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Growing on the High Plains: Eulogy for the Apricot

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Yes, we have no apricots (again)! In theory, apricot trees should thrive in our High Plains climate. They are hardy enough to survive the cold winters, and our dry summers actually aid in the maturation of their soft, sweet summer bounty. So why do our region’s apricot trees only yield fruit every 5 to 10 years?

Today’s Growing on the High Plains serves as an icy reminder of the debilitating toll late-spring frosts can have on the early-flowering apricot. I’ll also lay down a few tips for growers just a stone-fruit’s throw south of us, where the apricot cultivation is less of a fruitless endeavor.

And finally, is there a right way to pronounce these storied, orange-hued gems? Only the cowardly lion knows for sure.

Years ago Skip Mancini left the rocky coast of Northern California to return to her roots in the heartland. Her San Francisco friends, concerned over her decision to live in a desolate flatland best known for a Hollywood tornado, were afraid she would wither and die on the vine. With pioneer spirit, Skip planted a garden. She began to learn about growing not only flowers and vegetables, but hearts and minds. If you agree that the prairie is a special place, we think you'll enjoy her weekly sojourns into Growing on the High Plains.