British grown apricots are currently in the news with home grown fruit on sale in supermarkets this year. This is remarkable. Apricots are a difficult fruit to grow successfully in the English climate for a number of reasons and in particular because the trees flower so early – before the plums and cherries. Their early blossom is often damaged by a spring frost with the consequent loss of a crop. In Kent, this year apricot trees were in flower during early to mid-April and pollination over by the end of the month. A time when other fruit tree blossoms, such as those of early varieties of apples, were at risk when the temperature fell to – 3°C on Sunday April 26. The apricots escaped, it seems, and there is a good crop in Kent’s recently established apricot orchards.
Amateurs growing apricots are also benefiting from this year’s weather and enjoying home grown fruit. The above picture of an abundant harvest of the Tomcot apricot is of a tree growing in a polythene tunnel tunnel in Adrian Baggaley’s garden near Nottingham, sufficiently far north to need some protection to fruit well in any year.
Are other readers experiencing a good crop of apricots – do let us know. And it would be interesting to hear from readers in warmer climates where apricots fruit readily and reliably.