Monday, 24 November 2014

Feeding fruit for the best crops

So often when reading advise on feeding the information given is frustratingly vague and sometimes even mystifying.
By understanding the basics to plant fertilizers it is much easier to make a self-informed choice as to when and with what to feed your fruit trees and fruit plants.
Fertilizers fall into 3 main categories; Nitrogen, Phostrogen and Potash.
Nitrogen feeds the growth and leaves.
Potash encourages flowers
Phostrogen promotes fruit.
The type of fertilizer you apply will depend on when and what you are feeding.
Very often when fruit plants and bushes and top fruits are concerned the advice is nearly always to apply Phostrogen because it encourages fruit. But this alone isn’t always the best course of action.
If you have plants and trees that are lacking in vigour first and foremost then Nitrogen should be applied at any time during the growing season. This should be applied as part of any basic feeding programme, for even if you need to encourage fruiting of a particular variety or tree, if it isn’t growing well in the first place you need to provide a basic strength and framework from which it can bear worthwhile crops. You can then move on to encouraging….
Fruit and flowering.
One follows the other of course. My own personal regime involves a good dressing Potash early in the spring, or 3 to 4 weeks before flowering depending on what type of fruit you are feeding. Then, I apply Phosphate straight after flowering or during fruit set and development. This double-action method nearly always provides great results as it encourages blossom which in turn sets and is then well-treated to provide large, fully formed and numerous fruits.
If your stock is growing well and vigorously in the first place than nitrogen-rich fertilizers should be avoided because they will only encourage excessive growth at the expense of flowers and fruit.
A good balanced N.P.K fertilizer – which contains a meticulously formulated percentage of Nitrogen, Potash and Phosphates, is perhaps easier to understand and apply and will to a certain extent do all the jobs at once. But for the very best results it’s worth buying nutrient-specific fertilizers and applying them to a specific timetable as described above. By feeding for a certain end goal, and at the right time, you can control the qualities you are trying to encourage at exactly the right time.

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