Most apricots are self fertile so a partner is not required, but as the blossom is so early in the year hand pollination helps.
SITE AND SOIL - Apricot trees flower earlier than peaches and nectarines, so protect blossom in spring with hessian or fleece. They need more humus and more lime in the soil, a warm sunny site, with shelter from cold winter winds. Growing them next to a south facing wall is ideal. Water and feed regularly during the growing period.
HARVESTING APRICOTS - In August, pick them when they come away easily from the tree, and keep indoors for a day or two before eating. Apricots store better than peaches and nectarines and will keep for several weeks in a cool place – unwrapped in a box lined with paper. They can also be bottled or frozen (remove stones before freezing).
PRUNING - After three growing seasons, a well-trained peach/nectarine tree should have 3-5 scaffold branches with wide angels, evenly distributed around the tree.
Year 4 onwards: As growth begins in spring, remove shoots growing directly towards or away from wall. Pinch out growth buds on each flowering lateral to leave one at the base on in the middle and one at the top. In May cut back each lateral shoot to six leaves. After the harvest cut out the fruited laterals back to the base shoot.
PESTS AND DISEASES - Apricots are not susceptible to ‘peach leaf curl’. They can sometimes be affected by silver leaf and bacterial canker, but it isn’t a major problem, especially if pruning is carried out in summer.
Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information given both on our lists and labels. However, some details may vary according to special or geographical circumstances. Varieties offered are subject to availability.