The Fruit Tree Folk | Soil, water & food
The Fruit Tree Folk provide specialist advice, complete management and care for fruit trees in private and community gardens.
Fruit Tree Folk, fruit tree, pruning, harvesting, tree care, apple, pear, lemon, lime, plum, olive,
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Soil, water & food


Roots only thrive in moist soil. Dry soil equals loss of established fine root hairs, reducing overall tree growth. Regular deep soaking, especially when your tree is actively flowering and setting fruit, will allow the tree to do what it is designed to do – make fruit!


A drought-stressed tree will swing back and forth between having too many or too few fine feeder roots as it strives for root-to-shoot balance, instead of focusing energy on fruit production. Soil that’s too wet with no drying period reduces tree health as uptake of oxygen by the roots is limited, limiting the tree’s ability to photosynthesise and starving your tree of vital sunlight energy.


Feeding your tree

Feeding your tree the right nutrients at the right time will promote strong growth and bountiful harvests.


The main plant nutrients – N nitrogen, P phosphorus and K potassium (potash) – are often known by their chemical names, NPK. Some trees such as citrus love nitrogen, while others such as apples prefer potassium. Each type of fruit tree requires a specific NPK special sauce (ratio).


Sometimes plants show signs of chemical deficiency such as yellowing of the leaves or yellowing of leaf veins. These signs will determine which chemical application should be applied to bring balance back to the growth of the tree.

Soil health

All soil loves a generous and regular serve of compost and mulch. Lots of compost and mulch will benefit your fruit tree by improving:

  • soil drainage
  • water retention
  • oxygen levels
  • weed suppression, and;
  • ability to release both nutrients and water to your fruit tree.


Healthy soil stays cooler, preventing evaporation during summer.


Adding compost to sandy soils improves it’s water holding ability and reduces nutrient leaching caused by rapid drainage.


Compost improves the friability of clay soil, creating pockets of air by clumping of very fine particles of clay together to form small granules.


Some signs of poor soil can be:

  • a hard crusty surface
  • a compacted layer of soil, or
  • a mouldy bad smell.


Applying regular doses of well composted organic matter and mulch will improve the health of your soil, and raise the level of good microbes which in turn gives greater diversity to the soil’s structure and life-giving ability.

Call us on 0425 7227 63 or email today for a free quote.