TX Organic Research Center



Fruit and Pecan Tree Program Update 2013


Fruit and Pecan Tree Program
Update - 2013


Pecan trees and other fruit trees can be grown organically with great success. First of all, trees should be planted high with natural organic techniques. Trunk flares should be easily visible. Fruit trees planted to low in the ground is one of the most common mistakes I see across the country.

The other basic need is to mulch properly. Pecan trees and fruit trees should never have bare soil in the root zone. The soil should be covered with native shredded mulches and/or native grasses and legumes. On the other hand, mulch should never be piled up on the flares and trunks of trees. The best mulch to use is shredded native tree trimmings.



Round #1 January - February (timing differences based upon where you live): Mechanically aerate root zone and apply organic fertilizer @ 20 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft., whole ground cornmeal at 20 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft., dry molasses @ 20 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft., and zeolite at 20 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.

Round #2 June: Organic fertilizer @ 10 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft., greensand @ 40 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. and rock minerals at 40 - 80 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. Rock mineral choices include lava sand, granite sand, Flora-Stem, soft rock phosphate, Azomite and Redmond Conditioner.

Round #3 September: Organic fertilizer @ 10 -15 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. and sul-po-mag @ 20 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.   


1st spraying: At pink bud before flowers have broken, Spray Garrett Juice Plus with BioWash. Also drench Garrett Juice Plus and Bio S.I. Lawn & Garden Select at pink bud.

2nd spraying: Spray Garrett Juice Plus again after flowers have fallen. For best results, spray every two weeks, but spray at least once a month during the growing season is important.

3rd spraying: About June 15th (or mid-season in northern locations).

4th spraying: Last week in August through mid September. Use additional sprayings as time and budget allow.

Note: If other quality organic sprays are used, make sure apple cider vinegar is included at one ounce per gallon. It tends to be missing from other organic mixes. For insect outbreaks, orange oil or essential oil products can be added at 1-2 oz. per gallon of spray. Garlic oil products can help as preventatives or curatives for both insect and disease issues.

ALTERNATE PROGRAM (After first year or for limited budget projects)

1) Apply dry molasses or other approved organic fertilizer at 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
2) Spray Garrett Juice Plus,
Bio S.I. Lawn & Garden Select and BioWash every 30 days.



For pecans, very little pruning is needed or recommended. Maintain cover crops and/or natural mulch under the trees year round. Never cultivate the soil under pecan or other fruit trees. Remove dead, diseased and conflicting limbs but do not over-prune. Do not make flush cuts. Leave the branch collars intact. Do not paint cuts



Trichogramma wasps: Release 25,000 eggs per acre or residential lot at bud break in the spring. Place the 1 tabs or strips in the crotches of trees with pins or twist ties. Use additional releases as needed.

Beneficial nematodes: One release in spring at leaf emergence. Apply at 1,000,000 nematodes per 2000 sq. ft. (about 500 per sq. ft.).


Green lacewings: Release 4,000 eggs per acre or residential lot weekly for one month.

Ladybugs: Optional and as needed - release 1,500 - 2,000 adult beetles per 1,000 sq. ft. when shiny honeydew is on foliage.


To discuss this newsletter or any other topic, tune in 8am -11am CST to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. The phone number is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area. Organic Club of America Members can log in on Sunday mornings to see the Dirt Doctor's Live Broadcast.

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Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett

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