Apricots are one of Mother Nature's most delightful creations. Sweet and juicy, they make wonderful jams and lovely desserts. Growing them takes a little know-how and a lot of patience, but they're well worth the effort. Here's how to care for your apricot tree and reap the succulent rewards.
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Check with your local gardening club for the apricot tree varieties suited for your area. Most apricot trees do best on the pacific coast, like the "Blenheim" and "Tilton," but there are some varieties that do well in the southern Midwest and eastern climates like the "Goldcot" and "Wilson Delicious."
Select placement of your apricot tree in well-drained soil. You can grow them as a fan tree by training the tree to grow in a fan-shape against a wall. Make sure your wall is south-facing to provide protection for those early spring blossoms. You can also grow an apricot tree as a dwarf in a mild climate if they're sheltered from colder winds.
Fertilize your apricot tree's flowers. Since apricots flower early, they don't have the benefit of insects to help them pollinate. Simply dab a small soft paint brush on the open blossoms every other day or so to pollinate the blossoms yourself.
Prune in early spring when growth begins, either in a fan-shape or as a dwarf tree. Keep in mind trees will bear fruit on one-year and older wood. (See the related eHow articles titled "How to Prune a Fan-Shaped Tree" and "How to Prune a Dwarf tree.)
Thin your tree when the branches are weighted down with too much fruit. Make sure the stones (pits) are formed before thinning.
Feed your apricot trees in late winter or early spring before growth begins. Distribute the fertilizer evenly in an area a little larger than the spread of the branches.