Having your own apricot tree Prunus armeniaca in the garden is a pure delight. Being able to go down and pick ripe, really fresh apricots is a sensation that no bought apricot can ever replicate. The sooner you plant your apricot tree in garden , the sooner you will get to having really delicious apricots . Dwarf trees are best for small garden spaces . If buying a bare-root tree, get one that is about 2-3 years old . Growing from seed requires a lot of patience and you will need to stratify the seed to get it to germinate in your garden.
Ensure that you have the right environment to grow apricots in your garden. It should be a cultivar suited to your local climate. Apricot trees tend to prefer cooler climates but can be grown as far as sub-tropical climates provided it doesn’t get too warm during the winter this causes early fruiting.
Plant the apricot tree in winter or early spring. The only exception to this is a mild climate, when autumn (fall) planting is acceptable. Water well once planted and add a light layer of mulch around the tree. Don’t let the mulch touch the bark though.
If fan-training the apricot, plant it 15cm (6″) away from the wall or fence.
Water weekly and deeply. Apricots can suffer from root rot, so don’t over-water them; a deep soaking once a week is best. Ensure that there is good drainage in the soil.
Thin the fruit. It is a good idea to thin the fruit at regular intervals. Begin when they are the size of cherries through to almost full size. Focus on removing fruits that don’t look of good quality, are misshapen, or unhealthy in appearance. If a cluster has more than three to four apricots, thin these to allow the apricots on the cluster to reach full maturity
Harvesting The fruit is ready from late July to August, when it is soft and detaches easily from the tree. Harvest and transport apricots carefully, to avoid bruising. Apricots can only be stored for a few days so are best consumed immediately – straight from the tree! Alternatively, they can be dried or made into preserves.
Prune. The apricot tree has its best quality and most abundant cropping on short spurs on two to three year old wood. Therefore, don’t prune extensively or you will get a poor crop. For the first few years, only prune very lightly, if at all. Cut older shoots out every four to six years to make way for new shoots; choose those no longer fruiting.