Growing Apricot Bushes
Most varieties are self-fertile, but there are very few bees about at the time apricots flower. Therefore dust the fully open blossoms with a camel-hair brush to pollinate the flowers and so set the fruit. This method of fertilizing is doubly important if the trees are protected with muslin or polythene at flowering time.
As the apricot flowers on two-year-old wood as well as on older shoots, and sometimes even on old spurs, there are several schools of thought about the best pruning method, but it is generally agreed that quite a good proportion of old wood can be left. Light summer pruning should be done, the laterals being tipped, and any branches or laterals growing away from the wall removed.
Apricots are propagated by budding named varieties on to plum stocks. For large trees, use the vigorous plum stock, Brompton. For small trees, the plum stock St. Julien A (East Mailing) is recommended, although this root stock may be difficult to obtain. An alternative is Common Mussel.
Apricots need careful picking as the stalks tear out easily. Leave the fruits on the trees until they are really ripe — usually at the end of July.
If wasps are prevalent and likely to spoil the fruit, pick a day or two earlier and ripen off in a warm window.