Feeding and Spraying Fruit Trees

by Keith Shaw

I have 2 apple,1 pear,1 plumb and 1 dwarf cherry trees all growing in pots.

When is it the best time to start feeding them also when should I treat them against unwanted insects and diseases?

But I don't want to harm the good ones.

Yours, Keith Shaw

Botanical Journeys Plant Guides

Keeping in mind that each of your trees will have slightly different feeding and disease control needs, I'm going to give you a simple way to manage your potted orchard.

These instructions may not work perfectly for every tree in your collection but they will work well for most of them most of the time.

Feed the trees in spring and summer unless they are have grown too much the previous season. See Fertilizing Apple Trees for a complete explanation of how to do this.

Disease Control in Stone Fruits

I would advise you to use a multi-purpose spray so that you don't have to buy and store several different products.

Bonide makes a good fruit tree spray which contains a fungicide and an insecticide. It will control insects and many of the most common fruit tree diseases like brown rot and is safe to use on all your trees.

Amazon.com will ship to the U.K. if you can't find this at your local garden center.

Mix the concentrate following the directions on the bottle and spray all the trees twice, at pink and at petal fall. When the flower buds swell to the point where you can tell what color the flowers will be and again when the flower petals fall off.

This will prevent problems in most trees most of the time. Do not wait until the tree develops a disease or insect problem to spray. Rest assured, they will get bugs if you don't spay them.

In addition to the above, use a dormant oil spray. This will kill insects which may have overwintered on the tree by smothering them. Apply this in early spring, before the trees break dormancy.

Again, use this on all the trees once each year. None of these sprays will harm a healthy tree as long as they are applied during cool weather.

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