Facts and Steps to Plant and Care for an Apricot Tree
Have you ever plucked and eaten an apricot directly from the tree?
Those who have know how amazing the experience is. The taste of the fresh fruit directly from a tree cannot be compared to that of store-bought fruits. The experience becomes even more wonderful when the fruit comes from the tree that you planted with your own hands. Seeing a tree you planted yourself blooming and giving fruits is overwhelming. The pleasure that it brings cannot be defined in words.
So, think twice before you are about to throw away the pit of fresh and succulent apricot the next time. There are now so many varieties of apricots that can be grown in backyards and home gardens, and you should consider growing your own apricot tree.
How to Grow Your Own Apricot Tree?
To begin one of the most amazing experiences of your life, you either need to buy a sapling from a local nursery or store or you can save the pits of apricots and use them.
Preparing the Seeds
Store Bought Sapling
If you are going to use a sapling, make sure you buy the tree that is bare-root and dormant. If possible, try to get a tree that is about a year old. Also, remove the packaging from the tree immediately.
Rather than using only one apricot pit, it is recommended that you use few of them as this will increase the chances of germination.
Prepare the pits for sowing by scrubbing off any fruit flesh, and allowing them to dry for few hours. Now take a hammer or a nutcracker and crack open the apricot pits. Make sure you do it carefully and not crush the seeds inside the pits. Let the seeds dry for few more hours.
Now, place the seeds in a zip-lock or a covered jar and put it in the refrigerator for about 2 months. The process is called ‘stratification’.
Important: Store-bought seeds are usually sold after being stratified. Skip this step if you are using store-bought seeds.
After the seeds are stratified, wrap them in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. Now put them in front of a window where sunlight reaches them.
Keep checking the seeds. Once the roots start emerging, it is time to plant them.
Transfer the apricot seeds into the pot once sprouting starts. With the roots ends down, cover the seeds with the soil.
Make sure to leave about 4-inch space between seeds. Also, buy good quality soil; apricots grow well in soil that is slightly alkaline.
Caring for Apricot Tree
Keep the following important things in mind after sowing apricot seeds to ensure their proper growth:
- Apricot plants need plenty of sunlight so, make sure the plant is receiving adequate sunlight
- These plants are prone to frost damage. Putting them in a greenhouse or in your garage during winters is recommended.
- Make sure the soil is well draining but also holds moisture.
- If you live in a hot climate, water the plant thrice a week. But, if you are living in a cold area, watering it once a week will be enough.
- Keep an eye on insects and brown rot and use pesticides and sprays if they appear. However, do not use pesticides unless necessary as they may also kill the pollinating insects that are actually your helpers.
- Use fertilizers during late winters and when fruits start growing.
- Apricot plants start to produce fruits in 3 to 5 years; its long, but it is worth the time and effort.
If you want to grow an apricot tree in your garden, but do not have time or knowledge that it requires, contact Santa Fe Tree Farm to get help through each and every step of planting and caring for your plants and trees.