Position – Plant your apricot tree in a spot in which it will get full sun for the best fruits. They can tolerate some shade, but they will yield more fruit and grow more vigorously the more sun they receive.
Size – Apricot trees can grow to about 8 to 10 metres tall. Plan the site before planting them, keeping the tree away from external walls, electrical lines and other trees. Plant it in a protected area, if possible, as strong winds can damage branches and leaves.
Soil Type – Apricot trees can thrive in most well-draining soil types, but prefer slightly acidic soil. Loosen the ground in the area before planting it about 1.5 metres deep in your normal garden soil.
Mulch – Add a thick layer of pine bark mulch, keeping it about 20 to 30 centimetres away from the tree trunk itself (any closer and it may cause excess moisture to damage the trunk). This will retain the moisture in the soil and will prevent weeds from taking over.
Watering – Water your apricot tree every-second day after transplanting it for the first week. Thereafter, reduce your watering to twice a week in dry or hot weather for the next 2 to 3 months. In cooler weather, water it every couple of weeks if there is no rain. Too much water can cause root rot but do not allow the roots to dry out completely.
Pruning – Prune the top and sides of your apricot tree regularly in spring and early autumn to prevent it from growing too large. This will also allow light into the centre of the tree and it will be easier to harvest the fruit. Cut out dead or diseased branches completely whenever they appear and dispose of them immediately.
Harvesting – Your apricots are ready to pick when they have changed colour from green to yellow-orange and are still firm, but give in under a little pressure. They will ripen after being picked if you keep them at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.