The flavour of fresh, tree ripened apricots is unbeatable. A wide range of varieties are available. New dwarf hybrids have been developed for the smaller garden.
Winter is the perfect time to plant and prune your trees. Garden centres have the best selection of new season’s trees available in the winter months.
Generally Apricots are broken down into groups depending on when they fruit.
Early varieties: Katy Cot - large free stone variety
Mid Season Varieties: Moorpark - fabulous flavour
Late Season varieties: Cluthalate
When, where and how to plant:
The best selection of Apricot trees will be available during the winter months. As the trees are dormant, it is the ideal planting time.
Plant in fertile well-drained soil, in a sunny position. Protect from strong winds when trees are young. Bare rooted plants must be planted during the winter months.
Water well during dry periods and when the fruit is developing.
Prune annually to shape, removing any dead or diseased wood. Protect from Spring frosts. Plant 4-5m apart from other apricot trees. Water well during dry periods and when the fruit is developing.
Most varieties need cold winter temperatures to set the fruit buds. Most varieties are self fertile, but will produce heavier and more regular crops if pollinated by another variety.
The fruit starts to soften a few days before picking. Harvest when the fruit easily comes away from the tree or when you can smell the sweetness of the fruit. Store carefully as fruit bruises easily.
How to use:
Apricots can be used in many ways. Jams, preserving, relishes and chutneys all store well. Or try using in pies, puddings and crumbles.