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!

If your pears had blister mite and you need to spray an oil now is the time (I use Tui Eco Oil.)

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. The floor in my deciduous orchard is dark and wormy so now I skip the compost and add gypsum and roksolid and mulch.

If it’s sandy or clay where your fruit trees are then spread a 2cm layer of compost plus something mineral like seaweed or roksolid, plus gypsum if your soils are on the heavy side topped off with a beneficient layer of mulch. Be generous here, get out to the drip line if you can. 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

Don’t feel you need to splash out and buy over priced pea straw – make your own lovely brew from soft prunings. Trees need a more woody mulch than vegies – so trim back your 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.

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