ARCHIVE: Fertiliser Manual (RB209)

Fruit, Vines and Hops – Before Planting

Nitrogen is not required before planting fruit crops, but can be beneficial before planting potted hop cuttings.

Where soil analysis before planting shows soil acidity or low soil P, K or Mg Indices, it is important to correct these shortages by thorough incorporation of appropriate amounts of lime and fertilisers. After planting the downward movement of all nutrients from the soil surface is slow, except for nitrogen. This applies particularly for phosphate and to a lesser extent for potash and magnesium. In organic production systems soil fertility must be built up prior to planting.

Where previously ploughed land has been sampled to 15 cm depth only, the recommended amounts of phosphate, potash and magnesium should be thoroughly incorporated in the autumn before planting. Before planting top fruit, vines or hops, if soil analysis shows the field to be at P, K or Mg Index 0 or 1, the appropriate nutrient amounts should be ploughed down and then the same amount applied again and thoroughly incorporated before planting. If the plough depth is less than 20 cm, the amount ploughed down should be halved.

Where samples have been taken from 0-15 cm and 15-30 cm depths, the recommended rate based on the 15-30 cm sample should be ploughed down before top fruit, vines or hops are planted if the soil P, K or Mg Index is Index 0 or 1. After ploughing, the amount based on the 0-15 cm sample should be applied and thoroughly incorporated. If plough depth is less than 20 cm the amount ploughed down should be halved.

Where it is not possible to plough fertiliser down, the application should be limited to the amount recommended for one sampling depth only. Composted green waste and green manure crops can be incorporated to increase soil organic matter content.

In organic production, derogation is possible for application of supplementary nutrients if soil nutrient Index is low.

The recommendations in this table are based on samples taken from a 15 cm depth of soil

 

SNS, P, K or Mg Index

 

0

1

2

3

4

>4

P mg/l (Olsen's)

0-9

10-15

16-25

26-45

46-70

>71

K mg/l

0-60

61-120

121-240

241-400

401-600

>601

Mg mg/l

0-25

26-50

51-100

101-175

176-250

>251

kg/ha

Fruit and Vines
Nitrogen (N)

0

0

0

0

0

0

Phosphate (P2O5)

200

100

50

50

0

0

Potash (K2O)

200

100

50

0

0

0

Magnesium (MgO)

165

125

85

0

0

0

Hops

Nitrogen (N)

0

0

0

0

0

0

Phosphate (P2O5)

250

175

125

100

50

0

Potash (K2O)

300

250

200

150

100

0

Magnesium (MgO)

250

165

85

0

0

0

  • Only use materials containing a large proportion of water-soluble phosphate.
  • Potted hop plants benefit from 70-80 kg N/ha applied in the spring before planting.
  • Apply this potash in the autumn and thoroughly incorporate it into the soil to avoid root scorch of the newly planted crop.

Don’t forget to deduct nutrients applied as organic manures (see Section 2)

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