Plum tree fertilizer


1) I planted a American plum tree, a Canada Plum tree and a Tecumseh Plum Tree last year. They are healthy. But I want to know what kind of fertilizer and soil I should use. I want to avoid chemical fertilizer.

2) For Grape vine what kind of soil do you recommend.


Most fruit trees should be fed with a high potassium fertilizer as the fruits develop.   The Canadian Gardener’s Guide by Lorraine Johnson has a comprehensive section on the Plum Family.  On P. 257 she describes routine care of the fruit garden.  She also notes on P. 274 that grapes grow in a wide range of soils, including chalk, sand, and clay and will tolerate poor shallow conditions. Grapes will grow in many different soil types if drainage is adequate.  The silt and clay loan soils are more suited to grapes, pears, plums and apples. According to The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (omafra) Fruit Trees in the Home Garden:

If the fruit trees are grown in a good garden soil, most trees will not require fertilizer before they come into bearing in the third or fourth year. Once in production, fruit trees benefit from light applications of fertilizer in early spring each year. A good rule of thumb for trees grown in an average lawn is to apply to each tree 300 g of a 10-10-10 mixture, per year of the tree’s age. In most instances, no more than 2.5 kg of complete fertilizer, (e.g., 10-10-10 mixture) will be required per mature tree. Manure can be substituted for commercial fertilizers. Fruit trees growing in a well maintained lawn may not require additional fertilizer beyond what the lawn receives. Applications of nitrogen fertilizer to the lawn in late summer should be withheld to avoid stimulating late tree growth which could be severely damaged by winter cold.

For trees growing in worked gardens, the rate of fertilizer is usually halved. Also remember that the soil under and around the tree should not be cultivated later than mid-July each year or late growth susceptible to winter injury could be a problem.

If trees are heavily mulched, it may be advisable not to apply fertilizer for a year or two while the mulch decays. Do not apply lime at any time, unless it is recommended from a soil test. Beware of extremes in the amounts or types of fertilizer used. Excessive levels or an improper balance of nutrients can lead to poor-quality fruit and serious winter injury or disease problems”.

For other details on Tree nutrition visit the Omafra site: Fruit Trees in the Home Garden, and  What You Should Know About Fruit Production In Ontario  You may also find Pruning of Fruit Trees of interest. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (omafra) has an excellent downloadable  Fruit Crop Protection Guide 

Grapes can also be grown in containers.  Grape vines are climbing plants and need support.  They can be allowed to grow over pergolas.