For the very best production, applications yearly of compost and mulch around the base of the tree out to the drip line and twice-yearly applications of an organic fertilizer such as Espoma will assure you of a good harvest. Plus, you will find that by doing this your costs will be lowered, your trees healthier and production higher.
I usually applied compost every spring when I did my spring fertilizing. I just raked back the remaining mulch and applied about an inch or so out to the drip line and reapplied the mulch and added more if needed. I usually fertilized twice a year, spring and fall.How often do you apply compost a year? Everytime you apply fertilizer?
NO PROBLEMI ordered a soil test kit to test Ph and NPK levels of my garden already. I'll post back here once I find out about those levels.
I'm a newbie at all this and I focus on fruit trees first. if you don't mind, I'll ask you questions if I have any, I really appreciate it.
Your soil is alkaline plus short on nitrogen. You can't do anything permanent about the Ph but here is what I would do for your overall situation. First I would remove all of the grass and weeds, if any, from under the trees out to the drip line. Next, I would apply 3 lbs of a good poultry based fertilizer per inch of caliper of the tree out to the drip line. Next, I would water in the fertilizer and as soon as you have done this apply 2 oz of molasses per gallon of water until it starts to stand. Then I would apply a good (nothing by Scotts or MiracleGro) compost to a depth of about 2 inches. And finally I would heavily mulch out to the drip line. After the first couple of months of letting what you have done begin to work I would apply 4 oz per gallon of water of liquid seaweed out to the drip line. Then, next year before the buds open, I would do everything again. Do this for a couple of years and your soil will be excellent and easy to maintain. Your soil will also become slightly less alkaline after a couple of years, probably down to about 7.2 which is pretty good.
Yes, you should reapply NPK. Just because P and K are there doesn't necessarily mean they are available to the plants. The very best (if such a thing exists) synthetic fertilizer may last up to 5 months in the soil but most last a far shorter time than 5 months. This is because synthetic fertilizers do not bond to the soil and they leach away or in the case of nitrogen "dissolve" into the atmosphere. Organics don't. They bond or stick to soil particles. Organic fertilizer lasts far longer in the soil than do synthetics but even so must be replaced at a minimum of once every growing season or crop rotation.@Chuck Once my soil's nitrogen level gets back to normal, do I have to re-apply nitrogen ingredient every year? I heard P and K remain after each season but Nitrogen is used up and gone after each season so we have to re-apply nitrogen ingredient every year to make sure the nitrogen level is sufficient. Is that correct?
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