Crop focus
February 8, 2024

Spring fertilization of Pome fruits? Organo-mineral is better!

The area allocated to the cultivation of Pome Fruits in our country amounted to just under 80,000 hectares in 2023, mostly located in the northern regions, but not limited to there (for example, Campania plays an important role in the sector).

If apple growing has been increasing or at least been stable for some years, pear cultivation is instead in a difficult economic situation. However, both supply chains are among the most important in our agriculture, due to the recognized quality of the productions.


The cultivation of apple and pear trees in Italy

Based on ISTAT data, in 2023 in Italy the productive area invested in apple trees was about 54,000 hectares (with Alto-Adige, Trentino and Piedmont at the top of the ranking of regions), which provided a production – including apples intended for fresh consumption and apples ready for processing – equal to about 2.1 million tons, similar to that of 2022.

Also in 2023, the area cultivated with pear trees was instead about 23,000 hectares, located almost 60% in Emilia-Romagna and slightly down compared to the previous year. Total production, on the other hand, saw a drastic reduction, from 520,000 tons in 2022 to 280,000 tons in 2023. If we then compare the 2023 figure with that of 2018 (926,000 tons of pears produced in Italy), the drop in production reaches truly worrisome values.

The causes of this reduction are mainly due to environmental adversities, such as spring frosts, drought and recent floods, but also to important phytoiatric problems (two above all: Scab and Brown Rot), difficult to control due to the progressive reduction of active substances that can be used to contain these pathogens. As far as the problem of Brown Rot is concerned, we already dealt with the importance of using fertilizers inoculated with useful microorganisms in one of our articles, in order to promote a better phytosanitary state of the plant and at the same time provide an antagonistic interaction against the fungal inoculums present in any turf and in crop residues on the ground.


Feeding Pome Fruits from the vegetative awakening onwards

Between late winter and early spring, in view of the vegetative awakening and subsequent flowering, apple and pear trees must be adequately supported from a nutritional point of view with targeted fertilization.

The annual requirements for macroelements, to be established more precisely depending on the type of soil, the climatic conditions and the magnitude of the yields, can be placed in these ranges:

Apple tree: N 80-150 kg/ha; P205 50-100 kg/ha; K20: 200 kg/ha.

Pear tree: N 150 kg/ha; P205 80-90 kg/ha; K20: 80-120 kg/ha.

The needs of the plant vary, for each element and in the different seasons, depending on the phenological stages. The methods of distributing fertilizers, the types of products used and the weather trend obviously change the bioavailability of nutrients over time.

For both apple and pear trees, the supply of Nitrogen is crucial in spring and summer for the production of new tissues and the vegetative development of the plant. However, in the (late) summer, nitrogen fertilization must be avoided in order to avoid excessive prolongation of the growing cycle and thus failure to enter dormancy during the fall.

Phosphorus, on the other hand, is essential for flowering and root development. Its well-known tendency to insolubilization, which makes the element unavailable to plants even in the presence of a significant content in the soil (giving rise to the well-known phenomenon of phosphorus depletion), requires careful management of phosphate fertilization.

Finally, Potassium contributes to the formation of flower buds, improves resistance to diseases and contributes to fruit ripening, positively influencing photosynthesis.

It is also important to remember that adequate quantities of

Calcium and Magnesium are also essential throughout the seasons, since they are necessary for building the cell walls and for the proper development of photosynthesis.

Calcium and Potassium are also antagonists, so it is necessary to manage fertilization rationally, in order to prevent the excess of one of these two elements from causing insufficient absorption of the other.


Agribios recommends

The spring fertilization of Pome Fruits benefits from the use of organo-mineral products, able to release nutrients slowly over time, while protecting them from losses and inefficiencies, as well as contributing to the improvement of soil structure and activating useful microorganisms present in the rhizosphere.

Agricomplex 7.5.14 allows to provide, in a single step and together with the mineral fraction containing Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, a significant amount of highly humidified organic matrix, consisting of a mixture of manure. Agricomplex 7.5.14 also provides secondary nutrients and microelements, contained in the organic matrix, even if only Magnesium, Sulphur and Zinc are present in quantities that can be declared by law.

Biocomplex 6.8.12 is produced from a mixture of organic fertilizers with a high content of Nitrogen and Phosphorus with added Potassium sulphate. It provides a simultaneously fast and long-lasting fertilizing action, with the gradual release of all the organic nitrogen contained, which allows a single distribution at the beginning of the crop cycle. In fact, Biocomplex 6.8.12 combines the fertilizing action of the organic component with the availability of readily effective nitrogen, thanks to the presence of free amino acids. They perform a biostimulating action in synergy with humic acids, allowing a rapid resumption of plant root activity even under adverse conditions, such as, for example, in the case of thermal stress. Biocomplex 6.8.12 also promotes intense microbial activity in the soil with a positive effect on fertility. The presence of Potassium is also fundamental, which allows reliable qualitative-quantitative production results, improving the resistance of plants to water and thermal stress, the production of sugar, the size and color of the fruits. The use of BIOCOMPLEX 6.8.12 also makes it possible to increase soil water retention capacity and cation exchange capacity, reducing the danger of nutrient runoff.

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