Soil and Situation. Apricots require a sheltered, sunny position and rather rich, well-drained soil. Extra drainage, with rubble buried 2 ft. beneath surface, may be necessary. They are usually grown against south or south-west walls or in sunny greenhouses. Borders are specially prepared. If the natural soil is very heavy or sandy, it is removed and replaced with good loam. In any case, plenty of old mortar rubble or ground chalk is added and a little well rotted manure.
Planting. This may be done at any time from late October until mid-March. Early November is usually the best time. Trees to be grown in greenhouses should always be planted then. Holes should be wide and rather shallow. Uppermost roots should be covered with 3 in. of soil. All must be made thoroughly firm. Wall trees are spaced 15 ft. apart.
Forms of Training. Apricots are almost always grown as fan trained trees. Details of training and early formation are exactly the same as for fan trained plums.
Pruning. Most of the work should be done in summer, when all badly placed or unwanted growths are rubbed out early. Other side growths should be shortened to the sixth good leaf reckoning from the base when about as thick as a pencil and commencing to get woody at the base (usually from about the middle of July outdoors). In winter, leaders are shortened by one third, or as much as is necessary to confine the tree within bounds. Side growths may be tied in without further pruning if there is room for them. Otherwise they are further shortened to three buds.
Routine Feeding. As for plums. A spring mulch of decayed manure is especially beneficial to trees grown under glass. Such must also be watered freely while in growth.
Routine Pest Control. As for plums.
Propagation. By budding in July and August as for plums. The plum stocks are also used, especially Black Damas, Mussel, Brompton, and St Julien.
Varieties of Apricot. UNDER GLASS. Breda, Aug.—Sept.; Early Moorpark, July; Frogmore Early, July; Grosse Peche, Aug.—Sept.; Hemskerke, Aug.—Sept.; Kaisha, Aug. ; Luizet, July—Aug.; Moorpark, Aug.-Sept.; New Large Early, July; Oullin’s Early Peach, Aug.; Precoce de Boulbon, July; Royal, Aug.; Shipley or Blenheim, Aug.
OUTDOORS. Breda, Sept.; Hemskerke, Sept.