The Spring meeting of the South West of England Cider-makers Association was held at Thatcher’s, by kind invitation of John and Martin Thatcher.
After the appalling weather of the past months there is great concern about the health of the trees and what it might be possible to do about it.
It is likely that the worst effects of the flooding will not be apparent until July or August, when the trees are at their most stressed and need their roots to provide nutrition.
Robert Fovargue of Pearce Seeds gave a very well received presentation in which he
discussed some of the measures available to growers.
Soil structure may have been damaged and poor drainage areas will be particularly apparent.
First do your annual soil sample to check your Ph levels. Simply applying nitrogen to your soil is not going to be enough if it is out of balance, lacking for example zinc or boron.
A more precise way of getting nitrogen into the plant is by applying a foliar feed which will filter down gently into the roots. Phosphite feeds are particularly worth looking at as they optimise plant metabolism and improve performance, especially if the plant is under stress.
As the feed reaches the roots it will have picked up a further oxygen molecule, delivering what is then Phosphate to the roots.