Organic Pecan & Fruit Tree Program

Pecan trees and fruit trees can be grown organically with great success.

Plant adapted small-nut varieties like Caddo, Kanza, and native pecans. Plant trees in wide, rough-sided, or square holes, backfill with soil from the hole (no amendments), and settle the soil with water. Do not tamp. Add a 1 inch layer of lava sand and compost mix and finish with a 3 to 5 inch layer of coarse-textured native cedar mulch. Do not stake the tree, wrap its trunk, or cut back the top.

Mechanical aeration of the root zone of existing trees is beneficial, but tilling, disking, or plowing destroys feeder roots and should not be done. Pecans should never have bare soil. The root zone should always be covered with mulches and/or native grasses and legumes.

Feeding Schedule

Round #1
February 1-15 Organic fertilizer at 20 lbs/1,000 sq ft. Lava sand or other volcanic sand at 80 lbs/1,000 sq ft, decomposed granite at 80 lbs/1,000 sq ft, and horticultural cornmeal at 20 pounds per 1,000 sq ft.

Round #2
June 1-15 Organic fertilizer at 10 lbs/1,000 sq ft, and Texas greensand at 40-80 lbs/1,000 sq ft, or soft rock phosphate at the same rate if in acid soils.

Round #3
September 15-30 Organic fertilizer at 10 lbs/1,000 sq ft and sul-po-mag at 20 lbs/1,000 sq ft.

Note: Once soil health has been achieved, Round #3 can be omitted. Rock powders are optional after the first 3 years.

Large pecan orchards can use livestock manure or compost at 1 to 2 tons/acre per year, along with green manure cover crops. Lava sand and other rock powders can be applied any time of the year. Foliar feed with Garrett Juice twice monthly.

Pest Control

Add the following to Garrett Juice and spray as needed:

Garlic tea

  • Spray at 1/4 cup/gallon or label directions

Orange oil or d-limonene

  • Spray at 1 ounce/gallon of water as a spray, use at 2 ounces/gallon of water as a drench

Potassium bicarbonate

  • Spray at 1 rounded tablespoon/gallon for diseases
  • Liquid biostimulants
  • Use per label

Neem products

  • Use per label directions for serious pest problems

Fish emulsion

  • Spray at 1-2 ounces/gallon for additional nutrient

Spray Schedule

  • 1st spraying at pink bud
  • 2nd spraying after flowers have fallen
  • 3rd spraying about June 15th
  • 4th spraying last week in August

Insect Release

Trichogramma wasps

  • Weekly releases of 10,000 to 20,000 eggs per acre or residential lot starting at bud break. Continue for 3 weeks

Green lacewings

  • Release weekly at 4,000 eggs per acre or residential lot. Continue for one month

Ladybugs

  • Release 1,500 to 2,000 adult beetles per 1,000 sq ft at the first sign of shiny honeydew on foliage
Very little pruning is needed. Maintain cover crops and/or natural mulch under the trees year round. Never cultivate the soil under pecan and fruit trees.

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