container apricots: question for Fruitnut

creekweb(6,7)March 7, 2013

I have a couple of apricot trees growing in 15 gallon pots planted last spring (from Fowlers) and now about 5 x 4 feet at shuck split stage and about to go outdoors tomorrow where they'll stay unless cold weather is forecasted. I don't plan on using any pesticides. What would you recommend as a fertilizer regimen and how often applied, how severely would you thin the fruit and any other thoughts about these that you think may be helpful.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Wow, that's interesting you are already shuck split in zone 6. And you say they are about to go outdoors. Where have they been this winter and how did you get chilling?

For fertilizer I've used 21-0-0 or one of those slow release complete fertilizers, usually some of both. As long as you get adequate growth you are OK.

I thin to about a 6 inch spacing. Could probably leave more but highest brix was always my goal. To do that you can't over crop. On a 4x5ft tree maybe 50-60 fruit but that's a pure guess. I just go by looks number of fruit compared to amount of leaves.

Water is a key factor but I never figured out how to optimize watering in a pot. Sometimes the fruit was great and sometimes not so much.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 11:40PM
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creekweb(6,7)

Thanks Fruitnut. These trees were kept in a low light space where the temperature was mostly between 35 - 45F during the winter. About 3 weeks ago they started to break bud and I moved them to an area with temps 50 - 60.

I'm surprised and encouraged that a potted apricot fruiting for the first time might sustain as many as 60 quality fruit.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 4:19PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Wonderful, 35-45F will do the job on chilling. Wish I could hold that all winter on my cots. Don't put too much faith in my fruit numbers. On a first fruit tree I'd say a third to half that is more like what I've done. Cots will hold a lot of fruit. I've seen trees so heavily laden that the fruit matured a 4-6 weeks late. Not only was the fruit nearly worthless but half the trees died the next winter. They were too drained of carbohydrates to survive the cold. That won't happen at 35-45F but too much fruit can surely reduce eating quality.

Please post back with a picture and report if possible.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 5:19PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I think i had a dozen peaches on my 15 gallon tree last year... I watered it probably every single day. I'm not sure it would carry more then say 20 to 25 peaches... they were big peaches. I do feed often... Seems to me that trees in pots runt out very quickly... I was looking at my tree this afternoon in the garage and it looks loaded with fruit buds...so i'll have to report back on what kind of yield i get.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 7:50PM
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