Q and A: growing rhubarb and Zone 3 apricots — 4 Comments

  1. Belle,

    You don’t have to use any sugar to can rhubarb but it sure improves the taste! But canned any way, rhubarb should be processed for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.

  2. I saw a rhubarb canning recipe on that states 2 lbs rhubarb cover with half a cup sugar . When juices flow boil and when reduced can for 10 min water bath? think this is ok? lots less sugar than most recipes

  3. Jim, I have 3 apricot trees growing in a borderline zone 3-4 high wind climate and all produce fruit regularly. Rootstock is the key to fruit production – verify and be persistent about getting that question answered to be sure you have a high chill hour requirement Manchurian rootstock. Then research the specifics of the variety you are considering before you buy. Many trees are sold with assurances that they are OK in a particular area that don’t live past their first year or never produce fruit. Then choose or create a microclimate that will encourage late blooming and protect the blossoms. Apricot blossoms are especially sensitive to fluctuating temperatures. Apricot flowers differentiate in late summer and fall, and adequate water is crucial for good fruit bud development the next spring. Apricots are especially sensitive to water stress then and a factor in your fruit production issues could be water stress. Send your apricot trees into winter with the maximum amount of stored carbohydrates so they are as strong for spring blooming as possible. In difficult and challenging growing conditions even with the best rootstock your fruit success depends on studying your tree’s microclimate than then taking corrective action to provide the best possible conditions. If you live in a high wind, fluctuating spring temperature climate and are really determined to grow apricots, you can keep your trees pruned low and open centered and make a plastic pipe tent shelter for them with 20 foot long pieces of pipe, rebar, a sheet of lighter weight Agribon and some plastic or aluminum clamps to fit the pipe. The Agribon will last 3 or 4 springs. Or you can build a temporary hay bale shelter around your tree. You can’t control the weather, but you can pay attention to all the little details that combine to create the best growing conditions and the strongest blossoms and trees. You can have fruit, but you may have to put more time into it and think more than other growers. When your tree produces apricots be sure to thin them.