Do I need to apply fertiliser?

The simple answer to this is no – not in the medium or long term! These plants have evolved to survive and thrive on poor soils.

Many projects and trial plantings will be located on agricultural land that may have had some sort of fertiliser history anyway. This will be beneficial but not ‘life and death’ essential.

In a situation where the project is to be located on land where a plantation tree crop such as pines or blue gums that have been harvested, then there most likely will be nutrient deficiencies in the soil profile. If this is the case, then the soil could be analysed and advice sought on fertiliser requirements.

However, in most cases when it comes to fertiliser this is definitely a case of ‘less is more’. Modest additions of an agricultural grade NPK fertiliser or something softer and more organic like ‘dynamic lifter’ will be OK in moderation. Remembering;

Nitrogen (N) stimulates growth,

Phosphorous (P) stimulates root development, and

Potassium (K) stimulates flowering.

This means that any beneficial addition of fertiliser needs to be moderate and balanced and under normal circumstances really only needs to applied once soon after planting.

I like using granular controlled release fertiliser as it is easy to apply and is safe and reliable One product I have had considerable success with is

8-10 week ‘Osmoform’ 22-5-11 + 2MgO + TE.

This stuff is expensive, so it needs to be applied at a calibrated rate and targeted.

This device measures out a level teaspoon of granular fertiliser with each click delivered down a short length of PVC pressure pipe right at the base of the recently planted seedling.

Rainfall carries the fertiliser into the seedling root ball and surrounding soil. The results can be quick and impressive.

Please contact the author if you wish to source the fertiliser and the applicator discussed here.