Planting-hole Amendments Modify Growth and Fruiting of Apples on Replant Sites

in HortScience

The effects of various nonfumigant planting-hole treatments on growth and yield of apple (Malus domestics Borkh.) trees were measured during the first 3 years after planting. Eight orchards diagnosed as having a replant problem were monitored. First-year shoot growth, the number of blossoms in the second year (inmost orchards), and first-year trunk cross-sectional area increment (TCAI) in 50% of test orchards were increased by monoammonium phosphate (MAP) fertilizer+ peat, MAP+ mancozeb, or MAP + peat + a bacterial antagonist. By the end of year 3, TCAI generally was not affected by treatments, but treatments resulted in more blossoms by the third season in two of seven orchards that blossomed in the second season. Cumulative yield after 3 years increased significantly in only three orchards, with the best treatment, MAP+ peat, resulting in cost recovery in only one orchard. Inadequate K or Cu nutrition may have reduced growth in some of the orchards, which were characterized by a wide range in yields, independent of planting-hole treatment.

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