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 by limiting the roots oxygen uptake, which restricts the tree’s ability to photosynthesise and starves it of vital sunlight energy.
Healthy trees need a balance of the main plant nutrients – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).Each type of fruit tree requires a specific NPK special sauce or ratio. Some trees such as citrus love nitrogen, while others such as apples prefer potassium.
Feeding your tree the right nutrients at the right time will promote strong growth and bountiful harvests. Signs of nutrient deficiency include yellowing of the leaves or the leaf veins.
All soil loves a generous and regular serve of compost and mulch. Lots of compost and mulch will benefit your fruit tree by improving:
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:
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.