Fertilizers For Fruit Trees
Apples. In early years trees require nitrogenous manure to build up the head of the tree, then a balanced fertilizer should be given each spring. If the leaves show marginal browning, potash is needed; if growth is excessively vigorous and fruit greasy and of poor keeping quality, the trees are getting too much nitrogen; but if the leaves are small and yellow, nitrogen is needed.
Pears. The general requirements are the same as for apples. Apply farmyard manure in autumn; this is specially necessary for young trees. In autumn give 4 oz. Basic slag and 1 oz. Kainit to a square yard, and in spring a oz. Superphosphate and 1 oz. Sulphate of ammonia to a square yard.
Plums. The most important requirement is lime. Where this is not present in sufficient quantities in the soil, dressings should be given annually. The trees grow vigorously by nature and only on exceptionally poor soils need nitrogenous manures. When the new wood shoots are very short and weak fertilizers are needed. Light dressings of an all-round fertilizer for a couple of seasons will bring the tree back into full vigour.
Cherries. An essential factor in the successful culture of cherries is lime, and if they are not being grown on a chalky soil a dressing of lb. Per square yard should be given in the spring. During their early years, nitrogenous fertilizers will be needed to encourage the growth of the main branches. After this the land may be grassed down when no further manure will be necessary.
Gooseberries. Gooseberries, like black currants, need plenty of manure. If manure of an organic nature is not available, give a heavy dressing of basic slag if the soil is heavy or kainit in the case of light soils. From 2 OZ. To 4 oz. Per square yard is an average amount.
Black Currants. This fruit has to produce a certain amount of new wood each year to keep the bushes strong and healthy and therefore give best results if they are mulched each summer with farmyard manure, spent hops, or some similar organic material. They do not respond always to artificial fertilizers. Fish, meat and bonemeal can, however, be given.
Red and White Currants. Crops on these bushes are carried on old wood and do not need so much organic matter. They will respond to artificial fertilizers, particularly potash. A little nitrate of soda and superphosphate should, however, be included in the general feedings, especially if the new wood is short and weak.
Strawberries. Ground freshly prepared for this fruit requires deep digging with free supply of organic matter dug in. Animal is best if obtainable. Artificial manures given after planting and in subsequent seasons should be of an organic nature, such as bone and meat meal or guano applied at the rate of 4 oz. Per square yard. During the early spring, mineral fertilizers consisting of sulphate of ammonia, sulphate of potash and superphosphate can be applied.
Raspberries. This fruit has to produce entirely new wood each season and therefore a plentiful supply of food should be available: This is most easily given by applying a dressing of farmyard manure each spring. A suitable substitute is a hop manure or other organic material. Artificial fertilizers are not required, but a plentiful supply of water is important if the season is dry.
Loganberries. These and other berried fruits are not so exacting in their requirements, but an annual top dressing in autumn and spring is certainly beneficial. Grown against walls this top dresing helps to conserve the moisture in the border.
Figs. Too rich a soil is not recommended for this fruit, only if the tree fails to make a fair amount of growth each season should organic manure be given. Against a sunny wall grass cuttings laid on the soil helps to retain moisture.