It’s Time To Feed Your Fruit Trees

the orchard is 3!Deciduous Fruit Trees

Before feeding comes weeding. If you didn’t free your trees in Autumn – now is good … before the weeds get their spring grow on. Grass is so damn competitive – such an efficient gobbler of nutrients. The trees need ’em, not the grass! Feeder roots are shallow so give them some love with wet newspaper  and a woodsy mulch, better yet a sward of comfrey.

plum blossom the beginningFeed At Bud Movement

When those buds fatten up and show their first glimmer of pink/ white/ green it’s your sign – feed them!

Pull back the mulch and add

  1. A fine layer of compost
  2. A dose of gypsum
  3. A dose of Rok Solid if your soil is on either end of the spectrum (sandy, clay), or if your trees are new.
  4. Mulch. Unless, of course, comfrey is in the house.


Get something grunty around your strawberries to get the soil jamming, creating a moisture retentive fabric for their shallow roots. I like rotten manure for this job. Compost would be my next go to.

limeCitrus And Passionfruit

Pull back the mulch, spread a fine layer of compost and add generous dollops of rotten manure or seaweed, or use Rok Solid. Replace the mulch.


  1. Shirley Hampton says:

    Kath hi, I live in Wellington and we haven’t been able to buy straw for a year or so because of the pea blight that affected the Wairarapa I think it was. The ban on selling it is for 2 years so a year to go. My compost is mainly vege scraps and soil so not as good for using as a mulch. What else could I use as a mulch around fruit trees and strawberries.
    Thanks very much

    • Hi Shirley
      Nice to hear from you!
      Yes – good not to use compost as mulch… it needs to be kept moist in order for the goodness to be usable.
      I like to make my own mulch mix up from whats I’ve got around. Its also a great idea to alternate mulches from year to year.. prevent disease build up from one particular thing, also the variety is way better for your soil life (the main reason we mulch in the first place)
      Fruit trees do well with something woody in the mulch mix. These are the things I use – well rotted sawdust (excellent for strawberries), wood shavings (not nuggets), leaves, bracken, pineneedles, trimmings off woody herbs like rosemary, lavendar or rotted hay. My preference is to mix a few together. This mix makes for the very best mulch! This article may help you
      Also if it suits your place comfrey is the ultimate fruit tree “living mulch”
      You can also use a physical barrier around your strawbs – black plastic, weedmat, hessian – whatever tickles your fancy. Peg it down with tent pegs. Helps keep the fruit clean and the slaters and slugs not so keen!
      Hope this helps Kath

      • Shirley Hampton says:

        Kath hi, that’s great thank you. Lots of tips to keep me going thanks. I have plenty of woody things I’ve cut up and left by the hedge so will use those.