Growing apricots beside a small pond is essential.
Fruits and vegetables are important in our everyday´s food. If you have a small fruit plantation at your backyard garden; or in your front door landscape, you will never ever miss the fresh, fragrant, juicy and delicious food all year round.
Although we have only a small backyard garden, it did not stop us for growing our favourite stone fruits and soft berries.
Three years ago, when we first gone to roam around in a local well known fruit tree nursery, the sparkling golden orange coloured apricots image came into my mind.
Imagine, how lovely to have one apricot tree in your backyard. I was tempted to buy one bare-root stock; because I have never seen any fresh apricots on tree before. So, we had our first fruit tree planted in our backyard garden.
We bought an original variety of golden apricots, "Prunus armeniaca (Tros oranje struik in Dutch)" semi-dwarf shrub tree; and planted it immediately before the frost by end of 2005. And it started flowering in Spring 2006 (below picture 1).
Thereafter, it expanded in November 2007 (picture 2), April 2008 (picture 3), and in March 2009 (picture 4) showing flower buds.
This apricot tree is a disease resistant plant. She is winter-hard. She loves a sunny and cold protected area. She needs no partner to bare fruits: It means she is self-fertilising. These Apricot fruits could be ripen on tree during mid-summer.
Growing apricots is just like growing any other fruit trees. Generally, besides the rich loam and well drainage soil, good fresh air circulation, clean water and earth worm manured organic fertilizers, she needs plenty of space and a little more attention.
We made the soil loose before the winter, so that the soil will have good drainage. After winter, we made first the frozen ground loose, then we cover one layer of ordinary potting soil and garden ground mix on top of the whole garden, when we prepared our garden for the spring.
During the growth, we served the fruit tree only natural Chlorine free mineral water and rain water when needed.
Apricot tree will only bare fruits on the one year old shoots and fruit-spurs. So, be sure to prune her every year backwards to promote new shoots.
Apricot tree pruning normally could be done before and after winter.
You can prune the new shoots about half backwards before the winter; and top the tree a little in the spring on a frost free day. The tree will try her best to grow to your satisfaction with some help from the nature.
The best time for planting fruit trees should be before the frost started. Give the tree plenty of water and enough space to develop its roots.
After a long winter sleep, you have to wake the apricot tree up with some clean good energy sun water in the spring; it must be on a sunshine day.
When you stand near and under the dwarf apricot tree in the morning, you will smell the fresh and aromatic fragrance that you can never ever forget!
Usually the spring frost will destroy most of the apricot buds. But if you have a big fruit orchard, you may have to consider implementing a computer monitoring system that, could spray water automatically on the buds when the system detected the air temperature falls on the freezing point (danger level). The water will then form into ice, to protect the flower buds before they could be destroyed by the frost.
Last year our apricot flower buds were destroyed during the spring frost; as we did not do any protection. This year the spring frost was during the flowering time (above picture 5), and the small greenish fruits appeared on tree in 25 days (above picture 6).
The fruits were enlarging on 1st May (picture 7), and the whole tree had expanded (picture 8).
We were surprised to see the fruits were became full size; only after they changed colour from green to yellow (above picture 9&10).
As usual some fruits may be harvested earlier; so we had our first reddish orange fruit on 24th July (above picture 11). And the rest were continued rippening under the beautiful sunlight (picture 12).
In July all fruits turned to yellow (picture 13).
When the apricots are ripe, they are soft and reddish (below picture 14&15); twist it lightly, it would be easily fall off the branch.
During the fruit ripening time; the small birds (below picture 16) may come and visit your tree for the insects and the fruits as well.
I thought I could keep some apricot fruits on the tree as a surprise for my Singapore friends that would be coming for visiting in a few days time.
However, I discovered the naughty black bird had stolen some fruits and destroyed some (picture 18). So we had no choice, but to harvest the rest of them immediately (below picture 17 & 19).
In September we had done a complete hair cut for the tree; and it had a new neighbour; a little small water garden (above picture 20). And so; the cycle re-started in April 2010 (below picture 21-24).
On the harvest day, my mum-in-law came and she told me that she had never eaten fresh apricots in her whole life; she could not wait to taste them before dinner. So, we had taken two for ourselves and given the rest to her.
Spray free organic apricot fruits can create great happiness for everyone!