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Grow your own apricots in a planter

The small fruit is bulging: with a full-bodied flavour, a lot of vitamins and a stone. Big up this apricot stone by growing your own apricot tree.

The small fruits which you can buy at the local super market have their origins in warm, mediterranean climates. In order to get the apricots to your local super market, the apricots need to be harvested unripe. The reason for this method is that ripe apricots cannot be stored or transported for a long time. Many people, however, do not know that apricots develop their full aroma and taste only when they grow on the tree, up to the time when they are ripe. In order to achieve a tasty and juicy flavour and a richess in vitamin fruit, why not grow your own apricot tree?

We recommend to prepare the stone immediately after you have eaten the apricot. If the stone is exposed to the air for too long, it gets less capable of germinating. At first you remove the remaining fruit pulp. This is important to prevent mold. There are three options to plant your apricot stone: the stone remains as it is, it is pretreated or the hard skin of the stone is removed.

If you plant the stone as it is, the process of germinating will take longer because the offspring has to crack the hard skin of the stone with its own efforts. It is also possible to roughen the stone with sand paper for preparation. This way, the seed will be able to absorb water better, thus germinating faster and cracking the hard skin more easily. 

The third possibility is to crack the stone and plant the almond-shaped seed directly into the soil.
If you have in mind to plant the stone and not only the seed, it is a good idea to put the stone into the fridge for a week: This will speed up the process of germination.

The soil you use for planting should be sandy and unfertilized. This also prevents mold. After you have planted the stone or the seed, it is important to keep the soil moist. With apricot stones you need a little bit of patience. It could take up to one year till the first green tips come to light. When they are finally visible, put the planter into a bright place. Keep in mind to water the small plant and protect it against direct sunlight.

You can then plant the young apricot tree in your garden. Make sure to look for a place where the tree is protected against rain and wind.

In springtime the apricot tree usually blooms with white and pink-colored blossoms. The tree bark will slowly get a red-brown colour. If all goes well, the apricot tree will bear fruits for the first time after four or five years. Typical for apricots is the vertical seam which divides the fruit in two parts. With sufficient sun, the apricot cheeks will turn red.

© volff – Fotolia.com

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