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Top dressing of trees and shrubs in spring is the most important stage of care, on which the decorative qualities of plants, their growth and the amount of harvest depend. Perennial plants greatly deplete the soil, because from year to year they require nutrition. That is why it is important to fertilize the garden with special means several times a season. Adequate nutrition is the key to abundant flowering, dense ovary and a generous harvest. In addition, regular feeding minimizes the risk of infection of trees and shrubs and is responsible for their health. For the first time a year, the garden is fertilized in early spring, then fertilizing is continued at regular intervals.
An approximate fertilization calendar for fruit and berry crops will be offered in this article. Here you can find out about the rates of fertilization, find recommendations on how to better feed certain fruit trees and shrubs in the spring.
Top dressing options
Garden crops, as well as garden crops, can be fertilized with two types of preparations: mineral and organic. Since with the arrival of spring and warming, growth is activated in any plants and vegetation is accelerated, it is at this time that they need a large amount of nutrition.
The most necessary component at this stage of development of fruit trees and shrubs is nitrogen. This substance is responsible for the growth of green mass, and it can be found both in mineral complexes and in organic fertilizers.
At the second stage of development, trees need potassium and phosphorus, because it is these components that determine the number of ovaries, and therefore the abundance of the future harvest.
The health of plants in the garden, as well as the quality and taste of the fruits, are directly related to the content of such elements in the soil as:
A tree can find hydrogen with carbon directly in the soil or in the air, but with trace elements everything is much more difficult - they are contained in the right amount only in balanced mineral complexes.
Attention! Purchased mineral complexes are also good in that the nutrients in their composition have the form that is most easily absorbed by plants.
This does not mean that using organic products is ineffective. On the contrary, organic fertilizers are more preferable for feeding fruit trees and shrubs. But in order to benefit the garden, it is necessary to be able to correctly calculate the amount and proportion of such dressings, because an excess of organic matter is very bad for the condition of the trees.
In addition, it is not so easy to find organic fertilizers in the modern world: only residents of rural areas have enough of them. Buying cow dung or poultry manure is not economically feasible, since these fertilizers are not cheap at all.
Advice! Green manures can be a good alternative to organics. The most effective autumn planting of green manure crops on sandy and sandy loam soils: by spring these plants rot, saturating the earth with humus.
Garden fertilization schedule
In order to navigate the timing of spring feeding, the gardener can look at the table below. However, even a beginner should understand that there are no exact dates in this matter: much depends on the climate in the region, weather conditions and the variety of trees and shrubs.
Not all fertilizing of an orchard is the same, on the contrary - each stage of tree fertilization has its own characteristics. The amount of nutrients and composition depends on many factors. There are the following main feeding of fruit and berry plants:
- fertilization of mature fruit trees;
- feeding berry bushes;
- foliar or soil dressing;
- fertilizing the soil when planting a tree or shrub;
- feeding seedlings and young plants;
- fertilizing the garden at different stages of the growing season (before flowering, during flowering and after flowering).
Important! Strict adherence to the fertilizing calendar of the orchard is not at all necessary: it is necessary to take into account the condition and age of all trees and shrubs. For example, humus-rich soils during the first five years after planting a tree or bush do not need fertilization at all. And preparations containing lime should be applied a maximum of once every three years.
The first fertilization of the garden with nitrogen
In early spring, the question of which fertilizers to choose for the garden is not worth it - at this time, all plants, without exception, need nitrogen. However, the form of nitrogen-containing preparations can have a lot of options - for an individual plant, it is selected individually:
- Apple trees and pears take nitrogen best of all from urea (carbamide), humus, ammonium nitrate, and bird droppings. After flowering of these trees, superphosphate, potassium sulfate or other potassium fertilizer should be applied.
- Cherry and plum trees in early spring should be fed with the same urea or ammonium nitrate. While the cherries and plums are in bloom, bird droppings need to be added. And at the end of flowering - compost, liquid manure or dry organic mixtures.
- It is advisable to fertilize berry bushes with nitrophos, potassium nitrate. In early spring, wood ash with urea can be added under the root of a shrub (half a glass of ash is mixed with three tablespoons of urea and this mixture is dissolved in a bucket of water). Well saturates the soil with a composition of rotted manure and saltpeter (a handful of saltpeter in a bucket of manure).
When and how to fertilize
It is necessary to start feeding fruit trees and shrubs in early spring - in March. If by this time the snow has not completely melted, but the ground has already thawed a little, you can start feeding. It is not worth sprinkling fertilizers on the frozen ground until it thaws, most of the nitrogen will simply evaporate.
Advice! It is recommended to apply fertilizers to the soil of the near-stem circle. The diameter of the circle should be comparable to the size of the crown of the tree; it is believed that the same parameters are for the root system.
It is most convenient to use industrial soluble granules. They can simply be scattered directly onto the ground or onto the snow around the trunk (the soil should be dug up in the fall). Surface fertilization is good because the melt water will gradually dissolve the granules, and nutrients will begin to penetrate to the roots in doses.
You can reduce the radius - 50 cm will be quite enough for nitrogenous fertilizers, because the crown of old trees can be very large. It is within a radius of 50 cm from the trunk that most of the root ends are concentrated, which absorb nutrients.
Attention! The dosage of nitrogenous fertilizers should be strictly limited, because an excess of this substance leads to the development of various rot and excessive leafiness of the tree.
An adult fruit tree will need about 100-120 grams of nitrogenous mixture (this is 2-3 handfuls). A young tree or shrub needs to be fed with one handful of nitrogen - about 35-40 grams.
It is important to understand that any top dressing should be combined with regular moistening of the soil, because it is water that is the conductor of fertilization to the roots of the tree. In early spring, there is usually enough melt water, but if there is no snow in the region, it will be necessary to water the plant before and after feeding. When the garden is located on a slope, it is better to postpone fertilization a little, as the melt water can simply wash it off.
Organic products are recommended for young seedlings and berry bushes. Urea, liquid manure or bird droppings are dissolved in water and watered with this compound around the plant. Under one young tree, you need to pour 4-5 liters of such a solution, and it is prepared in the following proportions:
- for 10 liters of water 300 grams of urea;
- 4 liters of liquid manure per bucket of water;
- 1.5 liters of liquid chicken manure per 10 liter bucket.
Fertilizing the garden in April
On warm April days, fruit trees begin to bloom, and young leaves appear on their shoots. During this period, the plants are in dire need of potassium and phosphorus - these are the components that must be chosen for the second feeding of the garden.
Important! Phosphorus promotes the growth and strengthening of the root system, and potassium is necessary for the growth of lateral shoots. Therefore, both of these components are especially important for feeding young trees and seedlings.
But you need to use potassium and phosphorus in turn, it is better not to add them together. In the first half of April, the soil is fertilized with phosphorus compounds (superphosphate, for example). Fertilizer granules are recommended to be embedded in the soil near the trunk of a tree or at the roots of a bush. An adult plant will need about 50-60 grams of phosphorus, and a young seedling will need 30 grams.
It is not recommended to bring potassium under the trees in its pure form. It is better to use complex mixtures with this substance, such as potassium magnesium, potassium sulfate, potassium salt, furnace ash. For an adult tree, about 20-25 grams will be required, seedlings are fed with half the indicated dose.
At the end of April, when the fruits have faded, organics can be added. Herbal infusion or "green fertilizer" is very effective at this stage of the growing season. For its preparation, they take freshly cut grass and fill it with water. After that, the container with the infusion must be covered with a thick film, in which several holes must be made in advance. "Green fertilizer" should be infused for at least three weeks, and before use it is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10.
With the arrival of May, it is the turn of the last spring feeding of the garden. At this time, ovaries are formed on the trees and fruits are formed. Organic matter is considered the best fertilizer at this stage: humus, compost, vermicompost. If there are no organic fertilizers, you can use mineral complexes with a slight predominance of nitrogen in the composition.
The third feeding technology can have the following options:
- Small depressions are prepared in the soil around the trees, where fertilizer is embedded.
- The mineral complex or organic matter is dug up together with the earth from the near-trunk circle.
- The soil under the plants is loosened in advance, then the fertilizers are mixed with the ground.
- Organic matter or granules are mixed with mulch: straw, dry leaves, sawdust, peat.
Attention! Regardless of the method of application, after top dressing, the soil should be regularly moistened.
Berry bushes bloom profusely in mid-May - it's time to feed them with urea or liquid manure. To enhance the effect, you can add a little saltpeter or wood ash.
May is a great time for foliar feeding of trees or berry bushes. Nutrient solutions are prepared in the same way as described above, but the concentration of active substances must be reduced.
Leaves and young shoots quickly assimilate valuable mineral components, trees are well saturated. Plants should be sprayed early in the morning or in the evening, in cloudy weather. If foliar feeding is performed on a hot sunny day, burns are guaranteed to the plant.
Important! Still, the root method of fertilizing trees in the garden is more preferable, because this way nutrients are absorbed longer, the plant gradually receives the necessary portion of nutrition.
Foliar fertilization of the garden is convenient for summer residents who do not constantly live outside the city, but occasionally come to visit their site. Trees treated in this way do not have to be watered, which is necessary when introducing organic matter or minerals at the root.
Spring fertilization of an orchard is a vital necessity for most varieties and types of fruit and berry crops. Without sufficient nutrition, it is difficult to wait for a good harvest; fed trees are better at resisting diseases and pests.
The grower should draw up an approximate feeding schedule for his plants, prepare a sufficient amount of suitable fertilizers. It is very important to correctly calculate the dose of fertilizer, correctly feed and not forget about regular watering.