Fertilizing Almond Trees
A fertilization program is typically designed for a specific crop and orchard. At establishment, the soil is sampled for existing available nutrients. After the application program is initiated, leaf analysis in mid-July is used to monitor it. Growers are advised to keep long-term records of their application program for an orchard, including applications of fertilizer and soil amendments, results of leaf sampling, and yield. These records provide information for decision-making in orchard management.
Nutrients are best applied to the root zone when the tree can use it efficiently and in amounts that will not be leached past the root zone. Apply the first application of fertilizer during spring when rapid growth occurs followed by smaller amounts throughout the growing season and post harvest.
Nutrient demand is determined by crop demand — a heavy crop year removes more nutrients from the system than a light crop year.
General fertilization schedules for nitrogen (N), potassium (K), boron (B), and zinc (Zn) below should be modified for extremes in soil type. On sandy soils, nitrogen applications should be made more frequently at smaller doses, while in heavy soils, monthly applications can be made.
This is an extremely useful tool to measure the adequacy of the fertilization program and to diagnose nutrient deficiencies and toxicities. Annual leaf sampling is advised. Samples are analyzed at commercial labs. To provide an acceptable sample:
- Collect samples from late July through mid-August
- From greedy shoots that are more than 1.5 meters from the ground
- Expanded sub-terminal leaflets must be selected
- We collect 4-10 leaves per tree from 10-20 trees per orchard
- Do not include leaflets that have received in-season nutrients sprays
- The sample must be delivered at the laboratory within 24 hours
- Minimum values for satisfactory growth and production. The proposed values are those that needed for optimal growth. These values should be part of the leaf analysis. The following table refers to the minimum and recommended values.
Dense almond tree planting – Self-fertile varieties and fertilization:
In the case of dense almond tree planting and self-fertile varieties lubrication diversifies. The combination of these two factors increases the volume of production. It seems clear that the amount of fertilizers should be increased accordingly. Particularly for dense planting and the subjects that are used, a program rich in trace elements should be followed .
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