The Content Of The Article:
- Location and ground
- Planting and care
- Education and editing
- Harvest and recovery
- winter protection
- Diseases and pests
Apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is also known in Austria as apricot. It comes from Asia like the peach, from the dry, climatically strongly continental steppe of Central Asia. In our gardens, the apricot is still rather exotic. This is mainly due to their heat need, because apricots bring us only in very favorable vineyards reliable crops. The small trees with the decorative red-brown bark and the light pink to rich pink flowers are also not very durable and usually show after 15 years first signs of aging. They are barely gaining and are becoming more susceptible to diseases such as peak drought (Monilia). Nevertheless, the cultivation can be worthwhile even in climatically less favorable locations, if you pull the apricots, for example, as a trellis fruit on a warm south wall.
The self-fertile, late-flowering variety 'Bergeron' is less demanding than most others and is therefore also suitable for less favorable climates. As a processing material in Germany mainly specially bred plum documents such as' St. Julien A 'and' GF 655/2 'are used. Both show compared to conventional apricot seedlings such as 'Hinduka' a significantly lower vigor and better winter hardiness. Particularly weakly growing, but still less common is the underlay 'Pumi-Select'.
The variety 'Bergeron' bears large fruits with very firm and juicy fruit pulp
Location and ground
The location for apricots should be full sun, warm and sheltered from the wind. Optimal is also a rain-protected place, such as in the rain shadow of a house wall. The space required for free-standing trees is about eight square meters. Apricots grow on the natural site on nutrient-rich, summer-dry, often stony loam or loess soils with a high proportion of humus. On damp soils with poor water extraction, the plants are very susceptible to disease.
Planting and care
The ideal season for apricots is spring. Loosen the soil deeply before planting, so that the moisture does not accumulate, especially in winter. Impermeable, damp loamy soil should be mixed with a large amount of construction sand or chippings and, if necessary, a coarse drainage layer should be added to the bottom of the planting hole. Place the root ball so deep that its surface is at ground level and mulch the young tree after planting in the root area with a thin layer of garden compost. Poor, sandy soils are best mixed with leaf or bark compost to increase humus content.
Sprinkle around three liters of garden compost per square meter in the root area of your apricot each spring to provide the plants with nutrients and to increase the humus content of the soil continuously. Further fertilization measures are not required. An excessive intake of nutrients is rather unfavorable for the plants, because the shoots then often do not mature properly until winter. A weak potassium fertilization with patent potassium after harvesting can improve the frost hardiness of the plants. The fruit hanging should be thinned out early in the spring, as apricots such as peaches by nature have a very dense fruit hanging, but the individual fruits then remain very small. If it is very dry in spring and summer, you should water the trees in time, otherwise they often throw off a large portion of the fruit.
Education and editing
Apricot trees bring the most reliable yields, if you pull the plants as a fan door. But it is also possible education as a spindle tree or bush. For the latter, one chooses three to four lateral leading gears, which are splayed as needed by the main drive or weighted with weights, so they do not develop into competitive driving. The central drive is reduced to six to seven buds above the highest standing guide. The fruits are formed on short side shoots of the biennial or perennial branches. Apricot varieties show a slightly stronger growth and do not blunt as easily as peaches. That is why they are cut only slightly after harvesting in summer. Above all, the so-called riders - on the Astoberseiten vertically tall shoots - you should remove. When the age of the sprouting and the fruit set decrease, you should gradually renew the fruit wood by shortening a part of the harvested branches on young, vital side shoots that are as close as possible to the branch base.
Most apricot varieties are self-fertile, but there are also some that need a second type of steward nearby, such as 'Orangered', 'Aurora' or 'Goldrich'.Since you can not rely on pollen donors in the neighboring gardens because of the rarity of the fruit trees here, it is best to plant two suitable varieties right next to each other. Since apricots bloom in March, pollination is mostly done by bumblebees and - in mild temperatures - also honey bees.
Harvest and recovery
Tasty and quickly made: apricot jam
Apricots ripen in our latitudes usually in July, two to three weeks after the sun reaches its peak. Fully ripe fruits usually form reddish cheeks on the sunny side, give way to gentle pressure and the pulp is dark yellow, soft and juicy. Depending on the purpose you can pick apricots but also earlier, as they ripen quickly in the house and can be stored a little longer. You can process apricots well with puree and jam, but also as dried fruit they taste excellent if you let them mature well. If you want to cook the pitted apricot halves, you should not let them mature, otherwise they will be very soft and soggy in the glass. You can also freeze the fruits, but you should then put the halves briefly in lemon juice before. Then they do not turn blue when thawing and look appetizing.
The wood of the apricots is quite hardy, even harder than that of peaches. But since they are in the juice very early in the year and flower, late frosts and late winter frosts are a problem. Above all, the flowers are destroyed in freezing temperatures and the harvest then falls out for a year. With a suitable choice of location and late flowering varieties such as 'Bergeron' the prospects for regular yields but also in climatically unfavorable locations are not bad. If your apricot is already blooming and threatening a frosty night, you should wrap the crown in a winter fleece at short notice - this often prevents crop failure.
Diseases and pests
In damp spring apricots and many varieties of sour cherries are often attacked by the top drought (Monilia). The shotgun disease and the incurable viral Scharka disease occur occasionally. Experience shows that the plants are easily affected, especially if the site conditions are not optimal. In contrast, pests hardly play a role. The roots are occasionally eaten by voles and the cherry vinegar fly imported from Japan has unfortunately discovered the sweet fruits for themselves.