Apple trees are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They provide good nutrition for humans and animals. However, apple trees require special care when it comes to their growth and health. If you want to grow apples, then you need to make sure that your tree receives proper nourishment from time to time. There are several types of fertilizer available for apple trees which will help them grow better and produce bigger fruit with less labor required by the farmer orchardist.
Fruit trees have two main parts: the fruit and the trunk. Fruit trees are usually grown for eating. The tree produces its own food (fruit) and provides nutrients to other plants through photosynthesis. Fruits do not require any additional fertilization besides water, sunlight, and air.
You can feed your apple tree regularly with organic matter such as composted leaves, wood chips, bark shavings or even manure from your garden!
The first step to growing healthy and strong apple trees is to provide them with the right amount of light. Light plays an essential role in the development of all living things. Without enough light, life would not exist at all. That’s why it is so important that you give your apple tree sufficient amounts of light during the day and darkness at night.
You can give your tree enough light by planting it in an open and sunny area at your house or even underneath the eaves of your home. Apple trees should never be planted under a tall tree that produces a lot of shade as this might prevent the sun from warming up the soil around the tree’s roots during the day.
You can also give your apple tree enough light by planting it near a south-facing wall or fence that reflects light onto the tree. If you do not have a south-facing wall or fence near your property, then you can simply provide extra lighting to your tree by installing extra lights around the tree during the day. You can also simply turn on the lights inside your home during the night. This will keep away harmful insects such as aphids and leafhoppers from attacking your apple tree.
When to Fertilize Apple Trees
There are several types of apple tree fertilizers available in the market today. Some contain only nitrogen, while others contain a mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Always look for a fertilizer that has a NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or higher for best results. Nitrogen promotes healthy green leaves, Phosphorus promotes root growth and flowering, and Potassium keeps your tree healthy and happy.
The type of fertilizer that you choose to use for your apple tree depends on several things such as the age of your tree and the soil quality in your area. If you have just planted a new sapling, then you must only water it and wait for a year before applying any fertilizers to the soil. After one year has passed, you can start applying a general-purpose fertilizer with a NPK ratio of 5-10-5. You should only apply it at half the recommended dosage to avoid burning the roots of your tree.
Here are some general tips for helping your apple trees grow big and strong:
Always use a trowel to apply fertilizer around the drip line of your tree (the furthest reach of the branches). You can also make a small hole with the trowel and put the fertilizer in it. This helps prevent the top layer of soil from becoming too saturated with nutrients and prevents root rot.
Do not apply too much fertilizer at once. Apply just enough to work it’s way into the topsoil. Excess nitrogen can quickly become toxic to plant roots.
Do not apply fertilizer after the beginning of June. This is because most fertilizers take time to break down and release their nutrients slowly, and this process will continue even after you have applied them to the soil. Applying fertilizer after the beginning of June will cause the nutrients to start releasing into the soil before winter comes. This will cause the roots to uptake a lot of nitrogen, which will then decay during the winter when there is no sunlight or water.
Do not add grass clippings or animal manure to your garden. Grass clippings are mostly made up of nitrogen and animal manure is full of nitrogen and phosphorus. Both of these ingredients will cause your tree to grow a lot of leaves and very little fruit.
Do not use human manure, as it can contain pathogens that can spread diseases through your tree. If you have a lot of it and do not want to waste it, you can dilute it with an equal part of sand before applying it around the base of your tree.
How to Water an Apple Tree
Watering your apple trees is very important as well.
Sources & references used in this article:
Virus, fertilizer and rootstock effects on the nutrition of young apple trees by C Bould, AI Campbell – Journal of Horticultural Science, 1970 – Taylor & Francis
Thirty years fertilization and irrigation in Dutch apple orchards: a review by JA Kipp – Fertilizer research, 1992 – Springer
Phosphate‐Fertilizer‐Induced Salt Toxicity of Newly Planted Apple Trees by FJ Peryea – Soil Science Society of America Journal, 1990 – Wiley Online Library
Nitrogen fertilizer influences fruit quality, soil nutrients and cover crops, leaf color and nitrogen content, biennial bearing and cold hardiness of ‘Golden Delicious’ by JT Raese, SR Drake, EA Curry – Journal of plant nutrition, 2007 – Taylor & Francis
Effect of postharvest soil and foliar application of boron fertilizer on the partitioning of boron in apple trees by EE Sánchez, TL Righetti – HortScience, 2005 – journals.ashs.org
… and Leaves Portions of Terminal Shoots of Apple Trees Under Two Cultural Systems—Grass Plus Annual Spring Nitrate and Arable Without Nitrogenous Fertilizer by ES Smyth – Journal of Pomology and Horticultural Science, 1934 – Taylor & Francis
… in Fruit Trees: I. The Seasonal Cycles of Total Nitrogen and of Soluble Nitrogen compounds in the Wood, Bark and Leaves Portions of Terminal Shoots of Apple Trees … by DV Karmarkar – Journal of Pomology and Horticultural Science, 1934 – Taylor & Francis
The phosphorus nutrition of the apple tree. I. Influence of rate of application of superphosphate on the performance of young trees by BK Taylor, FH Goubran – Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 1975 – CSIRO