Fertilizing Fruit Crops (E0852)

Fertilizing Fruit Crops (E0852)

Fruit trees and vines require the following mineral elements for satisfactory growth and production: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), boron (B), chlorine (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), mo

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Fruit trees and vines require the following mineral elements for satisfactory growth and production: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), boron (B), chlorine (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn). Fortunately, soils used for fruit production in Michigan supply adequate amounts of most of these nutrients, and most growers need apply only a few nutrients, and most growers need apply only a few nutrients . Apply nutrients only if you know the crop needs them. Applications above amounts needed may result in reduced fruit quality, toxicities or deficiencies of other elements.

Fertilizers can pollute lakes, streams and groundwater if used improperly. Fertilizers can contribute nitrate to groundwater and P to lakes and streams. Proper fertilizer rates and application practices minimize the adverse effects of nutrient movement out of fruit plantings and reduce fertilization costs. Information on environmentally sound nutrient and manure management practices is available in the two Michigan Department of Agriculture publications listed at the end of this bulletin.

This bulletin is divided into four parts. Part 1 describes methods for monitoring the nutrient status of fruit crops and diagnosing shortages and excesses. Fertilizer materials commonly used in fruit plantings are described in Part 2. Part 3 outlines general fertilizer requirements of fruit crops and suggestions for correcting deficiencies. Fertilizer recommendations for blueberries are described separately in E-2011, “Highbush Blueberry Nutrition.” Fertilizing fruit crops through trickle irrigation systems is discussed in Part 4.

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