August 31, 2008

Apricots Thrive in Sunny Spots ; Apricots Are so Expensive in the Shops Yet Much Easier to Grow Outdoors Than Fruits Such As Peaches and Nectarines.

Apricots are so expensive in the shops yet much easier to grow outdoors than fruits such as peaches and nectarines.

They don't suffer from leaf-curl disease and thrive in average conditions. Apricots do like warmth, however, so grow them in a sheltered, sunny spot in fertile, well-drained soil.

You will only need one tree as they will pollinate without a partner. If you are short of space, plant a compact kind which can be grown in a pot and will grow slowly, reaching only 1.2m (4ft) in 10 years.

Trees should be staked well and secured with a proper tree tie top and bottom. They should be kept well watered in their first year, mulched in spring and the ground sprinkled with a feed such as blood, bone and fishmeal in late April.

If you live in a cold area, it's worthwhile protecting the early spring flowers from frost by covering them with old net curtains or horticultural fleece.

If the crop looks as if its going to be heavy, remove a third or fourth fruit from all over the tree so that those which remain have plenty of space to mature properly. They should be ready for picking from late July through to early September.

Good varieties include Flavorcot, which is more suitable for cooler regions as it flowers later than other types and is therefore less susceptible to frost. Moorpark is another good variety with its large fruits, which ripen at the end of August.

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