The basic requirements are the same as for the peach and nectarines except that light, sandy soils are not suitable and need to be improved. In all areas dig in well rotted manure or compost before planting, water well and then lightly mulch with leaf mould or compost.
The young dwarf bush should then be pruned as for the bush plum and the mature tree should be pruned the same as for the acid cherry Only light pruning should be done as the best fruits are formed on 2 or 3 year old wood. Excessive pruning will result in a poor crop.
The fan trained apricot should be pruned in the early years as you would a fan trained peach. The mature fan trained apricot is pruned as you would a fan trained plum.
Start thinning when the fruits are the size of cherries, first removing any mis-shapen fruits. Later on thin pairs and clusters, leave 3-4" between each fruit.
In February apply Growmore at 2oz per square yard and loz Nitro Chalk per square yard. Mulch each year to a depth of 1". If your soil has a tendancy to be short of lime this will be needed about every 4 years on average.
As for peaches.
The fruits are ripe about 1 week after they have stopped swelling and have reached their full colour. The fruit should come away easily in the hand