How to feed and mulch your fruit trees

apple blossomThe fruit trees are at their sweetest at this time of year – the promise of a harvest in the bees supping on the pretty blossoms. Are the bees in your fruit trees?

The early plums are setting fruit already, the later ones still blossoming; and here come the pips – the buds are on the move!

Feed Your Deciduous Fruit Trees

If you haven’t fed your fruit trees yet then best you do tout de suite.There is no one size fits all – it depends of course on the state of your soil. 10 years on, and the soil beneath my deciduous trees is lovely + the herbal ley is booming so now I skip the annual layer of compost, but if you are early days or still building your soil you should consider this for sure.

Spread a 2cm layer of compost and add something mineral like seaweed or rok dust, plus gypsum topped off with a beneficient layer of mulch. Be generous here, get out to the drip line if you can. Mulch is a key player in living soil and moisture retention is super important to swelling fruits.

Monthly foliar seaweed or fish sprays plus Neem or EM, from now on in are a huge benefit.

Strong cells and active soils mean robust plants better equipped to cope with any conditions.

Will it be dry? Will it be wet? Hot? Cold? Windy? these things we just don’t know and can do nothing about. Will we be strong – this we can do, this we can count on.

Make your own mulch

Trees need a more woody mulch than vegies – so trim back your shrubs like hebes or corokias, lavendars, tree lucerne, rosemary; gather up pine needles and add any leaf mould or rotten hay you’ve so carefully gathered this winter. Mix it altogether and hey hey – beautiful mulch.

If the council guys are mulching down your street ask them to drop off the mulch – its best stuff those woody trimmings.

Sit back and relax if your trees are underplanted with lashings of comfrey. Very smart you are (self mulching trees means less work for you). Although new comfrey cuttings and young trees will require mulch until well established.


  1. What do you advise as the best way to fertilise/mulch citrus trees? The problem I have with ours is that they have stones around the base of them, which means I can’t put mulch down. It also makes fertilising with granular fertiliser difficult! Any ideas on the best way I can do this?

    • Hi Trudy,
      That is a tricky situation! Do you need the stones? I wonder what your reason is…
      Here’s how I feed my citrus: I add a layer of organic matter spring and summer. Starting with a layer of homemade compost (add it direct on top of the last lot of mulch, which is mostly rotten down by now) a handful of Roksolid worked into the compost and perhaps a few dollops of rotten manure. Then cover it all with mulch. No room for stones!
      Sorry to say I’m not sure how to solve your problem!
      best Kath