Apple trees are found in many gardens. This unpretentious tree, which gives a rich harvest with proper care, is used by gardeners. Novice breeders believe that fruit trees need to be fed exclusively during the preparation for flowering and fruiting, i.e. in the spring. However, on the eve of winter, an apple tree needs vitamins and minerals no less, and autumn feeding of apple trees is extremely necessary!
Gardeners who love their job know that getting a high quality crop requires an investment of labor. Fertilizing is of particular value for regions with harsh and protracted winters.
When is it better to fertilize?
Much depends on the correct timing of the autumn feeding of apple trees. If fertilizers are applied before the first frosts occur, the tree will have time to fully absorb them and, accordingly, will be ready for the coming winter.
In most areas, gardeners have about 5 to 7 weeks before the first snow falls. This time is enough to carry out the necessary measures for feeding apple trees. Soil, which was influenced by the first frosts, is not able to absorb and process substances introduced from the outside.
For regions where frosts come late, it is recommended that autumn top dressing of apple trees be carried out in October. As practice shows, the optimal completion date is November 15th. When setting dates, they are guided by the latitude, where the landing and the average annual temperature are located.
What is important to do before fertilizing?
Preparing the tree for wintering begins with cleaning procedures. First of all, they examine the trunk for the presence on the surface of moss, lichen. If available, they are carefully cleaned, after covering the earth around the apple tree with a film, a newspaper.
[sc name = "info-attention" text = "You should also pay attention to whether there are any dangerous insects on the tree. Most often they are found inside the old bark. Therefore, it is removed and burned immediately. ”]
Another mandatory measure is sanitary pruning. Dry, broken branches with signs of disease are removed. Necessarily the places of cuts are treated with garden var. Also, this substance is used to detect various defects on the tree.
Specialty stores offer antiseptic agents. They should be in the arsenal of gardeners. Protection against mold, fungi is no less important for the preparation of a tree in winter than autumn feeding of apple trees. After complete drying of the antiseptic, the trunks are whitened. This will protect the trunks not only from rodents and pests, but also from the rays of the sun, reflected by snow and able to burn the trunk.
What and how
Choosing the type of substance for fertilizer, it is recommended to focus on the state of the soil of the site. First of all, determine the acidity of the soil. In the absence of explanations of a different type, high alkalinity or acidity become an explanation for low yields.
[sc name = "info-dashed" text = "To neutralize high acidity, dolomite flour, ash, slaked lime are added to the soil. Peat and sawdust reduce the alkalinity of the soil. ”]
About mineral fertilizers
Quite often, autumn feeding of apple trees is carried out with mineral fertilizers. To do this, use the phosphorus or potassium type of these substances.The nitrogen family is more suitable for spring procedures, since it negatively affects winter hardiness. Mineral fertilizers are always applied as close to the root system of the tree as possible. An example of a commonly used fertilizer is double superphosphate.
There are certain dosages of fertilizers:
- Phosphoric - per 1 square meter contribute from 35 to 50 g.
- Potash - 20 grams per square meter of the trunk circle.
In general, before applying any mineral fertilizer, it is important to read the instructions and strictly follow the standards specified in it.
Fruit trees were fed long before the industry launched ready-made fertilizer options. In the villages, autumn feeding of apple trees was carried out using humus, humus or manure. They must be applied to the entire area covered by the root system. You can determine it as accurately as possible in the summer - just note the edges of the shadow formed by the crown at noon.
Organics can burn the roots of a tree if the substances are not decomposed enough.
Variety of ways
Apple trees are fed in two ways:
In this case, top dressing is applied directly to the trunk, as well as shoots. It is most convenient to use a spray gun for this. To feed fruit crops in this way, the urea substance in solution is used. To prepare it, you will need to take 40 grams of the substance for each liter of liquid (water). The resulting solution is treated with leaves, as well as bark.
Autumn top dressing by the non-root method is optional. This is due to the fact that at this time the main part of the nutrients the trees receive through the roots.
The specificity of the method is that top dressing is distributed over the entire distribution area of the roots. As a rule, the radius is 50-60 cm, if you count from the trunk. It is in this zone that the shoots of roots with the smallest thickness are found, which absorb most of the fertilizing.
The first stage of root dressing of an apple tree in the autumn is spraying the trunk with a 2% solution of copper sulfate. Further around the trunk, with some retreat, the soil is dug to a depth of not more than 40 cm. The formed trenches are filled with fertilizers and covered with soil. Mandatory layer - mulch from sawdust, dry foliage, peat.
When determining the quantity, type of fertilizer, method of application, the age of the tree, its grade and the development of the root system must be taken into account. If an apple tree receives an excess portion of minerals in the fall, the shoots may begin to grow out of time, the winter hardiness of the bark will sharply decrease and, as a result, the tree will freeze.
Young apple trees, as well as seedlings, require a particularly careful approach. Large doses of non-organic fertilizers should not be allowed.
Mature and old trees require a different approach. Fertilizers are introduced into the holes, the depth of which does not exceed 40 cm. The recesses are dug out around the perimeter.
[sc name = "info-dashed" text = "Regarding organics. When using it, the age of the tree is taken into account. The older the apple tree, the more fertilizer is required. For example, trees older than 10 years will need 50 kg of organics, and those who have reached 1 year or 4 years will need 20 kg. ”]
The variety to which the apple tree belongs also affects the amount of fertilizer applied. Today, dwarf species of this fruit crop are often found in gardens. The amount of any fertilizer used for top dressing is reduced by 30% from the norm for standard species.
In colonized species of apple trees, the root system is located quite close to the soil surface.Accordingly, the root method of fertilizer application is not suitable due to the high risk of violation of the integrity of the roots. The best solution would be to spread the fertilizer over the surface, mix gently with the top coat, and then thoroughly water it.
Some tips for just starting out
In the cultivation of not only apple trees, but also other crops, one cannot follow the principle of "the more, the better." In order to grow a tree that gives a good harvest, it is important to observe the middle ground in terms of fertilizer volume and the choice in favor of organics.
If autumn is rainy, dry forms of fertilizer can be applied to the soil.
Throughout winter, vein and summer, collect peeling vegetables, fruits, dry leaves and mowed grass in a compost pit. Rotting, this mixture will become a high-quality organic fertilizer by the fall. It is this type of feeding that is most preferable for feeding apple trees and other crops.
Autumn top dressing of apple trees and the preventive work carried out before this increase the likelihood that the tree will suffer even very severe frosts, yielding a good harvest in terms of volume and taste during fruiting.