lawn fertilizer by Scott’s that contains some slow release urea is silly expensive- about 4X what I pay for straight coated slow release urea- so 8X as costly as a source of N- the only nutrient most plants respond to in most soils.

The stuff I buy isn’t sold with a brand name and is used by farmers to grow corn here who buy it by the tons. Folks at CPS do me a favor by selling it to me in quantities of just a few hundred pounds which I break up into 40 pound bags myself.

If you have an agricultural supplier nearby they likely sell bags of fertilizer for the specific crops common in your area. My CPS source for pesticides and fertilizers is located in the heart of the Hudson Valley so they have bags of inexpensive fertilizer mixed for peaches and a different (higher K lower N) formulation for apples, but I generally get custom mixes in bulk. Those pre-mixed bags never contain coated urea- just the straight quick release stuff.

The only similar product widely available is a somewhat better formulation at a much higher cost manufactured by Osmocote. It is resin coated instead of sulfur, so is less acidifying and the time release is less affected by weather conditions so is more consistent.

Urea is better than nitrate in cool wet conditions because it bonds to the soil for longer before being converted to ammonium and than the quick to leach nitrate. Some plants can absorb the urea straight up. I believe all plants can take up ammonium and some much prefer it over nitrate, such as blueberries.

The reason coated urea is so valuable to me is that I manage many orchards that I only visit occasionally and I can spread it without fear of burning grass without watering it in and it is probably less subject to volatilization in adverse conditions. In my own nursery it is nice to only have to think about it once a season.

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question: if trying to push growth in young trees and land owner is not interested in soil testing, and you can get your hands on some free 10-10-10 but must apply free hand, How much do you use? I am thinking 24-30" radius from trunk. How much per tree?

3 or 4 cups per tree spread over about 25 sq feet should be plenty

I think fertilizing varies greatly from locale to locale, and you can’t really
rely on what different nursery websites publish. You’re better off doing soil samples and talking to your local extension agent.

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And leaf samples if you actually are having signs of deficiency. But a couple pounds actual N per 1,000 sq. ft in the spring is fine to do blind if you are only trying to get the trees to establish ASAP.

Cornell actually has a maintenance schedule for commercial orchards based only on what the trees are taking out of the soil. The schedule calls for a similar dose of N applied in the spring, with or without soil and leaf analysis.

Alan
That’s precisely my point. If I want to establish a new tree, the only
thing I would feed it is diluted urine. Cornell’s maintenance schedule would only apply to commercial orchards in their area. It’s a whole different ball game down here.

Presently,I don’t have any 10-10-10 on the shelf.I need to update the fertilizers on the list.They have and do change a bit.
I use the schedule more as a when instead of a what guide,but even that can change with the weather,as first noted in the opening post. Brady

Actually a similar ball game because it isn’t what’s in the soil it’s based on so much as what’s being removed. Cornell is making recs for a wide range of soil types. If the soil is already productive anywhere, this approach should keep it so- what the trees extract is only affected by climate in how it affects overall growth and crop- in other words more growth and crop- more nutrients extracted.

Soil analysis is known to be limited in its actual ability to determine what plants are getting for a couple of reasons and commercial growers rely at least as much on leaf analysis. But they need maximum output from their trees, most of us just need healthy, long lived trees that crop consistently.

I install many orchards with nothing more than a pH test these days if existing trees and plants on property are healthy- after taking hundreds of such tests I found it didn’t often offer useful info and therefore is a waste of clients money.

Who cares if the soil is low in P when the trees are in no way affected (almost always the case). The trees will likely get all the K they need when they are mulched with wood chips. Where trees suffer it is usually about drainage, or sometimes something mysterious not to be discovered in a soil test.

Not that this is sage advice I would recommend people follow- one must find their own way and develop their own recipe. But worry more about the tilth and drainage of the soil than the balance of micro-nutrients. Trees are highly adaptable in any soil reasonably easy to penetrate with adequate oxygen and water.

If you really want to do this in a research based manner it can get complicated- even different varieties of apples respond much differently to various deficiencies and require different quantities of nutrients. Here is an example of the literature for commercial growers of apples in the northeast. I think it’s quite interesting.

Here is my favorite quote from it.

The most desirable nitrogen management program provides a relatively high N status early in the season to encourage
rapid leaf development, fruit set, and flower bud formation, but permits N to decline gradually as the season progresses.
This tends to enhance favor, fruit color, and tree hardening. The following factors can be used to evaluate apple N status,
but none will substitute for annual leaf analysis.

Very informative article Alan. Do you use a paticular type of lime to raise PH? I have been using the dolomitic lime version even though it’s a little higher priced. Think I read it adds magnesium which is helpful to peach trees.
My granular fertilizing method is reaching in the bucket and throwing handfuls are the drip line. I have pretty big hands and according to my unscientific calculation, 4 handfuls equals about a pound of most granular fertilizer so makes it pretty easy to calculate the application.

The balance of magnesium to calcium can be important, as I understand it. Here, most calcium is dolomitic because it is needed in most of our soils. That would be a good use of a soil test, but I generally just run with dolomitic. You should be able to find out from you cooperative extension what are the common issues in local soils (if your soil is actually local).

When I started my own orchard here almost 30 years ago I was a skilled gardener and trained horticulturist but was deficient in academic knowledge about tree fruit production. That ignorance didn’t cost me much as far as establishing trees-, what cost me was planting the wrong varieties. If you have decent soil,the right varieties and protect your fruit from pests you don’t need to master the finer points to be successful.

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