Apricots are one of the most popular summer fruits: thanks to their sweetness and ease of consumption, they are really loved by everyone. They are used for fresh, syrupy or for the production of juices and compotes. Anyone with even a small plot of land would like to grow at least one tree. The cultivation is not the easiest, especially for those who live in the North or in the foothills.
To obtain good harvests with a certain continuity it is important to choose the variety carefully and prepare the soil scrupulously (avoiding water stagnation) to avoid running into many typical diseases.
It arrived in Europe about 2000 years ago thanks to the Romans and soon became common throughout the Mediterranean area, where it found the ideal conditions for growth and fruiting: short, not too harsh winters alternating with hot and fairly dry summers.
Even today, the best results are achieved in the milder regions, but elsewhere it is possible to obtain good satisfaction thanks to the selection of varieties. If we live in the northern regions we can focus on late flowering and fruiting cultivars (July-August): in this way we will avoid the damage caused by frost and heavy spring rains, a real plague for apricots.
- Prunus armeniaca is a plant of Chinese origin, some say it may come from the areas of Persia and Armenia. Tree of medium size, generally reaches 5-7 m in height, has leaves of a diameter of up to 5 cm.
- I have in pot grown an apricot that this year is flowering, but the flowers fall and there are no fruits. I would like to politely know why. My name is Enzo Morino and my email is enzo28m@hotmail….
- The apricot plant is one of those that are commonly grown in vegetable gardens and orchards; it is of oriental origin, from the Chinese territories, but has spread widely in Italy, where the apricot plant is…
- Good morning, I premise that I am totally inexperienced in the subject, in my garden I have an apricot of 10-15 years that however fails to ripen its fruits as they fall to the ground when they are still alive.
Planting and care
Let’s place the plant in a sunny area, taking particular care of the drainage in the hole. In addition to pruning (each variety can have different needs), it is good to administer abundant annual manure as well as an adequate dose of fertilizer for fruit trees. Almost everywhere in Italy, irrigation is superfluous, especially on well-franked plants.
Careful planning at the time of planting will allow us to get the most out of our plot. In general, we recommend that you first obtain information from the nurseries specialising in fruit trees in our area. We will get good advice and, usually, the varieties proposed will be those that have given the best results in that area, adapting very well to the climate and soil.
Here are some of the most popular late ripening varieties (from the first ten days of July onwards) in Northern Italy:
– Polonais is a fast-growing, medium-high productivity apricot. The fruits are oval, large, medium orange with red touches. The flesh is firm, with a balanced taste and a well detached stone.
– Hargrand Cultivar of Canadian origin that has obtained excellent results in Northern Italy. It has medium vigour and intermediate flowering, as well as being self-fertile. The fruit is medium-large, yellow-orange, very consistent and resistant to handling and transport. The taste is moderately sweet, although there are also acidulous notes.
– Pisana Tree growing medium fast, but with fairly high production and homogeneous in the years. Self-compatible plant with late flowering. The fruit is large and smooth, yellow and red with orange flesh of good taste. Very resistant to handling.
– Bergeron Variety of French origin from the Drôme region. In Italy it gives good results in some areas of the north (high hills, with harsh winters). It is characterized by late flowering and self-compatible, in addition to a high vigor that brings it quickly into production. The fruits are medium in size, orange and green. The flesh is very firm and has a good taste.
– San Castrese Originally from Campania, it is very vigorous and guarantees abundant and constant harvests. The fruits are quite large, round, yellow and orange. The flesh is very consistent, but not exceptional flavor.
– Tonda di Costigliole Variety originating in Piedmont (in particular in the Cuneo area). The tree is very vigorous and guarantees average productivity. The fruits are medium in size, intense yellow tinged with red. The flesh is fairly firm and has an excellent flavour.
Royal apricot of Imola
This is a traditional variety from Emilia Romagna. In the past, in fact, near Imola and Bologna, it was not difficult to come across large crops in which this variety was largely prevalent. Today it is considered a little outdated, but for some aspects it can still be interesting, especially to be introduced in the family orchard. From its can boast the intense flavor, sweet with some acidic touches.
Due to its low resistance to handling, it is almost always intended for consumption as a direct fresh product or at most for sale in local markets. However, it can also be used to make juices and compotes. One of its peculiarities is the stone: it contains an exceptionally sweet almond (armellina) which can be used in confectionery, either whole or dried and reduced to flour.
It is an extremely easy variety to find in nurseries, DIY and even supermarkets.