The Q&A Archives: What Type Of Fertilizer For A Fig Tree

Question: I received a monrovia mission fig tree for mother's day and it tells me to feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth in the spring. What type of fertilizer would that be? And also,it says to follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season. How often and how much would that be?

Answer: A general purpose fertilizer would typically be a complete formula such as 5-10-5 or 10-10-10 in the granular form. It is applied to the soil surface in early spring (eg March) according to the label instructions. The amount depends on the size of the shrub and is listed on the label. Note that it is better to underfertilize than overfertilize, so do not exceed the label amounts.

For a more specific recommendation you could run some basic soil tests and then calculate the need for specific nutrients based on the tests. Your county extension should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results.

During the first year it is important to keep the soil evenly moist yet not sopping wet. The frequency will depend on natural rainfall and on your soil type. You will need to dig down into the soil a bit and see if it is damp or drying and water accordingly.

It is better to water less often but deeply than to do a daily light sprinkling, since the deeper watering encourages the plant to root deeper where the soil stays moister longer naturally.

Several inches of organic mulch such as shredded bark should be kept in place year round, this will help keep the soil more evenly moist and also keep down weeds as well as feed the soil slowly as it breaks down over time.

Enjoy your new fig tree!

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