Fruit tree fertilising schedule

 

The material in the table below has effectively been extracted from The Complete Book of Fruit Growing in Australia by Louis Glowinski (available from most bookshops).

Fruit treeFertiliserWhen?Discussion
Almond, cherry and plumStandard deciduous tree
(e.g. 9:4:5 NPK)
Spring and AutumnNot heavy feeders. A established tree needs, say, 2Kg or the equivalent in manure (say, 5Kg). Apply half in early spring and the other half in autumn.
Apples and pearsHigh potassium
(e.g. 8:4:10 NPK)
Spring and AutumnAn established tree needs at least 2Kg of 8:4:10 per year, and at least some of this needs to be synthetic as manure does not have much potassium in it. Apply the synthetic fertiliser (say, 2Kg) in spring and the manure (say, 5Kg) in autumn (so that, after breakdown, it is available to the plant from spring onwards). For younger trees, use 10% of the full amount per year of age. If the leaves are not deep green, or if growth is not vigorous, increase the amount.
ApricotsStandard deciduous tree
(e.g. 9:4:5 NPK)
AutumnAs for cherries, but apply in autumn only (fertiliser applied in spring is said to affect fruit quality).
AvocadoHigh nitrogen
(e.g. 22:5:8 NPK)
All bar WinterWith a young tree, apply 100g every three months except in winter. Increase this gradually to a maximum of 3-4Kg for a 10-year-old tree.
BananaHigh potassium
(e.g. 8:4:10 NPK)
Spring and Summer400g when the shoots start to grow, then repeat 2 months later and again 2 months later. Add 200g dolomite in winter.
Blackberries and raspberriesHigh potassium
(e.g. 8:4:10 NPK)
Spring and WinterIn early spring, add 0.25-0.5 Kg per square metre. Also, add manure in winter if available.for young plants.
Blackcurrants and redcurrantsHigh potassium
(e.g. 8:4:10 NPK)
AutumnIn autumn, apply 0.5Kg per mature plant, or half that for young plants.
Blueberryn/aAutumnDo not use inorganic fertilisers as the plant does not like either nitrates (cf. nitrogen) or chlorides (cf. potassium). Instead use manure only: 4cm in autumn.
Cape gooseberryn/an/aNo need to fertilise
Custard apple15:4:1 NPKAll bar Winter55g per month per year of age. Apply monthly from spring to autumn (i.e. not winter). Double these amounts if growing in the tropics (because of leeching).
GooseberriesHigh potassium
(e.g. 8:4:10 NPK)
SpringIn spring, apply 0.5Kg per mature plant, or half that for young plants.
Grapen/aSpringManure only, and don't over-feed. Apply in spring, when the buds begin to swell (no earlier and no later). 0.25Kg for a second year vine and up to 0.5Kg for a mature vine.
Grapefruit, lemon, lime and orangeHigh nitrogen
(e.g. 22:5:8 NPK)
All bar WinterAnnual fertilising is a must. An established tree needs 2Kg pa plus additional manure (2Kg if chicken and 6Kg if cow/horse). In the first year, add 10% of this amount, increasing by 10% a year until one reaches the full amount in the 10th year. Apply two-thirds in spring and one-third in summer. Apply the manure in autumn so that, after breakdown, it is available to the plant from spring onwards.
GuavaHigh nitrogen
(e.g. 22:5:8 NPK)
Autumn and WinterIn late winter, apply 100g per year of age, up to 1Kg for a mature tree. In autumn, top dress with manure.
KiwifruitHigh nitrogen
(e.g. 22:5:8 NPK)
Spring and AutumnIn spring, apply 250g, increasing by 500g pa up to 2Kg for a mature vine. In autumn, top dress with manure.
LoquatHigh nitrogen
(e.g. 22:5:8 NPK)
All bar WinterAn established tree needs 2Kg pa plus additional manure (2Kg if chicken and 6Kg if cow/horse). In the first year, add 10% of this amount, increasing by 10% a year until one reaches the full amount in the 10th year. Apply two-thirds in spring and one-third in summer. Apply the manure in autumn so that, after breakdown, it is available to the plant from spring onwards.
Lychee15:3:11 NPKall bar Autumn270g per year of age up to a maximum of 1Kg. Apply monthly from winter to summer (i.e. not autumn).
Mango15:3:11 NPKSpring and Summer270g per year of age up to a maximum of 1Kg. Apply monthly from winter to summer (i.e. not autumn).
OliveHigh nitrogen
(e.g. 22:5:8 NPK)
Spring and AutumnAn established tree needs 2Kg pa. In the first year, add 10% of this amount, increasing by 10% a year until one reaches the full amount in the 10th year. apply half in spring and half in autumn.
PapayaHigh potassium
(e.g. 8:4:10 NPK)
Spring and SummerAcross spring and summer, apply 25g per month until flowering, then 100g per month. If plant vigour is low, increase.
PassionfruitHigh nitrogen
(e.g. 22:5:8 NPK)
Spring and SummerAcross spring and summer, add up to 2Kg per vine (for mature vines) in three divided doses.
Peach and nectarineHigh nitrogen
(e.g. 22:5:8 NPK)
AutumnHeavy feeders. An established tree needs, say, 2Kg. Apply in autumn.
PomegranatebalancedSpring and AutumnApply in early spring and late autumn. Assuming 8:8:8 NPK, apply a total of 1.8Kg for a mature plant (5 years or older) and 0.9Kg for a young plant.
WalnutHigh nitrogen
(e.g. 22:5:8 NPK)
Spring200g per year of age up to a maximum of 3Kg. Apply in spring.

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