FoxFarm Fertilizers

Looking for opinions on the FoxFarm brand of fertilizers and organic products. My local southern states coop sells a wide range of their products. They seem to advertise heavily that their products are superior to Miracle Grow type ferts because they contain a lot of essential micro-nutrients and minerals that ordinary products don’t have.

I was thinking about purchasing a liquid product that I could add to my watering can to help strengthen my new bare root trees. I don’t want to over fertilize them but want them to get what they need in terms of soil minerals and such.

If this type of product isn’t the answer for new trees what is?

The main problem with such products is the price can be very steep for how much fertilizer you are getting. Micro-nutrients are usually fine in most soils, thats why Miracle-Gro usually does the job. But it can’t hurt to be on the safe side. If you are only doing small trees you will not need much product.

Personally I use Epsoma, a brand of organic dry fertilizer. Its not as expensive as those liquid ferts and also has micro-nutrients in it. Its a top-dressing so is a slow release and there is no concern for over-fertilizing. Its still pretty expensive and so I use far less than the recommended dose unless a tree is not doing well. Most fruit trees in my climate need little or no fertilizer to grow fine.


Thanks Scott. I bought a bag of Epsoma Tree-Tone 6-3-2 a few weeks back. Been so busy I kind of forgot about it.

Which Epsoma product are you using on your fruit trees?

I use Tree-tone:

Along with fertilizer it contains some microbes. Like the micronutrients my impression is you probably don’t need those because they are already in the soil, but if you do need them they could help a lot.

Using Tree tone does seem to be a pricey option, I am finding a 18lb bag for around $24. The website says to use 3lb per application for smaller trees although you could get by with less as Scott mentioned. Seems like that can really add up when you have a bunch of trees to feed.

The ratio of N to K is rather high - do you use a potash supplement?

I use so little that the ratio is not particularly important. I use about 10% of what they recommend. My trees get nearly all their nutrients from whats already in the soil. The only exception is trees having vigor issues I put a lot more on. Thats maybe 3-5 out of 200 trees.

I’m not a fan of water soluble fertilizers in general, and even less so for fruit trees. Having used them in the past I can tell a huge difference using water insoluble products and/or just compost and mulch. Soil tilth and health improves dramatically, plant tissues are denser and less attractive to pests and disease. Feed the soil to feed the plants. My blueberries taste a lot better having ample decaying organic matter on board.

Fertilizer with low N and high P & K, with humic acids is my preference for fruit trees. For citrus I use a higher N fertilizer such as Citrus-tone.

For posterity, I reached out to Espoma to inquire about use of Tree-Tone in containers. They have a very different regimen (a lot less and more frequent) for containers than what is published on the bag. It is:

Apply monthly: 1 Tsp per 3" diameter of container, up to 12" container. For > 12" diameter container, apply 2 Tsp per 3" diameter of container.