Top dressing of apple trees
Trees that survive the winter are always nutrient deficient. Therefore, the first feeding of apple trees in early spring is just as important as pruning and pest control. It is she who is the key to the future harvest — if the plant receives the necessary amount of organic and mineral fertilizers at the very beginning of the growing season, the tree will be stronger and more fertile:
- the apple tree will better develop immunity against diseases;
- the harvest will be more plentiful and of good quality;
- the fruits will hang firmly on the stalks and not crumble;
- the tree will tolerate drought better and live longer.
Features of feeding old and young apple trees
Before you start fertilizing fruit trees before flowering, you should pay attention to their age and soil composition.
- A young apple tree under the age of two years is not fertilized if you have already put substances useful for growth and development in the hole before planting. If the soil is chernozem, it can not be fed for up to three years.
- After three years, early spring top dressing of all trees is required, since it is during this period that the active growth of the crown begins. And here nitrogen fertilizers are of paramount importance.
- The older the tree (an apple tree can grow and bear fruit with careful care up to 100 years), the more it requires nutrients. For mature trees, the nitrogen value decreases as part of the top dressing, because it no longer needs to grow the crown. Preference is given to potash-phosphorus fertilizers. But in the first spring top dressing, it should still be present to give impetus to the growth of new foliage and flowering.
How to carry out the first top dressing of an apple tree in the spring
The first feeding is carried out when buds appear on the branches, but there is not a single leaf yet. In the southern regions, this may already be the end of March, in the middle lane — the beginning of April, in a cold climate, the procedure is carried out no earlier than mid-April. Since the apple trees are still bare, fertilizers are applied only under the roots.
First you need to determine the place where top dressing will be applied. To do this, you need to step back from the trunk of 50 centimeters and draw a circle. The second round will take place where the crown ends. Between them, the roots are concentrated, absorbing, like a sponge, fertilizers. Now in this gap in a circle you can make a groove where you can bring food. It can be dry and in solutions.
This is humus or rotted mullein, chicken droppings. It is scattered along the radius at the rate of 5 buckets per adult tree. If the apple tree is 3-5 years old, half the norm is enough. It is even better to dig a circle along with the applied fertilizer. But there is an important factor to consider here. Dry top dressing is carried out before the rain.
Top dressing with a solution
Dilute the nutrient concentrate in water in a ratio of 1:10 and insist. It is ideal to do this in a barrel. The first sign that the manure is ready for use is the disappearance of the characteristic odor.
Prudent gardeners prepare a solution in the fall in a 1: 1 ratio. In this state, it can be stored for several months. Then it remains only to dilute it with water. After watering with a flavored mixture, the near-stem circles are mulched. This is necessary in order to:
- the roots of the trees did not overheat;
- the growth of weeds that draw moisture from the ground slowed down;
- evaporation decreased.
Minerals — supplements and nutrition before flowering
But if organic fertilizers are not available, they can be easily replaced with mineral additives.
- Ammonium nitrate. It is taken at the rate of 40 grams per bucket of water for an adult or old tree. The norm for the young is two times less.
- Ammonium sulfate. 50 grams per bucket for an adult tree and 25 for a young one.
- Potassium sulphate. Dilute 10 grams per 10 liters of water. The norm is the same for trees of any age.
Advice! If you don’t have a scale, you can use a tablespoon. One spoon contains approximately 20 grams of the substance.
Before flavoring the near-stem circle, it must be well watered so that the minerals reach the roots faster.
For the first spring dressing, this will be enough. Optionally, you can combine organic and mineral fertilizers, adding half the norm of each type to the soil, which in total will provide good nutrition and stimulate the tree to further growth and development.