Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring fertilizer application

    Today, we made our spring fertilizer application. I like to time this application by carefully watching for the first sign of bud swell. With pecan, bud development starts when the outer scale splits open and the upper portion of that scale is shed (photo at right). It is almost like the bud is taking off its winter hat.
    The swelling of pecan buds is a good indication of when pecan roots are starting to grow. Actively growing roots aggressively mine the soil for nutrients so when fertilizers are applied at this time of year you can be certain your trees will get maximum benefit from applied fertilizer.
   As we have in the past, we applied a mix of Urea and Potash to our pecan grove (photo at left). Urea is white in color and we spread 150 lbs. of urea per acre. Potash is pink in color and it was spread at the rate of 100 lbs. per acre. In total, we spread 250 lbs./acre of fertilizer containing 69 units of nitrogen and 60 units of potassium.
    This fertilizer application follows the one we made last October when we applied 100 lbs. per acre of urea (46 lbs. N/acre).
    Folks often ask how we spread our fertilizer. We rent a fertilizer spreader from our local fertilizer dealer and use it to broadcast the fertilizer over the entire surface floor of the orchard (photo at right).  It took me about half a day to fertilize our 80 acre pecan grove.