Author Topic: Fertilizing Fruit trees growing in the lawn  (Read 369 times)

Lovetoplant

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Fertilizing Fruit trees growing in the lawn
« on: June 22, 2022, 02:44:54 PM »
How would you fertilize your fruit trees growing in the grass lawn?

Orkine

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Re: Fertilizing Fruit trees growing in the lawn
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2022, 03:34:44 PM »
Perhaps you should turn the question around to how do you fertilize (or not) lawn close to a fruit tree.
Add irrigate too.

I suggest this because depending on which variety, you may want less N than you would want on your lawn and possibly less water too.

Tropadise

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Re: Fertilizing Fruit trees growing in the lawn
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2022, 04:16:26 PM »
The standard is to clear a circumference to the drip line around your tree. The drip line is the furthest distance of your branches from the trunk. Remove all grass, weeds, etc. You don't want anything in that area competing for food. The feeder roots take up nutrients in this area. You don't have to dig very deep. Just enough to scrape the grass away to expose the bare soil. Place mulch densely in that circumference in the form of wood chips, leaves, grass clippings, straw, etc to keep grass from regrowing in that area. I would pile the mulch at least four (4) inches high to help smother out grass and make it easier to pull up any stubborn regrowth. Put your fertilizer in that area and cover it with your chosen mulch. Every time you fertilize, rake the mulch away, apply fertilizer, water in and rake it back over. I would suggest creating a rim around the drip line to help keep water from running off. If done right, it actually adds to the attractiveness of the tree/lawn.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 04:33:02 PM by Tropadise »

Lovetoplant

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Re: Fertilizing Fruit trees growing in the lawn
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2022, 04:47:32 PM »
Perhaps you should turn the question around to how do you fertilize (or not) lawn close to a fruit tree.
Add irrigate too.

I suggest this because depending on which variety, you may want less N than you would want on your lawn and possibly less water too.

Yes I only fertilize my lawn once in late winter afraiding that too much nitrogen will promote vegetative growth for my matured trees(Asian pear trees and Fuyu) instead of fruits.  I like to fertilize the grass 2 times, but don't want to mess up my trees

Oolie

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Re: Fertilizing Fruit trees growing in the lawn
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2022, 05:00:48 PM »
When I mow, I circle around the trees so all the lawn trimmings are blown into a circle around the trees acting as fertilizer and mulch. For persimmons I fertilize them quite a bit during the growing season, I'd say 2-3 times is adequate, and they will flush hard in response, but they usually don't abort any fruit.

That said, they fruit pretty hard, so manual thinning is a must.

If your trees are mature and you prune them hard, they probably will benefit from a regular fertilization.

pineislander

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Re: Fertilizing Fruit trees growing in the lawn
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2022, 05:50:58 PM »
It kind of depends on the lawn. If the lawn contains multiple weed species throwing the seeds and vegetative material on top of mulch is self defeating. But, my personal goal is to never mow anything on 4 acres. I don't have to deal with city or HOA restrictions though.
I often see little rings of stone concrete or othert materials close in on trees, way inside the drip line. Many don't realize the dripline should expand over time. Once, an avocado was not growing beyond a certain stage after 2 years. It was surrounded by a ring of concrete pavers about 4 feet in diameter. I asked the owner to remove some of the pavers and check if the root system extended underneath. They stopped at the stone. He removed the stone and recently came back with another photo a year later. The tree had doubled in size by expanding the root zone, and it was finally fruiting.
I understand folks have aesthetic and practical constraints, but if you truly want healthy productive trees you should consider what happens below the soil as muich as above the soil. I won't get into weed and feed, string trimmer trunk damage and the other common problems associated with lawns.....

Julie

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Re: Fertilizing Fruit trees growing in the lawn
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2022, 11:04:52 PM »
Always maintain a large grass free area around the fruit tree.  I apply heavy mulch to this area.  When I first bought my house 9 years ago I had no idea what was going on but knew I wanted fruit trees.  I planted 5 trees from Pine Island Nursery when I first moved in and 3 of them were killed by weed wacker damage.  The lawn guy at the time I had was weed wacking right up to the trunks of the trees and only 2 survived.  I had no idea what was wrong with them (knowing nothing at the time).  That lawn guy did way more damage than Irma did.  Also make sure you have a trustworthy lawn guy who understands not to weed wack near trees, but they need to get in and out quickly so don't make it too hard for them.

Timbogrow

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Re: Fertilizing Fruit trees growing in the lawn
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2022, 09:06:17 AM »
The trimming collector for the riding mower works really well gathering all the biomass while you mow collecting green and brown material. Glad to have left some pines, sable palms, oaks and cypress trees to help accumulate material to use. If the lawn gets too tall and you mow too fast it jams the chute up, that's the only drawback. It unjams without getting off. Happy I got it though and saving money/trips to store for mulch.

Epicatt2

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Re: Fertilizing Fruit trees growing in the lawn
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2022, 12:51:09 PM »
To change from lawn to mulched area out to the drip-line of a tree with a minimum of effort buy a couple bales of straw –spoiled bales, if possible; they're cheaper usually by half, if you can find any.

After you have removed the binding twine or wire from the bale you will find that it will pull apart into 'pats' similar to butter pats.

Take four- to five-inch thick 'pats' of straw and use them to 'tile' the lawn area around your tree out to its drip-line.  Make sure that there are no gaps between the 'pats' and then water the straw in well, and then water again maybe once a week after that.

It won't take long for the wet tiled 'pats' to kill the grass underneath them, and once the grass dies it will begin to rot.  It won't be long after that that your tree's roots will begn to expand into this newly mulched area.

Then all you have to do is keep the area around the tree thickly mulched which will keep any weeds from popping up in the area, plus the decomposing straw and other much feeds the tree, feeds the organisms in the soil, and encourages any earthworms there, plus said worms in turn also feed the soil.  (Hey FWIW, this method is a heluva lot easier than digging out all that grass in the lawn.)

OK — HTH

Paul M.
==

pineislander

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Re: Fertilizing Fruit trees growing in the lawn
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2022, 06:46:40 PM »
It won't take long for the wet tiled 'pats' to kill the grass underneath them, and once the grass dies it will begin to rot.  It won't be long after that that your tree's roots will begn to expand into this newly mulched area.
This assumes you have a clean stand of ordinary grass like Bahaia or St. Augustine and no Dollar weed, Bermuda, Cogon or Torpedo grass. If the grass is a strong rhizomal spreader that moves underground it will laugh at your mulch and move right under it better than before. Here in Florida you better know what "grass" you are dealing with. University of Florida has many videos for weed and grass identification. Some of the invasive grasses we have are next-level competitors.

 

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