Dumb Kansas farmer wants to grow some apricots

dirtpoor2April 7, 2012

Built a new shop and am planting a few trees along the driveways. I have a couple of cherries and a few apples (jonathan, arkansas black, yellow transparent). I like sauce (grin). One of my joys is to grab something fresh (fruit or veg), toss it on the seat and head off for the day. Which brings us to apricots. Used to rent a farm that had an old farmstead with an apricot tree on it. Seemed like once every 3 or 4 years the blooms wouldn't get froze and I got to enjoy a June treat. Soil is fairly well drained (rarely any ponding)and fertility is good (former crop ground). Water table is about 15ft. Fresh eating first with dyhydration probably next on the list. Looks like a lot of choices out there. Later flowering or a long flowering period seem like something to be desired.I am located in SC KS on the OK/KS border Any thoughts? TIA Dirt

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olympia_gardener(5)

Chinese Sweet Pit is later bloomer and I read somewhere tastes decent too.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 3:59PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I might have a little better answer in a couple months but my proven performers are Tomcot and Robada.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oak Creek Orchards apricots

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 4:48PM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

Tomcot blooms second of twenty five varieties of Apricot I grow. In the last two seasons Tomcot was blooming ten days earlier than Sugar Pearls. There are better Apricots in frost prone areas. Harcot Hargrand bloom late.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 10:26AM
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ltilton

I believe all of the Har series is bred to bloom late. They're recommended for marginal areas, like mine.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 11:34AM
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fabaceae_native

Obviously there is no easy answer, as the latest bloomers in Texas are apparently some of the earliest in Long Island. Kansas is much more like TX than NY though...

In NM most years there is virtually no difference in bloom time among apricot varieties, because flowering comes on so suddenly. Elevation differences and microclimates to some extent seem to give the only significant difference in bloom times here.

You might be best off planting what you can get locally at the desired size and price. Like you said, you'll only have a crop once every few years anyway.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 1:17PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

"In NM most years there is virtually no difference in bloom time among apricot varieties, because flowering comes on so suddenly."

That's the way it is in KS too. I've tried to grow various apricots including Sugar Pearl, Tomcot, and some of the Har series. They all bloom about the same time and all get froze out most years. A couple years ago I cut them all down.

I've been discussing an apricot (Zard) with Scott Smith that is successful in MD.

According to Scott, it blooms with peaches, and has a very good flavor. It has some skin and rot issues and is small, but I intend to give it a try here.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 8:58PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Zard outlasted nearly all the peach blooms this year. The only other very late cot I have is Canadian White Blenheim and it is either closely related to Zard or genetically identical. Unfortunately its hard to find; I think Bob Purvis may be selling trees. Chinese I don't recall blooming all that late, but I moved it and it has not bloomed in several years.

Scott

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 9:43PM
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persianmd2orchard

Scott, I thought Tomcot was your only reliable apricot for the area, maybe I should try to find a Zard too. It's got a Persian name it sounds like (zard means yellow).

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 9:59PM
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sautesmom

You can special order Canadian White Blenheim from Dave Wilson through their SOFT list in October, and Bay Laurel will ship it if you do it through them.

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 11:11PM
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dirtpoor2

Thanks everyone for the replies. Looks like A person just needs to be lucky. I'll take lucky over good any day. Probably try some Hars.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:17PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

PersianMD, Zard is a picky apricot to grow and it doesn't produce much. Still, it tastes great. Yes its Persian and its yellow. There is a really reliable Persian one called Shekar Pareh, it is a plumcot. It doesn't get all that sweet but its still a good fruit.

dirtpoor, Zard will give you a week or two more but its all a big dice roll so getting Hargrand for example is probably not a bad idea. Some people say Tomcot has a more staggered bloom so you are more likely to get a crop; I never noticed a lot of difference there myself.

Scott

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:30AM
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