Jujube fertiliser recommendations

Page last updated: Monday, 10 August 2020 - 11:24am

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Pre-plant recommendations

Inorganic fertilisers

For new orchard sites apply phosphorus and trace elements prior to planting and cultivate into the soil. The following fertiliser blend is recommended for apple crops on new orchard sites in the south west of WA.

Table 3  Suggested pre-plant fertiliser for jujube (kg/ha)


Kg/ha of fertiliser

Kg/ha of each element



136 kg of P

Magnesium sulphate#


25 kg of Mg

Manganese sulphate


25 kg of Mn

Copper sulphate


12.5 kg of Cu

Zinc oxide*


70 kg of Zn

# Magnesium may also be applied separately as dolomite lime (about 10-12% Mg).  Magnesium sulphate may be deleted from the initial blend and applied through the irrigation, if required, after planting.

* Zinc sulphate may be substituted for zinc oxide, with approximately 350kg of zinc sulphate required to supply the equivalent amount of zinc.

This blend should be top dressed along the proposed tree rows in a 2 metre wide strip, followed by deep cultivation, four to five weeks before planting. 

Conduct a pre plant soil test. If the soil pHwater is less than 5.5 apply lime to bring the pHwater up to at least 6.5. Cultivate the lime into the soil. If the site for the proposed jujube orchard is old horticultural land the soil test results may show high levels of some of the nutrients listed in Table 3. In this case the pre plant fertiliser applications may be able to be reduced.

Organic fertilisers

Organic fertilisers such as manures and composts can be applied instead of the inorganic fertilisers listed above, or in combination with inorganic fertilisers. It is important to have the nutrient analysis of any organic amendments to be able to calculate how much to apply. The rate at which organic products break down and release nutrients is very variable. For example, fresh manures can release large amounts of nitrogen within the first three weeks following application while composts are more stable and will release much smaller amounts of nutrients over many years. Apply organic amendments to the ground surface either along the tree line (for wide spaced tree rows) or over the whole orchard and cultivate into the soil.

Do not plant jujube trees into soil within three weeks of applying fresh manure as the large amounts of nitrogen being released can kill the trees. Organic materials can contain weed seeds, glass and other impurities. 

Table 4 gives the nutrient concentrations of deep litter poultry manure and commercially available compost. The application of raw poultry manure is banned in areas from Harvey to Gingin and in the Perth Hills. Manure that has been treated in a manner to control stable fly can be used in these areas (often partially composted). 

Table 4  Moisture content, bulk density and nutrient concentrations (% dry matter) of chicken manure and a commercially available compost


Moisture content

Bulk density


Average Nitrogen

Average Phosphorus

Average Potassium

Poultry manure

25% (Summer)











Table 5 shows the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium contained in 10 tonnes of poultry manure and a commercially available compost. These products also contain many of the other macro and trace elements required by plants.

Table 5  Kilograms of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium contained in 10 tonnes of poultry manure and a commercially available compost


Rate (t/ha)

Kg N/ha

Kg P/ha

Kg K/ha

Poultry manure*










*10 t/ha is equivalent to about 30 m3/ha (bulk density =0.4 and 75 % dry matter)

In order to supply the same amount of phosphorus as the pre plant inorganic program listed in Table 3 you would need to apply 15 tonnes/ha (45 m3/ha) of poultry manure or 40 tonnes per hectare of compost (assuming the same composition as listed in Table 4). In addition to the fertiliser value of composts and manures there may be other benefits to the soil such as increasing its ability to hold nutrients.  As mentioned above composts and to a lesser extent manures release nutrients over a longer period time than inorganic fertilisers.