Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Making a Fall fertilizer application

    The soil on my farm has finally dried out enough to allow me to make a Fall application of fertilizer to my pecan orchard (photo at right). I like to fertilize in October for two reasons. First, pecan tree roots are making their Fall flush of new growth and fertilizer is most rapidly taken up by new roots. Secondly, adding additional soil nutrients at this time of year helps the tree recover from the stress of nut production before the start of winter cold (helping to avoid possible winter die-back).
  Today, I applied 53 lbs/ac nitrogen, 38 lbs/ac phosphorus, and 50 lbs/ac potassium.  Including the cost of spreader rent, I invested about $64 per  acre for this fertilizer application. That sounds like a lot of money but making regular fertilizer applications is the best way to build tree health and ensure regular nut production.
   I plan to spread additional fertilizer in the early spring of 2020. In my experience, twice-a-year fertilizer application has proven to help reduce alternate bearing and increased overall yield.