This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol3", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
It may safely be affirmed that this fruit deserves more attention from growers who have walls than it has hitherto received. That there is a demand for it on the English market is evident from the large quantity imported from our southern neighbours every summer. The Apricot will do on walls with a south or south-westerly aspect; easterly is not so good for them. The remarks made as to planting for Peaches also apply to the Apricot.
The pruning is done, however, on a different system. Instead of laying in small shoots to cover the wall, as with Peaches, the summer growths must be cut back in July or early August to four or five eyes, so as to form spurs, as is done in Pears on the wall.
These spurs will, in course of time, become ungainly, and project seme distance from the wall; then they must be carefully cut back a few at a time. The tendency can be checked by judicious disbudding.
The Apricot, like the "Prince of Wales " Plum, has a wicked habit of losing its most promising branches from no apparent cause. No remedy for this, nor indeed the cause of it, has yet been discovered, though Mr. Bunyard recommends root pruning for the first four or five years after planting.
Apricots that are designed for table use (and none other are worth wall culture) must be as rigorously and carefully thinned as Peaches or Nectarines. It is well not to do all the thinning at one time, but to go over the plant two or three times. The last thinning, just after stoning, will give fruit worth cooking. [w. g. l.]
The following varieties are mostly good croppers and of fine flavour: -
Ripe mid-August. Small, roundish, deep orange-yellow flushed with red.
Ripe end of July. Large, roundish, yellow flushed with red.
Ripe end of August. Large, roundish, irregular, yellowish flushed deep orange and brownish-red.
Ripe mid-July. Large, oval, whitish, sometimes dotted and faintly flushed with red.
Ripe end of July. Large, yellow flushed with red.
Ripe end of August. Large, oval, pale yellow faintly flushed with red.
Ripe mid-August. Large, pointed, deep yellow flushed red.
Ripe end of July. Large, oval, deep yellow.