Wait until end of January to fertilize fruit

Question: Can I start feeding my fruit trees now, or should I wait until spring?

It is best to wait a couple of weeks, toward the end of January, before new growth sets in and up through about March for a single application of fertilizers. Alternatively, you can make one application in January or half in January and half after you harvest.

A convenient method of application are fertilizer spikes, which can be pounded into wet soil about a foot from the tree trunk.You can use good compost if you want, but good compost contains about 1 to 2 percent nitrogen compared to traditional fertilizers, which can be 20 percent or more. So you have to use more compost pound for pound compared to a fertilizer for good results.

Don’t forget your single iron application also in January. Use the EDDHA form of iron chelate and follow label directions.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com.