For planting and growing advice read our general guide to fruit trees.
APRICOTS, PEACHES & NECTARINES - The advent of new rootstocks and modern varieties means that these lovely fruits can now be very successfully cultivated in the garden.
The best method is to fan train them against a warm south or southwest facing wall. Here the tree receives the warmth of the sun throughout the day and then benefits from the heat that has been absorbed by the bricks through the time when in shade or darkness. Thus the fruits will ripen with little check become large and sweet (note that if a suitable wall is not available a warm fence or trellis in a sheltered sunny part of the garden is a very good second choice).
Before planting erect a trellis against the wall. The lattice should be 1' square and the trellis should measure approximately 2.1m (7') long x 1.8m (6') high. A fan of 2.4m (10 x 8') canes should be attached to this which will act as a support and guide for the tree.
Plant the tree against the trellis at the base of the fan. Shortly after the tree produces its first leaves, cut back the central leader to about 45cm (18") above ground level. As the side branches develop they can be trained along the canes, attaching them with soft string. (Note that wire ties should not be used as they will damage the tree.) Peaches and nectarines can also be grown in the open as a bush in milder southern counties and modern apricots are being successfully grown in this way south of a line from the Wash across to North Wales.
Very wet autumn and winter are ideal conditions for all types of cankers to thrive as both the bacterial and neural forms move across the bark and infect any lesions and bud sites. We suggest spraying the plants with copper sulphate as a foliar feed application.