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Suffolk, United Kingdom Gb

I have been to 3 garden centres and they all say the same to much nitrogen and not enough potassium to make flowers and fruit, the same as tomatos



Is this the pear tree again? (Tip: so that everyone can follow the conversation, post your comment as a reply to your own question rather than as a new Q - you'll see that folks get an email when there's a response to something they're following)

Back to fertiliser....
What are you using at the moment? Stop using it! Get down to the garden centre and get a box of sulphate of potash - it will have pictures of some sort of fruit (I think Vitax has berries and Westlands has tomatoes) Should cost about £5 for 1-1.5 kg depending on brand and how posh your GC is. Use as directed on the box.
If you prefer organic to chemical methods get dried poultry manure instead of potash.
You just need to lay off the nitrogen feed this winter and boost the potassium.
And you need to check whether your variety of pear needs another tree for fertilisation of the flowers.

ps Check out the RHS website - there's bound to be a page on unproductive fruit trees and possible causes. But go with the (3) Garden Centres' advice for this year .... And keep GoY informed as to how your tree is getting on!

29 Sep, 2013


I know you've already bought sulphate of potash - but please tell us precisely what you've been using to feed your tree up till now (if you've been using anything), and how long you've had the tree. This information is critical, as I said before, if you want a proper answer. I'm sorry to say that garden centres are not always reliable sources of accurate information.

29 Sep, 2013


I have had it for 3 years , been feeding it with growmore and chicken manure pellets, it has been in a big tub until 2 weeks ago when i put it in the garden

29 Sep, 2013


Leave putting your potash on until the early Spring though - the tree won't be taking it up over the winter and as its very soluble it could have all washed out of the soil by then if you put it on in autumn.

Nitrogen is for green growth, potash for flowers.

29 Sep, 2013


thank you all for your advice

30 Sep, 2013


Ah, the fog of ignorance begins to clear, thanks for the extra info, Keimon. I think you'll find, now its in the ground, there won't be a problem with the tree flowering, though it may take a year to settle in properly before it flowers prolifically. You can add sulphate of potash by sprinkling on the ground around the base of the tree in early Spring if you want to, but also rake in Growmore, leave out the chicken pellets. The NPK for Growmore is 7-7-7, in other words, balanced, whereas chicken manure pellets have an NPK of 4-2-1, so they're heavier on the nitrogen. Many fruiting plants benefit from sulphate of potash (raspberries, for instance) but actually, pears usually flower perfectly well without adding it at all, it's not essential. Keep the tree well watered now, and during dry spells in spring and summer next year, couple of gallons a week it needs as a minimum.

30 Sep, 2013

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