Fertilizers help peach trees grow healthy and produce more delicious fruits. But you'll need to find out the best time to apply fertilizers for best results. So, when do you fertilize a peach tree? We did some research and found the answer.
The best time to fertilize your mature peach trees is during early spring in March and late spring in May. You should also apply fertilizer at postharvest if fruits are harvested.
If your peach tree is newly planted and still hasn't bore any fruits, applying fertilizer isn't necessary as long as the tree is planted in nutrient-filled soil.
If you still need more details about when to fertilize a peach tree, don't worry. In this post, you'll learn about the importance of correctly fertilizing your peach tree and other tips to help its growth. Keep reading to find out more!
When Should You Fertilize A Peach Tree?
You should apply fertilizer to your mature fruit-bearing peach tree once during early spring in March and once during late spring in May. This is to help support fruit development. If there are harvestable fruits during the season, postharvest fertilization is also recommended.
Meanwhile, if your peach tree is still in its first two years after planting, less fertilizer is required, especially if it's planted in nutrient-filled soil. If there are indicators of nutrient deficiency—such as leaf discoloration and weak growth, you should consider fertilizing the following spring.
That's why performing a soil test before planting your peach tree is important to know if you should fertilize your tree or not. Soil testing can help you know certain factors that may cause nutrient deficiencies and other irregularities.
During the peach tree's growth, always monitor its growth. If it fails to grow an average of 8 to 12 inches of new green growth during the growing season, it's recommended to apply fertilizer.
What Fertilizer Is Best For Peach Trees?
When peach trees start bearing fruits, they will require more nitrogen and potassium uptake—two macronutrients that are present at higher concentrations in fruits. You should also consider the presence of phosphorus because it encourages root development, which is essential for young trees.
That's why using complete fertilizers, such as 16-4-8, 12-6-6, or 12-4-8, during the tree’s first three years, is recommended. You can also use these fertilizers on mature trees or other high-nitrogen and potassium fertilizers like potassium nitrate.
A balanced N-P-K fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 will work also well on peach trees, but if you can't find one with this formula, you can also use a 20-20-20 fertilizer diluted by half.
If your peach tree has certain nutritional needs, you should use fertilizers with a specific blend of N-P-K according to your tree's needs. For example, if your tree lacks nitrogen, apply fertilizers with a higher nitrogen ratio.
How To Fertilize Peach Trees
When fertilizing your peach tree, apply the fertilizer about 8 to 12 inches from the trunk of the tree. The distance should be far enough that the roots can absorb the nutrients without the fertilizer damaging the tree.
Fertilizing near the trunk should be avoided because it can cause damage and prevent nutrients from reaching the roots.
Right after planting your peach tree, it's recommended that you immediately apply fertilizer. Only a small amount should suffice, though, as young peach trees won't need as many nutrients as mature ones.
Only about 1 /2 cup or 118 mL of fertilizer is recommended for newly planted trees. Afterward, add 1 pound of fertilizer per year until your peach tree reaches 5 years old. Mature peach trees are recommended to be applied with 5 pounds of fertilizer per application.
What Fertilizer Makes Fruits Bigger?
Fertilizers rich in potassium and nitrogen are what you need if you are looking to increase your fruit's size and quantity according to experts. Applying these fertilizers in early spring will also contribute to the fruit's size.
There are also other factors that you need to watch out for, however, other than fertilizers. Factors such as climate, soil, and irrigation can affect the size of your fruits.
Competition for nutrients with surrounding plants can also affect the fruit size. For example, if you allow the sod to grow too close to your peach tree, your fruits may be small because peach trees compete poorly against sod.
So, you should observe the density of your garden and make adjustments if you think that the plants might be competing with each other.
Can You Give A Tree Too Much Fertilizer?
Overfertilizing your tree can cause complications and problems that can lead to permanent damage. It can affect the trees' growth, the soil, causing injuries to the tree.
Too much fertilizer can alter the soil due to the presence of high salt concentrations. This can hurt the beneficial microorganism found in the soil and affect the tree's growth.
The excess fertilizer cannot be naturally dissolved by water. Instead, evaporation occurs with the salt staying behind the soil, altering the soil's pH.
Overfertilization can also result in too much tree growth without a proper root system to supply water and nutrients to the tree. With a poor root structure, the tree will produce fewer fruits, and this can lead to growth spurts that can't be sustained by themselves.
Injuries may appear on your tree due to overfertilization. An example is iron chlorosis where plant roots get shriveled due to excessive fertilizers, making it difficult for the tree to absorb water and nutrients. This disease also makes the roots rot, leaving the tree vulnerable to diseases and insect attacks.
Always strictly follow the instructions for your fertilizer to get the best results and avoid disaster.
How Do You Keep Your Peach Tree Healthy?
To stay healthy, peach trees will need regular pruning, fertilizing, and spraying. You should try to keep the ground around the tree free of grass and weeds because peach trees have a hard time competing with other plants for water, nutrients, and mulch.
Newly planted peach trees should be watered if rain is scarce. Once the roots get established, you should irrigate the trees every 2 to 3 weeks. Make sure that the water soaks deeply into the soil.
A crucial detail when taking care of a peach tree is avoiding pruning the growth from the previous year because high-quality peach fruits tend to grow on these branches.
Another thing to note is if your peach tree has 12 to 18 inches of average annual growth, less fertilizer will be needed. You should regularly observe if your tree has a lot of green growth before fruiting because this might be a symptom of excess nitrogen in the soil.
Regularly perform soil tests and other tests to monitor and keep your peach tree safe and healthy.
Can You Use Citrus Fertilizer On Peach Trees?
You can use citrus fertilizers on your peach trees. Citrus fertilizers help peach trees to produce more fruits because of the high nitrogen and potassium content found in them. Additionally, you can treat nutrient deficiencies with their high concentration of nutrients.
You can also use liquid citrus fertilizers as foliar fertilizers by diluting them until it's safe to apply directly to your peach tree's leaves. But make sure to follow the instructions for the fertilizer before using it.
Some citrus fertilizers are highly concentrated and can burn your plants if you don't exercise caution.
Also, ensure that you properly dilute the fertilizer before applying it to your tree because, if you make a mistake, you might accidentally kill your peach tree.
Do Coffee Grounds Help Peach Trees?
Coffee grounds can be a good fertilizer for peach trees. Other than caffeine, coffee grounds are also high in nitrogen which is essential for a peach tree's growth and fruit production. So, not only is it environmentally friendly, but it's also highly beneficial for your tree.
Nonetheless, it's only recommended to use coffee grounds in small amounts. If used in large quantities, it can attract pests and rats. So, you can try to mix the coffee grounds with other materials like eggshells and bananas and put them into a compost bin.
Since the coffee grounds are naturally acidic, they can also be used as a barrier against snails and other pests.
Just remember to apply them moderately because too much may cause root burns and prevent roots from absorbing water.
Knowing when to fertilize your peach tree, what fertilizers to use, and how much to apply are all important if you want to get the most out of your tree.
Remember that fertilizing your peach tree will be useless if you neglect it and don't care for it properly. Don't forget to provide the tree its needs and you will surely get your effort's worth!
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