Growing Apricot Trees In Arizona

Growing Apricot Trees In Arizona

If you love apricots and gardening then you should have an apricot tree in your garden. Growing Apricot trees in Arizona differs from other places in the country. It is hotter and more dry in Arizona, especially in the South. While Apricot trees do prefer the cooler temperatures of the north, we can still get them to grow well in the south.

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Apricot Tree Propagation
Apricot Tree Propagation Arizona

All Apricot trees are grown from the stone in the fruit, which is the seed. It takes 3 or 4 years for the stone to develop into a fruit bearing tree. This is why most gardeners choose to buy their apricot trees from a local nursery. These trees can be transplanted into your backyard and start producing fruit a whole lot faster than starting with a seed. The trees nurseries stock are usually already a couple of years old. This cuts out a lot of the wait time for you’re to get fruit from your new tree. That being said it will still be a couple years before you can expect fruit from your apricot tree.

Planting Apricot Trees
Planting Apricot Trees

While most places in the country recommend full sun for the apricot tree, Arizona gets more sun than most. This means that partial shade is not a bad idea for your tree. Choose a location that isn’t too close to the house or power lines that gets good sun.

Get your shovel and dig a deep hole in your chosen location. Make it deep enough to place some decomposed compost, if you have some. Blend the compost with your regular garden soil. If you bought a tree in a peat pot you don’t have to take it out, but you can slit the sides. This will make it easier for the roots to get out and for the tree to get established. If your apricot tree came in a burlap bag take the bag off and gently spread the roots in the hole you dug.

Replace the dirt that you dug out so that the tree is covered to the same depth it was when it was sold. You want to test how deep the hole you dug will be with the compost so when you place your tree in the hole that you have the mark where the bag or soil was in the peat pot is at the same level with the garden soil. Once the tree is at the right level and the soil is back make sure to give the soil a good soak with your hose.

Growing Apricot Trees
Growing Apricot Trees Arizona

Vigorous growth is common after planting the apricot tree in the first year. It is recommended to stake the tree for support in the first year of growth. Without the support strong winds can push and warp your tree. This can make your apricot tree grow at an angle instead of straight up. Excessive winds and not stakes can even mean that your tree is uprooted and damaged.

Fertilizing the apricot tree should happen during late winter and early spring. Another round of fertilizer when the tree is producing fruit will help produce more and better fruit. Many gardeners choose fruit tree fertilizer spikes as a way to encourage good growth. These spikes are driven into the soil and slowly release the fertilizer that is specifically engineered to fruit trees.

Pest & Insect Control
Pest & Insect Control Apricot Trees Arizona

Like most fruit trees insects and pests can be a nuisance. Every spring before the buds open up it is a good idea to apply a dormant oil fruit tree spray. To protect your fruit it is very important to use both a spray against plant disease and insecticides. Safety comes first when using these products and proper clothing, eye protection, and face masks should be used. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for using these products for correct mixing. If your apricot tree is suffering from birds pecking your fruit you can get netting that will keep the birds away from the fruit.

Apricot Tree Pruning
Apricot Tree Pruning Arizona

If your goal is to produce fruit from your tree, which would be the point, make sure you don’t over prune. Apricots grow from 2nd year growth and you need to make sure you leave it in the right places. Lightly pruning in the early years will help you get more fruit out of your apricot tree earlier.

Effective pruning helps all plants grow better and produce more fruit. The best time to prune your apricot tree is when it is coldest, during the winter time. You want to make sure you get it done before the new year’s growth starts to pop out.

Apricot Trees For Sale
Apricot Trees For Sale Mesa Gilbert Queen Creek

If you are ready to plant an apricot tree in Arizona A&P Nursery has 4 locations in the East Phoenix Valley to help you get your project started. We have the tools, fertilizers, trees, and even have services to get the tree planted for you. No matter how you want to get started we have the advice and services to fit your needs. Call or stop by one of our 4 locations.

Growing a Vegetable Garden in Arizona

Growing a Vegetable Garden in Arizona

If you are searching for “Growing a Vegetable Garden in Arizona” you’ve probably just bought your first home in the state and want to kick off your gardening right. A&P Nursery is Phoenix’ East Valley Nursery and gardening headquarters for the right tools, right plants, and the knowledge to do it right. This article is designed to help you understand the basics of gardening in the state.

Questions answered in this post:

What it takes to grow a vegetable garden in AZWhat does it take to vegetable garden in Arizona? – Gardening in Arizona can present unique challenges whether you are growing a garden for aesthetic purposes or one that produces vegetables and fruits. The intense desert climate in Arizona only lends itself to certain plant species that can flourish in the unique and dry climate. This article is going to focus on vegetable bearing gardens and how to maximize their potential if you happen to live in the desert Southwest.

The best location to grow your vegetable garden in AZWhat’s the best location for my vegetable garden in Arizona? – The first factors you need to consider are going to be the basics that will apply to gardening no matter where you are located on the planet; soil quality, water, sun exposure, timing. Making sure you have an adequate plan and location that will fully facilitate your garden’s anticipated needs is going to have the most influence on the potential success of your garden and the extent that the success can be maximized. Scout your property and pay close attention to the lay of the land and its surroundings. If you can’t find a plot with enough sun exposure, you may need to plant or remove a tree or two and also place or remove any objects you may want that can assist in the proper amount of sunlight reaching the hungry plants in your garden.  Vegetables need at least 6 hours of sunlight; they also need adequate time in the shade as the AZ sun can be quite harsh on overexposed plants.

The best soil type for vegetable growing in AZWhich soil type is best for growing vegetables in Arizona?  The vast majority of Mesa plants absolutely love gardening loam.  Loam is a soil classification that means that the soil is a balance clay and sandy soil.  This gives you the benefits of both and alleviates the drawbacks.

The best size of garden to start with in MesaWhat’s the best size of vegetable garden to start with? – The size of your garden is a factor that you need to decide early on as well. Starting small is best for most people because a smaller garden is much easier to manage. Starting smaller affords you the opportunity to know how much time and effort goes into even a small amount of plants, which will let you know how big of a garden you can actually attend to adequately.

Preparing the ground for a vegetable gardenHow do I prepare the ground for my Mesa vegetable garden? – Once you find the right plot for your garden you may have some work to do to properly prep it for planting. Sod may be on the plot you select and will need to be removed in order to be able to till the soil. Once you have removed the sod and tilled the soil, you can add organic compost, manure and planting soil before tilling a final time before starting the planting process.

Raised Garden Beds in MesaHow do I control soil quality and watering better? – Another way to get started with your garden is to use raised garden beds.  Using a raised garden system is highly recommended for gardening in Arizona. This will give you valuable added control over the overall conditions and soil quality of your garden.  If you aren’t Bob Villa you can always get yourself a pre-fabricated raised garden bed kit.

The vegtables that grow best in Mesa AZWhat vegetables grow best in Arizona? – The next factor to consider is which vegetable bearing plants can thrive in Arizona. The crops that are easiest to grow in AZ are green beans, herbs, peppers, sugar, snap peas, tomatoes, radishes, and carrots. Sticking to these varieties initially will not only set you up for success, it will give you valuable experience that will be much needed if you plan on branching out and growing varieties that are harder to foster in AZ. The best times of year to plant the seeds for the plants species listed above is between the months of November and March. Understand that around January frost becomes more likely and you should make sure your crops are covered so they do not become damaged or even die, due to frost exposure.

Growing a double crop of vegtables in Mesa AZCan I grow two crops of vegetables in Mesa?  There is a unique advantage to growing vegetables in Arizona and that is the fact that many vegetables can have double growing seasons. The fact that you can double your yearly harvests in AZ means that you potentially grow twice as much produce and that can save you money on groceries while eating fresh produce almost year round. As your green thumb becomes established, your harvests will increase and become exponentially more plentiful. This article is about vegetables, but is should be noted that the same goes for fruit and having citrus growing year round will provide a great aroma to your property as the trees bud and bear fruit.

Vegtables that love growing in Arizona SoilWhat’s the best vegetable to grow in Arizona?  Green Beans are one of the best vegetables to grow in AZ. The soil in Phoenix is especially well suited to the growing of green beans.  November is the recommended time of year to plant Green Bean seeds, just remember to cover the plants once frost becomes a threat. One option to avoid frost is to start the plants life indoors, moving them outside once the frost season has passed. You can also place tomato cages around your Green Bean plants in order to consolidate space in your garden. Sugar Snap peas are another vegetable that grows well in the same window. You can follow the same steps to avoid frost with Sugar Snap Peas that we mentioned using with Green Beans.

Vegtables that love growing in Arizona SoilAnother vegetable that loves the long growing year in Arizona is Parsley.  Parsley absolutely loves the Arizona climate and can thrive as much as you want it too. You may actually have to eventually limit the parsley as it can start to take over your garden. Planting in the springtime is recommended and once your plants begin to mature, you can have fresh parsley at the ready year round.

Best seeds for beginner vegetable gardener in Mesa AZWhat types of seeds are best for beginners in Phoenix? For the beginner gardener it helps to have a type of seed that germinates quickly and is heartier.  In Arizona, it is best to select seeds that have gestation periods of 60 days or less as they are the easiest to foster in the desert climate.

Gardening Tools for Growing vegtables in Mesa AZWhat tools do I need to garden in Arizona? – Like most things in life the right tools for the job makes the job that much easier, and more fun.  A good pair of gloves for the handling of prickly items, and also to offer a little protection from insects goes a long way. You’ll want a sturdy shovel for those pesky rocks and tougher soil that you might need to dig in to plant items with deeper root system, such as trees.  Having a garden spade makes maintaining edges around flower beds and the preparation for installing raised garden beds much easier than using a rounded shovel edge.

Watering system for vegetable gardens in Mesa AZHow do I water my vegetable Garden in Arizona? – Depending on the type of garden you plant and which vegetables you choose you will need different watering systems.  But having an automated system makes it that much easier for the passionate gardener.  You can get drip lines that put the water directly on the ground next to your vegetables instead of sprinklers, which are best suited for water lawns.

Keeping pests out of your garden in Mesa AZHow do I keep pests away from your vegetable garden? – There are various kinds of pests you can encounter here in Arizona.  Some will need professional removal, such as venomous snakes or scorpions.  Contact a licensed professional that has the training and right equipment to remove such pests.  For the rest of the insects and foraging animals you can use chicken wire or other types of fencing to keep them out.  As for insects there are different kinds of sprays available at your local gardening shop.

East Phoenix Valley Gardening Supply

A&P Nursery is your local expert in Mesa, Arizona.  We have the knowledge, we have the tools, and we are here to help you start, maintain, and push your garden up to a new level.  Contact our experts for the help that will get results and make your hard work come to bear great results.

“I was in a bind, I needed to fix up the garden of a rental house that my lease was coming to an end. The owners had planted geraniums and some had died during the summer heat. I had gone to Lowes/Home Depot in hopes to pick up a few and none had any (a little too early in the season for them). I looked online for local nursery’s and this was the closest one too me. I called ahead and the person on the phone was incredibly helpful and friendly. Made my way over and was instantly greeted the second I walked in. They walked me to the geraniums and helped me pick out the best one. They picked it up, rung it up, and brought it out to the car for me. They were knowledgeable, friendly, and even funny. This will be my official nursery for all of my planting needs.”
Kelly J. – 10/1/2016

Mesa Vegetable Gardening Specialists Nursery AZ


Gardening is Good for The Soul

Life can be hectic and it can be hard to find much needed peace and sanctuary in our everyday lives. Creating a space specifically for you to separate from the rest of the world and be with your thoughts in solitude is very healthy and beneficial for us to do. One way people decide to accomplish this is by gardening. Applying your focus and efforts into fostering life in a quiet and peaceful environment can be a physical form of meditation, which can be very revitalizing. Creating a barrier between your obligations and doing what you desire is something we should all do because it helps us to not feel like all we do is work or fulfill those obligations. Finding balance in life is a principle that has been held since ancient times. We have always understood that we have a need to retreat within ourselves and explore our own thoughts and feeling in quiet solitude. Meditating has many forms and benefits and its practice is as old as mankind itself. Gardening is one discipline that can be considered meditative as you are usually in solitude operating in a state of peace and tranquility, even if you aren’t actively exploring introspectively

Not only is the act of gardening soothing and healing, once the space has been cultivated for a period of time you will have a beautiful place to escape to and enjoy in peace, even when you aren’t tending to your plants. Most people find great satisfaction and peace when they are more in tune with nature and the levels of satisfaction and peace only increase over time.  If you desire a sanctuary, why not take it upon yourself to create one? Gardening can be done on any scale from small and simple to very large and complex. Gardening can also be good for bond building. Cooperating with a partner toward the common goal of assisting your plants to thrive can be a soothing as well as a catalyst to furthering the bond between you and whoever you decide to share you gardening experience with. As time passes you both will take pride in the fact that you cultivated your new beautiful space as a team and can now enjoy it as such! Gardening really can bring a family closer together. If you have kids, gardening can be a constructive way to instill discipline and diligent work ethic as well as responsibility. There are millions of ways to learn and teach, it just so happens to be that gardening is one of the most effective methods! This will benefit your young ones in the area of producing organic food for themselves in the future as long as growing food is part of the gardening style that you choose. We live in a day and age where food is getting further and further away from being organically produced and it is greatly effecting our health as we are not receiving the nutrients that we once did from the exact same foods. Ensuring that you have organic produce is a measure you can take against this trend and it will set the foundation for practicing healthy living habits. That is the greatest thing you can give to a child!

You can choose to create a space designed to appeal to you visual senses by being more aesthetically dynamic with vibrant and bright flowers and plants. You can also create a more functional garden that can produce food for you and your family, which brings its own version of tranquility and satisfaction. There really are no limits to the creativity you can express in your garden and you may find that you have found a lifelong hobby. If a garden is especially impressive and has evolved into a feature of your home and property, it can actually raise the overall value of your house and the lot that is sits on.  With all of these benefits present, why wouldn’t you want a garden!!!? All you need to do is decide to start a garden and the rest of the steps will follow. Do yourself a favor and develop that bright and shiny green thumb that you have always secretly desired!

Ground Covering Plants Can Free You of Weeds

If you are fostering a personal home garden, you are always looking for ways to improve your garden and the efficiency of its design. The More efficient your garden design is, the more you will be rewarded by your garden with rich and vibrant blooms and fruit/vegetable yields. A great way to both add to the aesthetic of you garden and raise its efficiency is using ground cover plants to control weed growth. There are a variety of ground cover plant types available with beautiful diversity. You can almost completely eradicate the complications created by weeds by planting they ground covering plants along your garden bed. When you are deciding which ground cover plants to place in your garden, understand that the species that work best to eradicate weed growth do so because the grow as aggressively as most weeds do. Not only will your garden bed be free of the ugliness of weeds, the ground will have a lush bed of flowers covering it and giving it a vibrant, aromatic atmosphere.

Some ground covering flowers that are both effective and beautiful include: Vinca Minor, Ajuga, and English Ivy. English ivy can be especially transforming and appealing aesthetically, as it can cascade down hillsides and overtake rocks and structures which will make edges and angles appear to be softer while adding a degree of elegance and sophistication. If you are looking for options that are more colorful than ivy, look at species such as Periwinkle and Vinca Minor which show off vivid shades of blue and purple.  Ajuga, also referred to as bugleweed grows flowers that are about six inches tall and show off pinks and whites along with purple and blue depending on the species.

Adding any of these ground cover plant varieties will help your garden stay out of the clutches of weeds while enhancing its visual allure with the addition of one (or more if you’d like) ground covering plant species.

Gardening Tips for the Heat

Gardening during the hot season presents challenges that are not present during the rest of the year. If you are newer to the gardening world you may not be aware of some of these challenges or how to handle them. Even if you are an experienced gardener, brushing up is always a good idea. Staying up to speed can only enhance your abilities as a gardener as the information gets ingrained more and more over time. With that said, here are some tips to deal with the heat during the summer and keep your plants flourishing.

Add Mulch: Laying down an one to two inches of mulch over your planting beds will help you conserve moisture so you plants can stay hydrated. The sun naturally speeds up evaporation and can rob your plants of all important water.

Give Your Plants Some Space: Being careful to not over plant is important as a crowded planting bed can prevent the soil from retaining enough moisture for each plant to consume an adequate amount. Give your plants room to breathe (or drink, for that matter) and they will thrive.

Make Sure There is Shade: Making sure your plants are shaded during the hottest parts of the day will go a long way in you achieving your gardening goals during the hot portion of the year. It will help your plants stay comfortable and retain moisture.

Soak Pots: Make sure the potting mix in your pots stays moist so it can deliver water adequately to the root system of you plant. If the potting mix dries out, water will merely run down the sides of the pot, between the pot’s walls and the clump of dried out soil. Make sure your pots always contain moisture in the soil.

Use Less Fertilizer: While this may seem counter intuitive, withholding fertilizer from your plants during the summer will prevent them from growing to large and needing larger amounts of water, which can be difficult to retain.

Drink Water!!!: The Arizona heat and sun can absolutely rob your body of moisture and valuable hydration. Heat born illnesses can be extremely painful and even deadly, but they are easily avoidable. Maintaining proper hydration is all you need to do in order to keep heat stroke at bay. Take a bottle of ice cold water out into your garden with you and think about watering yourself while you are watering your plants.

Wear a Hat: Wearing hats will keep the sun out of your eyes and off of your shoulders, if the hat is fully brimmed. Sun exposure can be very damaging to your skin if the exposure is too intense. This is especially true for sensitive facial and shoulder skin.

Wear Sun Protection: Protecting your body from harmful uv rays can be done in several ways. Sun block is an option as long as you have a strong enough spf, but sun block can be harmful in it’s own right if you have allergies or sensitivities. Another option is to where light colored and lightly weighted clothing to create a barrier between your skin and the sun. Light clothing that can reflect sun light away from your skin can also help keep you cool.