Apricots can be grown in the UK in a sunny position, despite common belief due to the modern varieties now available. They can be vulnerable to frost but choose your variety wisely, dependent on your location.
Apricots do take some looking after but are a very attractive addition to your plot or garden with spring blossoms and juicy, sweet fruit during summer.
Bareroot plants can be planted during autumn when it is dormant, but the soil is still warm. Container grown trees can be planted any time.
Choose a spot in the sun that is sheltered from frosts in well-drained soil and dig a hole for the root ball, adding in some well-rotted manure or compost and water-in well. Mulch around the base to supress the weeds and retain moisture. Apricot trees can grow up to 12 feet tall, but you can train them to grow bushier and smaller or fanned out against a wall. Check the variety you have for details.
Water regularly until the tree is established after a couple of years. Protect it from frosts and pests. Be mindful of canker also. Apricot trees also need pruning during spring or the end of the summer. The fruits grow off shoots from the previous year; on older wood.
Apricots are self-fertile but sometimes need help with pollination if it is cooler weather or you are in a more northern area. You can carefully move pollen from one bloom of blossom to another using a paintbrush or something similar.
Apricots will be ready to harvest July - August. Pick the apricots and transport them carefully to avoid bruising them. You can also thin out a heavy glut to avoid damage to the fruits. They are ready when they easily come away when picking.
Apricots are delicious eaten fresh and raw, as well as being used in desserts and jams.