Time flies! We were planting seedlings in the vegetable garden, watching the buds on the trees bloom, inhaling the fragrance of apples, plums and cherries in bloom not so long ago.
And now, summer is at its peak and the middle of July has arrived. During this period, all trees and shrubs consume a lot of energy and use micro and macronutrients to support the complex processes within them.
To make them produce lush flowers, improve the taste of their fruits and help them to better survive the winter, it is necessary to fertilize well and in time. To make multi-purpose applications, at the same time, nitrogen should be minimized.
WHAT FERTILIZER SHOULD I USE IN SUMMER?
Ornamental and fruiting plant gardeners start fertilizing in early spring. At this time, the main emphasis is on nitrogen fertilizer combined with phosphorus fertilizer – superphosphate. This is necessary because there is a lot of shoot growth, and nitrogen helps this process.
However, if new young shoots are provoked to appear at the end of summer, the plant will not be ready for the winter and most of it will be frozen.
That is, by mid-July, nitrogen feeding should be gradually reduced, to zero if possible. From mid-summer onwards, we focus on phosphorus and potassium fertilizers.
Why? Phosphorus is responsible for the formation of the root system of the plant. Potassium – for the growth of fruits, flower buds, and replacement buds, in preparation for the upcoming winter.
For perennials that overwinter in the open, the rule of ‘minimal nitrogen’ in the second half of summer should be applied. Annual flowers even need nitrogen fertilization at this time, but for vegetables, it is best to stop applying nitrogen 1.5 months before harvest to avoid nitrate buildup.
In addition to the macronutrients mentioned above, flowering shrubs and fruit trees in the second half of summer should be fertilized with trace elements.
Boron – affects the formation of stem and root growing points, the taste of fruits, and the number of ovaries.
Manganese – affects the development of leaves and roots.
Copper – prevents diseases like “dryness”.
Iron – participates in the biosynthesis of chlorophyll and prevents diseases such as “chlorosis”.
Sulfur – affects the development of leaf mass, etc.
For people who do not know about agrochemicals, it is easy to get confused by these names. They can use compound fertilizers specifically for flowering plants, ornamental shrubs, and fruit trees.
These fertilizers usually contain nitrogen as well. This is needed to absorb other macronutrients and micronutrients. Make sure their amount does not exceed 10%, preferably 6%.
Superphosphate is the main supplier of phosphorus. Potassium is provided by fertilizers such as potassium phosphate, potassium sulfate, and potassium humate.
Fertilization with these mineral fertilizers should be done only after good watering.
- Dissolve potassium sulfate in water (1 tbsp. per bucket) and water the plants immediately.
- Dissolve 10 tbsp of superphosphate in 10 liters of water and leave it for 3 days, remembering to stir it from time to time. The resulting concentrate is diluted with water at a ratio of 1:9 before watering the plants.
- You can mix these fertilizers. Pour 1 liter of concentrated superphosphate infusion in a bucket with diluted potassium sulfate, then immediately use water. Do not keep the mixture for more than 15 minutes to avoid chemical reactions.
For foliar feeding in August, you can use the following remedy. 100-150 g of calcium superphosphate dissolved in a bucket of water and sprayed on the leaves of the plant.
Proponents of mineral fertilizers should not forget the effectiveness of organic fertilizers. In practice, they can be combined.
This fertilizer has proven to be a nutrient for fruits and ornamentals. For fertilization in the second half of summer, you should use sawdust litter which is particularly low in nitrogen.
Take 1/5 bucket of fertilizer with 1 cup of wood ash, add water and mix well. It is recommended to water flowering shrubs once a month and fruit plants once every 2 weeks with this solution. Consumption per 1 m2 planting area – 1 bucket of diluted fertilizer.
Fill a bucket or other large container to 1/3 with chicken manure and add water. Stir well and let it stand for a few days. Dilute the received concentrate with 1:10 water and make well water holes near trees and bushes.
Preparation of organic fertilizer
If there is no possibility of using cow or chicken manure, you can apply ready-made organic fertilizers, which are sold in garden stores. They contain concentrated manure or humus. The instructions have details on how to use them.
It is processed into the powdered form of pet bones. In addition to phosphorus, it contains potassium, magnesium, iron, iodine, zinc, and other substances. Depending on the production process, the meal is divided into 3 types, with different percentages of phosphorus content. Bone meal can be used as fertilizer throughout the growing season of the plant. Fertilization of bone meal in the second half of summer is very useful because of its low nitrogen content.
As a foliar feeding, use an ash solution. In a 10-liter bucket of water, dissolve 1-2 cups of ash and let it stand for 2-3 days. Solution for plant and spraying. This fertilization is done during egg emergence and after harvesting.
Ash as a source of potassium is good for root feeding, burying it in the rhizosphere of fruits and ornamentals.
Do not use ash for blueberries, cranberries, and other plants that prefer acidic soil.
Many gardeners use starch as a carbohydrate-based fertilizer for fruiting plants during the fruiting season. It fills the berries with sucrose, fructose, and glucose.
This carbohydrate feeding is done to the fruit trees during flowering and in July when the berries gain weight. 200-300 g of starch is boiled like a kisser and diluted with cold water to a volume of 10 liters. Approximate consumption – 2 liters per 1 berry bush.
After such fertilization, the berries will become sweeter and the plants themselves will be well prepared for the upcoming winter.
CHARACTERISTICS OF FERTILIZATION UNDER FRUITS AND ORNAMENTALS
Regardless of which fertilizer you choose for your plants in the second half of summer, there are general recommendations for its application.
- Nitrogen fertilizer is reduced to a minimum, and the focus is on phosphorus and potassium.
- Foliar fertilization is done in the morning or evening, avoiding sunlight on leaves or cloudy days, but not in rainy weather.
- It is better to fertilize less than to fertilize more and kill the plants.
To fertilize ornamental and fruiting plants, dig a trench close to the raised crown of the tree. If the tree is mature, make 2-3 trenches 6-8inch (15-20 cm) deep at a distance of 16-20inch (40-50 cm) from each other.
For young trees or shrubs, one such trench is sufficient. Apply dry or diluted fertilizer into the depression and bury it with soil. If the fertilizer is not diluted with water at the time of application, it needs to be watered thoroughly after application.
In practice, the “hodgepodge method” is also used for fertilizing perennial plants. It is characterized by digging deep holes with a trowel around the root circle, at a distance of 12-16inch (30-40 cm).
The fertilizer is introduced into them and covered with soil. The principle of its action is that the tree begins to grow roots adapted to the fertilizer, which it uses to feed itself.
What has proven to be quite effective is feeding through the leaves – foliar feeding. This is carried out by spraying the entire crown of the plant with diluted fertilizer.
Each fruit and the ornamental plant has its own characteristics and requirements. The soil of the site also has a great influence.
Only after you have analyzed all the available information can you make a good decision on which fertilizer to choose. Remember, less fertilizer is better than more fertilizer!
Have healthy, beautiful plants!