University of Maryland Extension

Nutrient Management Reminders for Fruit Growers

Are your fruit tissue sample analyses and soil analyses up to date? It is once again that time of year to consider your sampling needs. Sample analyses are good for three years. If you need to update your analyses, this is the time of year to prepare to do that. Nutrient recommendations for mature (bearing) perennial fruit crops are based primarily on plant tissue nutrient concentrations and secondarily on soil test. It is important that the soil sampling and tissue sampling be done at the same time and in the same area. Sampling the appropriate plant part at the appropriate time is very important for accurate analyses and therefore reliable recommendations. The table below gives sampling times, and areas to sample for various crops.

Crop Time to Sample # of Samples/Plant Part Location on Plant
Blueberries First week of harvest 40 leaves (detatch petioles) Current season's growth
Brambles August 1 - 20 60 leaves (detatch petioles) Select them most recent fully-expanded leaf blade of each primocane
Fruit trees July 15 - September 1 50 leaves and petioles Select shoots at eye level from Around outside of the tree. Select shoots that make a vertical angle of 45-60 degrees to the ground. Remove 1 or 2 leaves from the mid-portion of the current season’s growth.
Grapes At full bloom 75 petioles Remove the petiole across from the first blossom cluster, closest to the cordon or permanent cane.
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