Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pruning and Fertilizing Can Affect Fruit Production

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pruning and Fertilizing Can Affect Fruit Production

Article excerpt

Byline: BECKY WERN

My apple trees are about 5 years old, but I haven't had any fruit on them yet. How long does it take?

All fruit trees have to reach a certain stage of maturity before they can grow fruit. Your trees should be at the point where they can begin setting and growing fruit.

Make sure that you are pruning them properly, because correct pruning ensures a long life of healthy fruit.

Make sure you are not over fertilizing the trees. Too much nitrogen will push the tree to grow foliage and away from producing flowers.

A 10-10-10 fertilizer should be applied in February at a rate of about 1 1/2 pounds per year of age of the tree, with a maximum of 10 to 16 pounds.

Remember that if your trees are surrounded by grass, they are getting additional fertilizer when the lawn is fertilized. Clear out grass under the drip line of the trees, and keep lawn fertilizer well away from the trees.

Also, when your tree flowers, remember you will need bees and other pollinators to move the pollen to get the fruit started. Make sure you are using biorational pesticides to protect your pollinators so that they can set the fruit.

I have a petticoat fern that was given to me as a gift. Is it cold-hardy enough to plant outside?

Your fern is a member of the Boston fern family, which should be hardy enough for the area. Planting it in the ground might take away from the cascading fronds, so you may want to keep it on a stand.

Remember that a plant's cold hardiness is affected by the weather as winter approaches. A gradual cooling will help plants become semi dormant and less susceptible to the cold temperatures. It's also important to consider the placing of plants. The southeast side of the house usually doesn't receive a direct hit from oncoming cold fronts, while the northwest side of the house is usually exposed to colder winter winds. …

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