Growing Apricots

Latest Update 9th August 2016.

Apricot Tree
  • Well all that blossom we had turned into nice healthy fruit last year just starting to turn yellow in this photo.  A few weeks later it ripened to a nice orange colour and I start to harvest it.  
  • I like to harvest apricots when the flesh is still firm for preserving, leaving some to fully ripen on the tree.  The fruit is at its sweetest when the flesh is soft, but the birds are waiting for that moment.
  • We managed to pick quite a lot of them fully ripe under nets where the birds couldn't get them. 
  • However, the birds got their fair share from the top of the tree, and we all ended up happy.  
Details.
  • Recommended soil pH:                              6.0 - 7.0.
  • Plant Spacings (centres):                           2000mm.
  • Family Group:                                            Prunus.
  • Self Pollinating.
  • Companion Plants:                                    Geranium, Tansy, Clover, Comfrey.
  • Garden bed type:                                       Ring line irrigated organic bed.
  • Climate:                                                    Warm Temperate.
  • Geographic Hemisphere:                            Southern. 
Nutrition. 
  • This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. 
  • It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
  • More from nutrition data.self.com. 
Notes. 
Growing Conditions:
  • Full sun. 
  • Minimise soil disturbances to maintain a natural soil structure.
  • Do not allow the soil to dry out completely. 
Feeding the Soil
  • Remove mulch, dead leaves and fallen branches from the previous year in August and dispose of it in the compost heap.
  • Apply a 60mm top dressing of home made compost and cover it with straw mulch.
  • Keep the mulch clear of the tree's trunk to prevent collar rot.
Growing Instructions
  • Propagate Apricots by taking soft wood cuttings and grafting them onto a suitable root stock.
  • Lightly prune Apricot trees in November and reduce fruit numbers to improve size and quality .
  • Prune again in Summer after the fruit has been harvested (Click to see Demo).
Harvesting and Storage
  • Pick from the tree when ripe in early summer.  Here is a link to a website covering in detail how to Harvest Apricots.
  • Preserve your surplus in glass preserving jars after poaching them lightly in sugar syrup.  Sterilise them in a pressure cooker and store them on shelves in a cool shady place in the utility room.
  • Apricots make an excellent jam of course, and we usually fill a couple of large mason jars each harvest. 
  • In the past, I have preserved poached apricots in zip bags and stored them as flat packs in the freezer.  It works very well and they make an excellent pie filling. 
Organic Pest Control.
  •  Leaf Curl.
    • Apply a foliar spray of aerated compost tea at pink bud stage in spring.
    • Repeat these foliar sprays every month until leaf fall.  Thoroughly spray the newly set fruit in November.
    • Keep the soil clear of rotting fruit and decaying vegetation.