I have a few fruit trees (apple, pears, oranges, grapes) and need to fertilize them. What is the best way to fertilize them? I am planning to use a mix of chicken manure and horse manure. Do I need to add anything else? What proportion of each should I use? Do I just spread it around the tree base or do I have to dig soil around the main step? My concern around digging the soil is potentially damaging the roots.
It is a good thing to have mixed fruit trees. I hope they are not too close together.
The best fertilizer is nature. But nature needs time to do its work. You should store leaves and mulched grass beneath your trees, and you shall see a lot of little beasts doing the fertilizing work for you. Of course some of them will take their share of the fruits, but if there is a sufficient variety of life beneath your trees, the balance between predators should allow you to have your share too.
Here is how it looks on my field -- see how big the grass grows around the tree:
And after I worked around and spread the mulch
right its a peculiar sense of beauty, but just because we're not used to it
note that mulch should not be disposed too deep close around the trunk. It can over-heat and over-moist the plant and kill it. Keep a 2 inches space free around the trunk, and remove wild weeds too.