What is your Tip OF The Day?


Years ago I incorporated garden sulphur in large quantities into the soil before I planted my blueberries. I can see where top-dressing sulphur would take a lot longer to take effect.


One thing I’ve not tried but would probably help when you are waiting for enough change to occur to help the plants is foliar iron. Also, actual incorporation into the soil as much as possible without excessively damaging roots will speed things up a great deal. Mulch allows feeder roots to come right up to the surface to gather free iron if that is the only place it is available.


easy on the fertilizers! most amended soil plants don’t need it! the plant or tree will tell you what it needs if you watch it carefully. :wink:


This all depends. I used to be sanguine about providing establishing trees abundant nitrogen, but if you rely on what even rich soil has alone your trees may grow at half the speed they could, and during establishment most people want maximum speed. Trees are pretty mum about this- leaves can look dark green without the tree being at full throttle growth. Rapid establishment not only gets you earlier cropping but also increases the chances of a trees survival in several ways. Once a tree is established I will focus more on what my trees have to say about their N needs, but children sometimes need to be told what’s best for them (or us).


i say this because I’ve tried to push the ferts, to get better rapid growth only to do the opposite and severely stunt the plant. my heavy clay soil holds nutrients in place so i don’t need to fertilize but once every year. with loamy or sandy soils you would need more. but most my berries need only a shovel full of compost once a year some not at all as i top dress fresh hardwood mulch around them every spring.


I’m so glad to hear you say you think fertilize can be a good thing (I realize you didn’t say always or in all cases) for fruit trees. I have seen a lot of people say they don’t ever or almost never fertilize fruit trees, and one of the often cited reasons is that it causes too much vegetative growth-often at the expense of less/smaller fruit. But for me- and I’m very happy to read apparently for you too Alan (at least some times) I respectfully disagree- at least for my trees in my soil and in the early years of a trees life. I agree that fertilize does cause a lot of vegetative growth (though I’m not convinced that growth comes at the expense of fruit production- but I’m open to that ). But just as Alan said, the first few years of a trees life I’m trying to get it to size up so I welcome vegetative growth- even if it DOES cost me some fruit production in those early years. But its not only about getting a tree bigger, faster. In those early years I’m also trying to get my trees into a nice shape by pruning. I sort of enjoy having my trees grow so fast and so much so that when I prune it, it doesn’t take long for the tree to replace what I’ve cut. This allows me, for example, to more quickly see whether or not new growth is going to occur where I want it to. This is nice if I cut an upward growing limb in an attempt to get the new growth to occur at an outside bud/node so that the final limb will be more outward growing, thereby creating a more spread out/open tree. This is just one example. The point I’m trying to make is that the more and the faster that my tree produces vegitative growth, the easier (and faster) it is for me to both get the tree to size up AND to get it into the proper shape. The more new growth, the more chances I have to find and exploit growth at places I want it to be. And the more length it adds to each limb, the more fruiting buds I will get, and the sooner I will get them. This is my typically long winded way of saying I actually like having the increase of vegetative growth comes with fertilize WHEN IT COMES TO IMMATURE TREES. Once a tree is near full size and has the shape I want it to have, then maybe I’ll join the no fertilize crowd. But I like the opportunities that come with fertilizing young trees. Hope that makes sense… And BTW, I’ve never experienced fertilize stunting growth as described by @moose71 . In my orchard, within 10 days of fertilizing my young trees- especially peach- they explode with the vegetative growth that I like but others don’t.


mine puts on new growth at 1st then stunts and sometimes kills the plant. not so much with trees as with berry bushes. last year i lost 1/3rd. of my raspberries. they grew well , stunted then died. i was using organic fertilizer and followed directions on the package. this year i cut it in half and still had burnt plants. before i planted this bed i only added composted straw and wood chips chips. most of it was broke down but some wasn’t. was unfertilized lawn before. i think my heavy clay probably didn’t need any fertilizer. have had same issues with elderberry and black currant. branches rotting at soil level after shriveling up. these are all 3 yrs old plants. i spray for disease regularly and have added amendments and perlite so i get good drainage.


Sorry to hear that. I’d say your clay soil makes a big difference. Mine is quite porous so my fertilize is able to dissipate faster. I even fertilized this year with UNCOMPOSTED chicken manure, which is dangerous and not recommended due to the high potential for burn. But I usually use 15-15-15 general purpose granulated fertilize and it works well for me and my trees. I think is one more case where local environment (soil, weather, etc) makes all the difference. Thanks for sharing,


Six foot green fence posts and 1/2 pvc fit nicely together and the pvc can slide up or down for height adjustment. Use 30 degree couplings with the 1/2 pvc to make hoop frame. In my case I used 10 foot 1/2 pvc for the top and that gave me a 7 ft width and 6 ft height. By sliding the verticals up I could have gotten another 3 ft or more of height.


When to pick Orient and Kieffer pears for my use along with a few opinions about using surround. When these hard type pears start to lighten this is a good time to test the taste. For my taste preference the larger ones are sweeter. I picked this basket yesterday and there is a considerable size difference. The large one on top measured 12" in circumference by 12.5". The others are about the size or a little larger than what we have in our stores. At this stage they are pretty good off the tree and they store well in the refrigerator. There will be another picking of the Orient that are not mature and I’m estimating it will be around three weeks before they are ready. The peeling on these type pears are hard and I always remove it before eating. My Kieffer pear are a little more consistent in size and they typically start ripening 2-3 weeks later than the Orient. The picture is all Orient pears showing size differences and what surround looks like on pears for anyone that hasn’t used it before. The pears that I bagged are mostly blemish free and the ones that surround/neem was used on have a few places that have minor damage but there is still high percent of clean fruit. I have bagged for a few years with good results but I consider myself new to using surround and I’m still learning the most effective ways to use it.


I don’t know how long the sale will last or if it going on at all the store locations but I stopped Lowes (Moody/Leeds AL) yesterday and noticed most of their fruit trees were on clearance sale for 75% off. When your out of space a person should just close your eyes and walk past this section and get what you came for. Needless to say I let down two seats in my van and proudly drove home with four. About half way home I realized that I didn’t get what I stopped by for. These were nice plants in 3.25 gallon pots and were 4-4.5’ high. The total cost for four with discount and a military deduction was $17.96.


Yep. Are you seeking professional help? LOL


I just love your idea. I use PVC pipes left and right, but this didn’t come to my mind . I think you solved my puzzle of building apricot enclosure.


In poorly draining soils roots tend to form near the surface so the salts in N. fertilizers are more likely to kill essential feeder roots. Establishing good drainage is job one in growing most plants- after that you can worry about nutritional needs. Raised beds are often the best way to begin this process and organic matter certainly helps. I’ve actually amended blue-grey pure clay with equal volume sand and lots of compost into raised beds that have been excellent for growing fruit trees. The roots can’t grow much outside of the amended soil so the cubic yard of useable soil keeps the trees at a perfect level of vigor. Only plums have really defied this scenario and are excessively vigorous, but it is no big problem.

The pedigreed gurus often claim you can’t amend clay with sand- but it all depends on how much sand. It is doable if you are talking about small trees. The problem is the huge work of blending a half yard of sand with a half yard of clay. Easier just to bring in new top soil to create your raised beds.


The ones not bagged that had damage looked like this Moonglow pear. I slacked off spraying the last few weeks and I think I left a an opening for bug damage.


I though that Moonglow was supposed to have a blush. Not always it appears


I tried a couple of the Sharpie Extreme and unfortunately they faded as badly as the regular Sharpie. I have found that pencil lasts much longer than Sharpie for some types of plastic tags.


Might be a good job for a portable cement mixer.


I’m more a plant guy than an equipment one, but that should work and the gurus say you’d be making concrete anyway. A tractor driven roto-ho might do it also but the 10 HP Italian job I had at the time wasn’t up to the task. Clay soil is one thing, but straight clay is a nightmare. The stuff I’m talking about was from an excavation to flatten the top of a hill for development. The owner told me it was “top soil” because it was from the top of a hill and delivered to his site free of charge. The developer undoubtedly sold the top soil for the going price and saved a few inches to support a chemlawn.


I agree with Dan. My experiment with Sharpie Extreme UV resistant markers have been a failure. I tried them this spring when I grafted and many of the tags are nearly illegible already. Many still look fine but I assume they are the ones that aren’t directly exposed to as much sunlight.