Planting Avocado Tree
Avocado is a delicious, nutrient-rich fruit that can be enjoyed year-round in various dishes and snacks. Avocados are fairly easy to grow and the tree can be propagated indoors or out. Our guide will cover how to grow an avocado tree without toothpicks – a tried and tested method that requires some planning, but yields pleasing results.
Select Appropriate Avocado Variety:
There is a variety of avocado trees that must be considered while planting. Smaller varieties such as the sensitive ‘Bacon’, ‘Fuerte’ and ‘Gwen’ are recommended for indoor planting. For outdoor planting, larger sized avocado varieties such as ‘Hass’, ‘Reed’ and ‘Zutano’ are recommended.
Choosing Fertile Soil for Growing Trees
Next, it is important to select fertile and nutrient-rich soil for the tree to not only survive but thrive. Sandy loam soil having an organic content of 1-2% is ideal for avocado trees as it is highly absorbent and drains well, allowing enough moisture to reach the plant’s roots. The pH levels of the soil should also be monitored and adjusted regularly to balance out the acidity levels.
Where to Plant and Positioning a Tree
When deciding the location for planting, consider a spot where the tree can receive ample sunlight but won’t be overexposed. Additionally, the area should be free of conflicting plantations as it may hinder the growth and spread of the tree. Position the tree in a manner that allows the roots to spread so that they can receive optimum moisture and nutrition.
This method allows gardeners to grow avocado trees without investing in new soil. In this method, avocados are placed in water-filled containers or cups and inserted with a wooden toothpick in the area where the stem meets the fruit. Place the avocado seed in such a manner that about an inch of the seed is submerged beneath the water.
The toothpick should be able to hold the seed in place as the stem part needs to stay above the water. One of the advantages of this method is that it does not require too much soil and the seed does not need to be handled much as the toothpick serves to keep it in place.
Caring for an Avocado Tree
Once the tree has begun to grow, regular watering and ample sunlight must be provided. To ensure that the tree receives adequate sunlight, either natural sunlight or artificial light source are used.
Moreover, take care to prune and groom the tree regularly while controlling pests and weeds. One should apply a balanced fertilizer every other week as it helps the tree to take root deeper as well as make it strong.
Harvesting an Avocado Tree
The tree is ready to harvest during the summer and early fall season in which the fruits will ripen and start turning dark green in color on the tree itself. Once it has acquired a prominent color, the fruit can be plucked off. For storing, take care to keep the avocado fruits in a cool and dry place.
When to Repot the Avocado Tree
Once the tree has grown two leaves, the seedling can be repotted in a large container filled with fertilized soil. To determine whether the avocado tree requires more space, one should observe the change in root system – whether it is expanding and protruding outside the seed or if new shoot and leaves are sprouting out.
Pruning an Avocado Tree
To reduce overgrowth and retain the old roots, it is important to prune the grown tree from time to time. Pruning should be done after the harvesting season since it helps in the production of new fruits.
First, take out the dead, damaged, or diseased parts from the branches, followed by the cutting off of overly long and thin branches. The overall pruning eventually helps in developing sturdy and strong branches that can hold fruit for a longer period.
Avocado trees are also in need of additional care like mulching, fertilizing and pest control. Cover the soil near the roots of the tree with thick mulch which acts as a protective layer and reduces the growth of pests and weed.
For fertilizing, apply compost and balanced organic fertilizer to the soil to ensure that the tree’s roots are receiving enough nutrients. Furthermore, insecticides should be regularly and lightly applied to the case of any pest or bug attack.
Protecting Avocado Tree from Extreme Weather
Avocado trees are vulnerable to extreme weather conditions and hence must be protected from the same. To protect from extreme heat, water the tree with a few gallon of water once a week as it helps in keeping it cool.
Additionally, for extreme cold, wrap and cover the tree with a blanket or plank for insulation overnight. Low temperatures if left exposed may damage the bark of the tree, whereas wrapping the tree in a blanket can protect the same from harsh winds and snow.
Preventing Disease and Pest Attack
It is important to identify early signs of any possible disease or pest attack. Avocado trees may be attacked by a variety of pests and diseases such as mealy bugs, fungus, and root rot. If detected, seek professional help to get rid of such infestations as soon as possible.
Never allow standing water around the base of the tree as wet soil can easily invite root rot. Furthermore, take care to disinfect any tools used while gardening to prevent further spread of any possible diseases.
Re-harvesting an Avocado Tree
In order to get multiple harvests off of a single tree annually, simply prune the tree after every harvest and allow for it to fully recover and regenerate for a couple of months before pruning again.
This will allow for multiple harvests off of the same tree without the need to plant or buy new trees. For best results, prune during the winter season as the tree will have enough time to regrow and bear fruit the following year.