Arizona Gardening: Still time to fertilize fruit trees - East Valley Tribune: At Home

Arizona Gardening: Still time to fertilize fruit trees

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Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2007 5:43 pm | Updated: 6:38 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Deciduous and citrus trees generally need to be fertilized three times during the year; in February, May and August. If you missed the August fertilizing, do it now. Apply the same amount of fertilizer with each application.

A: Deciduous and citrus trees generally need to be fertilized three times during the year; in February, May and August. If you missed the August fertilizing, do it now. Apply the same amount of fertilizer with each application.

A caution however: Do not overfertilize. Citrus trees that get too much fertilizer will

develop thick peels on fruit.

To promote the development of fruit, it’s important to fertilize fruit trees now.

Late summer and fall application of nitrogen fertilizer probably helps fruit sizing. This is more significant for fall ripening (navels and tangerines) than spring ripening (grapefruit and Valencia orange) varieties.

Fruit trees need nitrogen and phosphorous to grow properly. You can supply this by using a fertilizer such as ammonium phosphate (16-20-0), or you can use a similar prepared citrus tree fertilizer.

Young trees (one to two years after planting) will require about one-half pound of fertilizer.

Small trees (two to three years after planting) will require about three-quarters of a pound.

Mid-sized small trees (three to four years after planting) will require about 1 1/2 pounds.

Small adult trees (four to five years after planting) will require about 2 pounds of fertilizer.

Mid-sized adult trees (five to six years after planting) will require about 2 1/2 pounds.

Large-sized adult trees (more than six years after planting) will require about 3 pounds of fertilizer.

Spread the fertilizer evenly under the tree, starting near the trunk and going out several feet beyond the branch ends. After spreading the fertilizer, lightly scratch it into the top quarter inch of soil using a garden rake. Next, water the fertilizer in slowly. A soaker hose works well.

If you have basin watering, simply fill the basin and allow the water to soak in. Do it twice.

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