Frost proofing fruit trees

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Frost proofing fruit trees with edible bark

Why should you frost bite your fruit trees in winter?

Of course there is no point to frost-biting your fruit trees in winter unless you are trying to attract more fruit. So what does it take to start an apple tree in January? Fortunately there are a few things that can make a difference. The major problem is water, so during the coldest part of winter when water is at a minimum, the water you have is the only water that you have available. You need to provide a more consistent supply to keep the tree happy.

It is possible to do this by giving the tree two levels of protection, the first being from the cold, and the second being from the water. The benefit of having bark that you can eat is that it is a great way to provide the second level of protection, as well as providing additional fertilizer.

Getting the right bark can be tricky, but there is a method that you can use that I have used to great effect and it is called nutrient banking. So what does nutrient banking involve?

There are many benefits to nutrient banking, one of the major benefits is that it is very inexpensive. You can buy 10’ of bark for around £10 which is enough for around 200 fruit trees. That doesn’t seem much until you realise that if you buy that same amount of bark from a reputable supplier, you can be looking at a cost of around £20 for that same amount, or you could buy 1 tonne of fertilizer for about £50.

It also helps that all of the bark that I use is almost completely nutrient free, which is even more valuable if you plan to compost the bark. So what can you do with a bark layer around your trees?

If you use a natural mulch, it is often not as effective as a mulch that is fully nutrient based, as the nutrients are not as easily available to the tree roots.

So what can you do with a bark layer around your trees?

Bark has some natural benefits to it. In the UK, there is no legal requirement to use bark as a mulch or as a compost activator, but if you do want to use a bark layer as a mulch, you will want to look for something that has undergone some treatment to make it resistant to rot. However, if you are composting the bark, you want the bark to be slightly rotten, as rotting releases the nutrients into the soil.

Grow apple trees, and give them a bark that is nutrient rich and that will provide frost resistance

If you read my article on fertilizing fruit trees in winter, you will have seen that I am a big fan of a chemical free, rock free approach to nutrient activation. So that means that I would not recommend that you plant trees by applying any sort of fertilizer to the top of the soil around the base of the tree.

When the snow is starting to fall, however, it is a good time to add some plant nutrients into the soil. The first place to start is around the base of the tree. I like to put the nutrients directly around the trunk, as this will allow them to penetrate the bark.

Using a fertilizer spike with a fine gauge hose ( like the one from my link) you can ensure that you give the nutrients around the trunk a good supply. This will also have the effect of spreading the nutrients around the tree.

The next step is to add nutrients to the soil around the base of the tree. Once the snow has started to come down, I will spread the fertilizer to around 5 – 8cm above the tree root zone, around the base of the tree.

I like to put the nutrients around the base of the tree, as it allows them to penetrate the bark

The nutrients that I use are from an organic feed, that also contains some chemical inorganic fertilizers. For instance, my organic feed contains both a full balance of nutrients and of course some extra organic fertilizers for both fall application, and spring application. It is generally known as “Green Gold”, but it is also known by a number of other names.

To have a green fertiliser on a tree is an advantage for two reasons. The first is that the nutrients that are delivered by the organic fertilizer will be more readily available to the roots. That means that the tree will be able to take up the nutrients when the trees needs to do that. Secondly, the fertiliser will also reduce the need to apply large amounts of chemical inorganic fertilisers, which is always a good thing.

I spread a couple of kilograms of Green Gold around the base of each tree. After the snow has fallen, I repeat the process, and this time I will also use an additional 1 kg of food, a complete balanced feed of at least 10kg of food. This time I like to spread this on the soil 5 – 8cm around the base of the tree.

After this application, you should see the natural fertilizer come out of the bark on your trees, and should start working down into the soil below. The natural fertilizer should start to dissolve as it comes into contact with the moisture from the snow. As it does this, it should become apparent that the bark around your tree has lost the outer layer of its natural insulation.

After the snow has fallen and the first few weeks of February are completed, you should be able to start seeing the first sign of buds forming on your trees. But if you are still not seeing buds and have only just put your trees in

Watch the video: Λεμονιά: 8 μυστικά για την καλλιέργειά της - Τα Μυστικά του Κήπου


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