In the fall, plants generously give away their fruit in preparation for hibernation. This is why it is so important to feed them well so they can sleep soundly, warm, and nourished in the spring. The soil, fruit trees, berries, and ornamental shrubs must be properly fertilized in order to rejuvenate them, restore their strength and provide a good supply for future harvests. In this Bubgo article, we share the experiences of the best farmers and agronomists on how to properly garden fertilization your soil and perennial crops in the fall to double your returns for next year's harvest.
Why Fertilize In The Fall?
A. Many gardeners want to know if trees and shrubs need to be fertilized in the fall
During the summer months, the garden gives great energy when the crops bloom and bear fruit for a bountiful harvest. Fertilizer applied in the fall will help perennials recover and stay warm during the winter.
1. Another concern for gardeners is whether fertilizer should be applied in the fall if it is washed away by groundwater and meltwater in the spring.
2. Most modern fertilizers used for fall applications (especially granular organic mineral fertilizers) are specifically designed to gain a foothold in the soil and reach the plants at the right time.
3. Some fertilizers can be assimilated in the fall (if applied at the right time) and the rest will reach the roots with snow water.
As for phosphate fertilizers, they are insoluble (calcium superphosphate, bone meal) and will not be washed away by the spring meltwater, and need time to be absorbed by the plants. This is why it is recommended to apply phosphorus and potassium fertilizers in autumn.
Tip: If your goal is to prepare your plants for winter and help them recover from fruiting, use a foliar spray of a liquid form of water-soluble fertilizer.
How Can Fall Nutrients Help Plants?
In the fall, many elements become unavailable to plants. During the cold season, their life processes are slowed down and they can no longer absorb the nutrients they need from the soil.
Fall fertilization is one of the most effective techniques to improve the winter hardiness of fruit and ornamental crops.
5 good reasons to fertilize in the fall.
1. For flowering, ornamental, and fruit crops to mature and prepare them for winter.
2. To improve overall winter hardiness, especially after fruit and ornamental crops have been bountifully harvested and flowered.
3. For regeneration of trees and shrubs after severe damage from pests and diseases, after heavy pruning
4. If you intend to transplant trees and shrubs, plant bulbs, lay lawns.
5. If for some reason it is not possible to fertilize in the spring.
Advantages of fertilizing in autumn
1. Improves the fertility of the soil.
2. They help to increase next year's harvest.
3. They help plants recover and prepare for winter.
When To Apply Fall Fertilizer?
Fall fertilization should be done before the weather turns cold. In cooler temperatures, plant life processes are suspended, roots barely work, and little fertilizer is absorbed. In late summer and early fall, the soil is still warm and trees and shrubs have time to get all the nutrients they need from fertilizers.
Tip: Mineral fertilizers are applied in late August or early September so that plants have time to use the fertilizer applied to the soil.
If the weather is a guide, fall fertilizer applications should be made before the leaves turn yellow and fall off.
What Fertilizer Should Be Applied In Autumn?
As almost all perennials enter winter, they need assimilable phosphorus and potassium. These are the basic elements that plants need in late summer and early fall.
Mineral forms of phosphorus and potassium are more readily absorbed by plants and reach the roots more quickly. Natural mineral fertilizers can include ash.
A. How phosphate fertilizers work
1. Reduce the acidity of the soil.
2. Accelerates the development and formation of young shoots.
3. Encourages the establishment of fruit buds for the next year's crop.
Increases resistance to unfavorable environmental conditions.
Phosphorus is considered to be particularly important for developing and strengthening the root system. It is used in the spring for new plants and in the fall for mature perennials.
B. How Potassium Fertilizer Works
1. Maintains the necessary water regime in the plant.
2. Promotes the formation of sugars and their accumulation in fruits and vegetables.
3. Improves frost resistance.
4. Reduces the incidence of diseases.
If applied in spring and summer, potassium fertilizer will help promote lush flowering and abundant fruiting. Potassium fertilizers applied in autumn function as immunomodulators, improving the plant's resistance to unfavorable factors.
Mineral Fertilizers For Fall Application
For fall fertilization, it is convenient to use a compound fertilizer with a high ratio of phosphorus to potassium (about three times as much as nitrogen). It is in this correct ratio that the fertilizer will work correctly, the nitrogen will help to absorb the right substances (phosphorus is better absorbed in the presence of nitrogen) and will not lead to aggressive shoot growth.
A. Organic mineral fertilizers for fall dressing
A compound fertilizer containing a complete range of macro and microelements, fixed in organic mineral granules.
1. The fertilizer is applied dry and must be incorporated into the soil and then irrigated in the root zone of fruit and ornamental shrubs and trees. Digging or loosening is done at a depth that prevents damage to the water-absorbing roots.
2. The granules gradually release the nutrients required by the plants according to their needs, while the remaining nutrients are retained in the granules, thus preventing leaching and loss.
B. Organic mineral fertilizer
Rich in essential micronutrients, humic substances, and free of chlorine.
1. After combing and poking the grass, spread the granules evenly (1-1.5 tablespoons, 11 square feet). After that, water generously.
2. It is especially recommended for laying and seeding lawns in the fall.
C. Phosphorus-potassium minerals
1. It is used for vegetables, horticulture, and ornamental crops.
2. Apply 2-3 tablespoons of dry fertilizer per 11 square feet (1 square meter) for fall tillage.
3. For fruit and berry crops, 1 tablespoon of fertilizer per 11 square feet (1 square meter) is sufficient, followed by loosening and watering.
4. In September, apply 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of granular per 11 square feet (1 square meter) when tilling the soil in the root zone.
This can be used well for top dressing in the fall when digging in the planting pit, during fruiting, and at the end of the growing season.
Water-soluble Mineral Fertilizer
A water-soluble mineral fertilizer complex. Excellent for phosphorus and potassium applications to all crops in the fall. For liquid application to roots and spraying on leaves. Suitable for greenhouses and open beds.
A. How to use
Dissolve Monocalcium Phosphate in water (up to 1 tablespoon per bucket) in the fall and apply to ornamental crops, conifers, fruit and berry crops, and lawns.
1. Water the plants under the roots from August until frost arrives.
2. The frequency is every 10-15 days.
B. What's special about it
Monopotassium phosphate is special because it is an easy-to-use liquid form of phosphate fertilizer. Unlike calcium superphosphate, which is known to be unsuitable for irrigation, monopotassium phosphate is completely soluble in water. This is why it is used in drip irrigation and hydroponic systems.
Organic Fertilizers For Fall Garden Fertilization
Organic fertilizers are good in the fall because they provide extra coverage for the roots. Warm organic fertilizers are suitable for all garden shrubs. The exception to this is stone plants, because of the risk of root rot.
1. Apply organic fertilizers liberally. Fertile, loose soil will ensure frost resistance of roots and shoots.
2. Organic fertilizers work very well in combination with mineral fertilizers.
3. Peat, sand, and semi-decomposed sawdust are also added to improve the properties and structure of the soil.
Tip: Do not use fresh sawdust. As they decompose, they intensively absorb nitrogen from the soil.
Organic fertilizers promote plant growth and development, so they should be applied later than mineral fertilizers when the leaves have fallen and the ground has cooled a bit. Organic fertilizers can also be applied together with a winter mulch.
1. Compost can be discarded and incorporated into the soil as much as possible.
2. Especially in vegetable plots and flower beds.
The use of manure as a fertilizer is still a matter of debate. There are some who strongly oppose the use of manure because it may contain pathogens, larvae, weed seeds, etc.
1. However, there is no harm in spreading manure in the fall because it will mature in the winter and become a suitable nutrient for plants.
It is recommended that all berry trees be fertilized with humus.
1. Apply in late fall at 17.5-33 lbs (8-15 kg) per bush.
2. Dig holes and trenches about one bayonet deep and diameter along with the canopy bulge, fill with humus, and return the excavated soil to its place.
3. It is not too late to mulch with organic matter in October. In addition to fertilizing, it acts as a heated mulch, preserves soil moisture, keeps the soil structure loose, and creates favorable conditions for earthworms and microorganisms.
A variety of organic materials work well as nutrient mulch.
1. Weeds without seeds are removed.
2. Grass clippings from lawns.
3. compost and peat.
4. Shredded leaves or finished leaf humus.
5. Pine needles, sawdust, or straw.
6. . Fine wood chips.
7. shredded bark.
8. seed hulls.
9. Chaff (residue from threshing crops).
D. Herbal infusion
Herbal infusions are also suitable for watering seedbeds in order to rejuvenate them and prepare them for the next season.
1. The concentrated (undiluted) solution activates the microorganisms in the soil and improves the soil's properties and structure.
2. You don't have to calculate the exact dose and water "by eye".
E. Green manure
Sowing green manures is a good way to restore soil fertility in seedbeds.
1. They should be planted immediately after harvest when the vegetable crop has been removed from the bed. The best time to sow grass seedlings is in August so that they will have grown a significant amount of green parts by the time the crop is mowed.
2. Choose any kind of green manure for sowing: mustard (do not sow after rye and cabbage), rye (especially recommended to sow under tomatoes, cabbage, etc.), oats, Phyllanthus, vetch, etc.
3. Just before a real frost in winter and temperatures below 32 °F (0°C), the bed of grass seedlings is plowed over and the above-ground part is embedded in soil half the width of a shovel.
Tips On How To Apply Fertilizer Correctly In Autumn
1. Composting of crop straw
It is best not to burn anything, but to return at least some of the nutrients accumulated in the leaves and foliage to the soil. Composted crop residues are the best natural fertilizer for all garden plants in the spring.
Tip: Compost must be kept moist to mature more quickly, and the compost block must be turned regularly to allow air to escape.
2. Leave fallen leaves under the trees
Simply leave fallen leaves under shrubs and trees until spring. This is a natural shelter for the roots and a useful fertilizer for the soil (in the spring you will have humus that you can dig out with the soil).
Use leaves that are healthy or not severely damaged. Those infected by dangerous diseases and pests should still be burned and removed from the area.
3. Apply fertilizer to the root zone
Under trees and shrubs, apply fertilizer around the trunk of the tree in the canopy projection. Choose organic mineral fertilizers that will not be washed out of the soil by fall rains and spring meltwater.
1. Under fruit trees, phosphate and potash fertilizers should be applied to a minimum depth of 4-6 inches (10-15 cm).
2. For berry trees, embed the fertilizer in the soil 2-4 inches (5-10 cm).
Fertilizer should be applied evenly and incorporated into the root zone. This is especially important for phosphate fertilizers. The reason for this is that phosphorus in the soil is at rest and does not leach into the lower layers. If phosphorus is more than 2 inches (5 cm) from the active root zone, its transport to the plant will be impeded.
3. Use a combination of dry and liquid fertilizers
When plants need immediate help, foliar sprays are best used. By spraying on the leaves, nutrients will reach the roots more quickly. Use water-soluble fertilizers for fertilization.
4. Observe the recommended fertilization rate
Fertilizer dosage is always written on the package, which will most effectively improve the condition of the soil and plants.
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