Best Fertilizer For Apple Trees (Organic & Synthetic Feed)
Apple trees prefer all-round balanced fertilizer. You can also go for a plant feed rich in nitrogen to feed your apple fruit tree.
Can there be anything better than crisp apples straight from the tree? Apple trees can be a lovely and delicious addition to your garden. They can offer summer shade, spring blossoms, and the best fall fruit harvests.
So, whether you are planning to grow an apple tree or have an established one in your garden, you might wonder which is the best fertilizer for apple trees that can cater to your needs.
When picking the plant food, ensure that the chosen variant has high nitrogen content or a balanced NPK of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium. It will also be beneficial if it has additional micronutrients like calcium, boron, magnesium, sulfate of potash etc good for apple tree growth.
Growing your apples can be a rewarding experience. However, poor soil conditions may leave you with no produce at harvest. So, how to ensure that you get the most delicious apples?
The simplest way to achieve this is by opting for the right fertilizer and taking good care of your apple tree.
Best Feed For Apple Trees – Fertilizers That Help Give You Maximum Produce!
- Best Liquid Fertilizer For Apple Trees – Urban Farm Plant Food For Apples And Oranges
- Convenient Apple Tree Fertilizer Spikes – Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes 04226
- Overall Best Pick For Apple Tree Feed – Miracle-Gro Food Spikes For Apple And Citrus Plants
- Granular Fertilizer Choice – 9227 Jobe’s Organics Fertilizer For Fruits And Nuts
- Best Organic Fertilizer – Down To Earth 6-2-4 Organic Fertilizer
- Top Pick For Young Apple Trees – Earth Organic Plant Food
Below is a list of some of the best options to help you achieve bountiful produce that is both healthy and delicious.
1. Best Liquid Fertilizer For Apple Trees – Urban Farm One Gallon Plant Food for Apples and Oranges
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It is one of the best fruit tree plant food that is rich in potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen in the 4.5-2.0-4.2 NPK. This micro-brewed, hand-crafted liquid plant feed is ideal for all citrus plants and other fruit trees.
It is a good fertilizer for apple trees and can give your plants a great start. Its NPK ratio ensures that the plant gets the vital nitrogen they seek along with potassium and phosphorous in ample quantities, which aids in fruit development.
This plant food has a super-concentrated formula and comes in a 256:1 ratio, implying that one gallon offers 256 gallons of full-strength fertilizer. You will like this apple fertilizer for its 100% precision formulated, blended, and water-soluble formula.
It has organic compounds like minerals, enzymes, humic acid, and mycorrhizae. The fertilizer is also rich in calcium vital for fruit flavor, juiciness, and size.
2. Apple Tree Fertilizer Spikes – Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes 04226
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It is an OMRI-listed plant food that is safe for organic gardening. To ensure the best results, you can use the spikes for container-grown apple trees during the planting.
Following the instructions on the manufacturing label, introduce the correct number of fertilizer spikes into the soil, ensuring they are spaced evenly around the pot’s edge. One of the standout features of this fertilizer is that it comes in pre-measured spikes that will offer your fruits the desired nutrition sans any runoff.
This fertilizer can help amplify the long-term soil quality by boosting the growth of beneficial microbes. Overall it is a mess-free, easy, and fast fertilizer. You must feed every four to six weeks to ensure the best results.
It is one of the best organic fertilizers for apple trees that contains no synthetic items and promotes the plant’s root growth and nutrient absorption ability. The fertilizer also helps resist diseases and is child and pet-safe. It is 100% safe for the environment.
3. Overall Best Pick for Apple Tree Feed – Miracle-Gro Food Spikes for Apple and Citrus Plants
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Are you new to growing fruit trees and need something that can give your plant the required nutrients without splurging? If yes, Miracle-Gro can be a good pick.
This plant food has all the nutrients that can give your plants a healthy boost. Its NPK 10-15-15 ratio helps amplify the plant’s overall health, boosts blossom production, and offers endurance during stressful conditions like slight drought.
It is an excellent fertilizer with healthy and natural ingredients, but they are not certified as organic. Every pack has 12 spikes. You can drive them into the ground with a mallet or hammer. It gradually dissolves into the soil, offering a gentle but consistent supply of nutrients that the roots absorb.
To ensure the best results, you must position the spikes below the plant’s dripline, spacing them at least three feet apart. The total spikes required will depend on the tree’s size.
You can use them in spring and then again in fall for an all-year feeding. Be cautious while inserting the spikes. Sadly, they may break if pressed too hard into the soil.
4. Granular Fertilizer Choice – 9227 Jobe’s Organics Fertilizer for Fruits and Nuts
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Home orchardists and growers do not have to spend a lot to get their hands on top-quality fruit-tree fertilizer that can amplify apple production.
This plant food from Jobe’s makes it possible. It comes with a 3-5-5 NPK and proprietary biozone formulated to lower the stress from drought or extreme temperature, amplify the plant’s overall health, and help with root development.
In addition, the microorganism archaea also help break down the material faster for a quicker result. What’s more? It is one of the pocket-friendly choices.
You get this plant food in the granulated form to sprinkle around the base of the nut, fruit, or citrus trees. You can use this fast-acting plant feed to fertilize mature and newly planted apple trees. It contains organic materials, such as bone meal, that are vital for apple trees.
Since it is a mild fertilizer, you can use it every four to six weeks across the growing season. It is an OMRI-listed product that comes in an easy-pour bag and is certified for organic farming,
5. Best Organic Fertilizer – Down to Earth 6-2-4 Organic Fertilizer
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Down to Earth has some of the best fertilizers. The ingredients in all their products are organic and natural. The company goes to great lengths in packaging and explaining the benefits of its products, and this organic plant food is no different.
It is a granular fertilizer suitable for pear and apple trees, but you can also use it on shrubs and other fruit trees. It has a 6-2-4 NPK formulation. Hence, it is ideal for various culinary varieties of apple trees and other fruits. The fertilizer has calcium that can promote the fruit’s quantity and size and boost your overall yield.
You can sprinkle one or two cups of plant food for every inch of the trunk into the size and repeat it three times a year for the best results. – Once in spring after the flowering, then a month later, and again in the next month.
It is certified organic by OMRI and contains ingredients like calcium carbonate, bone meal, feather meal, alfalfa meal, fish meal, Kelp Meal, Potassium Sulfate, and Langbeinite.
Homemade Fertilizer for Apple Trees
Not everyone likes investing in store-bought fertilizers. Hence, the safer alternative is homemade plant foods. These make for the best organic fertilizer for apple trees. We will discuss a few options below.
A. Bone Meal
A bone meal is also an excellent organic plant food. You can easily find it at the garden store. Bone Meal has a 12-0-0 composition and is a by-product of the meat industry. It helps offer the plant a good nitrogen boost early in the season.
You can apply it before the rain to wash it into the soil. Alternatively, you can add it to the plant and water it deeply. Regardless follow the instructions to not over-apply it.
B. Do coffee grounds help apple trees?
Often people ask us, ‘Are coffee grounds good for my apple trees?’ Well, the answer is a big Yes. Coffee grounds can be an excellent additive to your plant’s fertilizing regimen. However, since its nutrient balance is not the most straightforward, you must be cautious when opting for coffee grounds, manure, or compost.
However, it might not be the best fertilizer for apple trees that are young. For younger or freshly planted apple trees, you must stick to commercial fertilizers. But if you have mature or established apple trees, you can supplement them with homemade fertilizers, such as manure and coffee grounds.
C. Is banana peel recommended for apple trees?
Even though banana peels are a good source of phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, you must not use them directly on apple trees.
They take a long time to decompose and break down, which can become a breeding ground for different diseases and pests. Further, the nutrients present in the banana peel are not instantly accessible to the plants as the peels take time to be decomposed.
Hence, the peels do not offer immediate benefit to the apple tree. Thus, we recommend composting the peels initially to break them down and release the nutrients.
Banana peels are an incredible nutrition source for plants, but you must compost them first and use them with compost instead of directly applying them to the trees.
Do Young Apple Trees Need Fertilizer?
Yes, young apple trees need fertilizers, but their requirements are not as high as mature, fruit-bearing trees. On average, mature plants require 0.6 lbs of N annually, whereas the non-fruit-bearing young trees require only 0.15 lbs of N in a year. Here is one of the best fertilizers for apple trees that are new and young.
The best fertilizer for young apple trees – Dr. Earth Organic Plant Food 708P
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It comes with a 5-5-2 formulation and helps boost foliage and tree growth. It also helps with ample flower and fruit production. The fertilizer has probiotics, microbes, and prebiotics that can accentuate the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and boosts soil quality.
It is an organic blend with no synthetics, GMO ingredients, or chemicals. Please mix it with the soil when planting young saplings and apple trees for the best results. You can also use it in established apple trees by sprinkling around the dripline, working into the ground, and watering afterward. It is pet and people safe.
How Do You Fertilize Newly Planted Apple Trees?
In the case of newly planted apple trees, you need to:
- Mix the fertilizer with water if water-soluble. But, if it is not water-soluble, you need to scoop the specified amount and feed your plant.
- Apply the mixture onto the root zones of the new trees or around the drip line of the tree if a non-soluble fertilizer.
- Repeat the fertilization every ten days until July.
What Is The Best Way To Fertilize Apple Trees?
Most apple growers fertilize their apple trees once a year. They swear by 0.5 to 2 kg NPK 11-15-15 or 12-12-12 for the young trees. For the mature trees, 3-5 kg of 11-15-15, or 12-12-12 formulation is ideal.
What Is The Best Time To Fertilize Apple Trees?
So, exactly what month do you fertilize apple trees? Ideally, you must use the best fertilizer for apple trees in early summer and spring. Typically, the application should be in early April or late March, but you must follow it with a subsequent application in June.
Please do not fertilize the trees from July through the harvest, as that intervenes with the fruit development.
How Often Should Apple Trees Be Fertilized?
There are some general rules for scheduling fertilization for apple trees, but sadly not all products are the same. Ideally, fertilize the newly planted sapling when planting. After this, fertilize it every fall and spring till the plant reaches maturity.
Your mature apple trees should be fertilized once a year during spring. While these are typical rules for fertilizing apples, they might vary with the product. So, please read the manufacturing label before fertilizing, and stick to it to avoid over or under-fertilizing the plant.
How To Choose Apple Tree Fertilizers?
The best food for apple trees choice depends on what’s the purpose behind using it. While some fertilizers offer vital nutrients to the plant for overall tree health, others encourage root development and blossom production. Some might also be formulated exquisitely to make up for the deficiencies in the soil.
Here are the considerations for choosing the best food for your apple trees.
A. Soil and pH level
Fortunately, apple trees thrive in sandy soil rich in nutrients with loam. These trees love slightly acidic soil. Hence, you must plant them in soil with a pH between 5.8 to 7 on the pH scale.
While some soil types might be in this range, many won’t be. So, if yours is more acidic or alkaline than needed, it will result in the plant’s failure to produce fruits and might also be the reason for the plant’s slow growth or poor health.
However, not all commercial fertilizers are ideal for altering your soil’s pH. So, to ensure the best outcomes, you must get a soil assessment test done, and then depending on the result, you can add compost or lime based plant food that can bring the soil closer to the apt pH level.
B. NPK ratio
When shopping for apple tree fertilizers, look at its NPK and pick a balanced one or one with a higher nitrogen component:
1. Nitrogen – It helps with branch and leaf growth. A small apple tree appreciates more nitrogen than a mature tree because its sapling is still growing.
2. Potassium– It helps boost the plant’s health by enabling it to withstand extreme temperatures or slight droughts. Potassium also helps maximize the degree of nutrient absorption.
3. Phosphorous – Phosphorous helps promote healthy and strong roots, which can help the plant on days of strong winds. Phosphorous also helps with blossom production. So, it aids in yielding an excellent harvest.
C. Select the type of fertilizer that is easy to use
Broadly, there are three kinds of fertilizers to choose from:
1. Liquid – You spray it into the ground for the plant to soak the nutrients.
2. Powdered – You can directly place these feeds into the soil around the trees. They can either be diluted for application or mixed with water.
3. Granular – These are sprinkled around the ground using a seed spreader and then watered into the ground.
D. Decide between synthetic and organic plant food.
Lastly, you choose between organic foods comprising animal or plant-based waste with other natural ingredients and synthetic fertilizers. The former has a lesser nutrient value, whereas the synthetic foods are composed of synthetic chemicals and minerals that help generate a higher yield.
Related: How To Make Apple Trees Grow Faster | How Long Do Apple Trees Live | Ornamental Crabapple Varieties
How Do I Make My Apple Tree Healthier?
In addition to using the best fertilizer for apple trees, you can ensure good health for your apple trees in the following ways:
- Pruning the plant timely lets you remove the diseased or dead wood. It helps open up the tree, facilitates air circulation, and ensures enough sunlight reaches the plant. You can prune the plant in early spring or late winter before new growth shows.
- Apple trees love nutrients like potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen. So, feed the plants in summer and spring with a balanced fertilizer with equal portions of NPK.
- Consistently water the apple tree during the growing season. Ensure that you water deep and thoroughly during the dry spells. While watering, keep the soil moist but do not damp.
- Employ a pest management approach to keep pests and diseases away. It helps keep the tree and surrounding area clean and free from all debris. You can utilize natural pest control methods, such as parasitic wasps and ladybugs, to keep pests at bay and use pesticides only when necessary.
- Add a thick mulch layer around the base to help the tree retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate temperature.
- Harvest the apples at the right time to avoid disease and overripening. Apples are ready for harvest when they acquire firmness, color, and flavor.
Is 10 10 10 Fertilizer Good For Apple Trees or Is A 19-19-19 Fertilizer For Apple Trees Ideal?
Both are balanced fertilizers and contain the three vital nutrients for tree growth. Hence, they are perfect for apple trees as well. It will be an added benefit if the chosen plant food also contain secondary nutrients like copper, magnesium, and iron that benefit the apple trees.