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Feb 22, 2017 4:14 PM CST
We have a very well established plum tree in our back yard. I don't know how much I'm supposed to be watering and fertilizing it. We moved in to this house 2 years ago and we live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I don't want to kill this amazing fruit bearing tree!
Feb 22, 2017 5:51 PM CST
|Hi Erika, I had wonderful old plum trees in my garden in Salt Lake City. Not quite as extreme conditions as you have in Albuquerque but similar.
I would give them a light sprinkle of balanced timed-release fertilizer in spring right about when they start to bloom. They were watered by our lawn sprinklers during the growing season, a deep watering twice a week, as I recall. In summer's hot temperatures deep watering was about an hour's run of the sprinklers in the mornings. We had clay soil in our garden there, so if your soil is more sandy or well drained, you might need to water a bit longer.
That's for the growing season, but in winter, we didn't water them at all. Some winters were wetter than others so if you go weeks in winter without any rain or snow, I'd give them a watering or two. Be sure when you do water that the water penetrates the soil well down to the root area. If the soil's really dry, it can take quite a bit of water to get through the top layer.
Don't forget that any tree's roots spread out around the tree even wider than the branches reach, so water a large area around the tree, not just near the trunk. Broadcast fertilizer out around the tree, also.
"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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