Avocados are one of the most delicious and nutritious fruits. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Growing the fruit is pretty easy, whether you are an experienced gardener or a novice. However, it also requires a lot of patience, since many varieties may take several years before producing its fruit fruits.
Step to Grow Avocado from Seed
1. Prepare the Seeds
Get a mature avocado. Cut it to remove the seed and wash it. Take four toothpicks and pierce them into the seed and space them evenly. Make sure the toothpicks stick firmly.
Differentiate between the top and the bottom part. The top part is usually elongated, while the bottom one is flat.
Submerge the bottom part of the seed in a glass of water. Use a clear glass, so that you can see when the seed starts to form roots and to know when to change the water. Changing the water daily is important, to prevent the growth of fungus, mold, and bacteria
The seed will begin sprouting after 4-8 weeks. The top part will dry while the outer covering will peel off. A crack will form, and a taproot will emerge from it. It will continue elongating and then sprout at the top. You can also buy seedlings and skip the preparation stage.
2. Plant the Seedling in a Pot
When the seedling attains a height of 15 cm, plant it in a pot with potting mix. Be careful not to damage the roots. The roots should not be more than 3 inches. If they have exceeded this length, cut them using scissors. Sterilize the scissors with rubbing alcohol, to avoid contaminating your plant. Cover the seedling halfway with soil and leave the upper part uncovered. Place the pot in a sunny place.
You can also plant the seedling directly on the ground. Ensure the planting area is free from strong winds and frost. The soil should also be fertile and well-draining.
3. Watering Your Plant
Water your plant frequently. Do not let the soil dry out. Also, be careful not to soak it with water.
For the plants in outdoor gardens, water the entire area surrounding the plant. Avocados are shallow-rooted, which means the soil can dry out quickly.
4. Pinching the Leaves
Remove two sets of leaves at the top of the plant when it attains a height of 12 inches. Pinching encourages the plant to develop more leaves.
5. Adding Fertilizer
Avocado trees will thrive well when well fed. They prefer fertilizers rich in nitrogen, together with other minerals. Feed your plant every 16 weeks.
6. Harvesting Avocados
Your tree may take some years before developing its first fruits. The plant produces firm fruits that soften after ripening. Let the fruits mature fully before harvesting. Place your fruits indoors where there is no sun. Within one or two weeks, they will be soft and ready for use.
Your fruits may start softening at the same time. Slow down the process by keeping some of them in the refrigerator, to avoid wastage, since they go bad very quickly after ripening.
Hass is a widely known avocado variety. Many people love the fruit for its sweet, creamy flavor. It is also the most preferred fruit by manufacturers who make different products from avocados.
The reed avocado variety has a round shape and is green in color.it has a large seed and yellow flesh. The tree can get as high as 37 feet long. They have a nice texture that makes them ideal for eating raw or making guacamole.
A Choquette avocado tree can grow up to 30 feet tall, but you can maintain it to 20 feet by frequent pruning. The tree produces buttery fruits with an awesome flavor. It can be grown in pots and can bear frost.
Lula avocados are pear-shaped. This variety is hardy and tolerates extreme temperature conditions. The tree produces large green fruits that grow between October and February. The tree may grow up to a height if 25 feet. Since its roots spread widely, it is not advisable to grow the trees near a building as it may cause damages to the foundations.
The maluma avocado variety shares several characteristics with the Hass variety. It is easily controllable and bears larger fruits than the Hass variety. It also matures faster than Hass. The fruits have a purple-black color and are pear-shaped. Just like the Hass avocado, maluma avocados have a nutty taste.
Gwen avocado fruits resemble those of Hass, only that they are larger. They have a buttery flavor and are oval-shaped. The tree is small in size and classified as a dwarf variety. Despite its small size, it produces more yields than most large avocado tree varieties. Many people prefer to eat it raw or make guacamole due to its excellent flavor.
The Fuerte avocado tree produces elongated avocados with a creamy flavor. One of the things that separate it from other avocado varieties is that its skin is easy to peel. The tree can grow up 45 feet tall. You can prune it to a manageable size, to make fruit picking easy. The Fuerte variety is frost tolerant.
Pests and Diseases That Affect Avocado Trees
Anthracnose is a fungus disease that affects avocado fruits. It is hard to detect it when the avocado is not cut. To prevent the disease from attacking your fruits, spray the trees with an orchard spray once in a month immediately, the tree produces its first fruit set. Do this in every growing season.
2. Root rot
Root rot mostly affects trees grown in poorly drained soils. Overwatering also causes root rot. Water your tree properly and avoid growing them in soils with poor drainage to prevent this disease.
Sunblotch is incurable. Affected plants have stained fruits, the branches may develop a yellow color, and the bark gets cracks. The only way to prevent this disastrous disease is by buying certified seeds.
4. Insect borers
Borers dig tunnels into the tree and weaken the branches, which might easily fall off. Get rid of affected branches immediately you identify them
Caterpillars attack the leaves, fruits, and flowers of the plant. Spray pesticides to get rid of them.
Thrips mostly affect fruits by scaring them. Prune your trees carefully and add adequate fertilizer to your plants to prevent the attack by thrips.
Frequently Asked Questions
Avocado fruits can stay in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Don’t cut them. Freeze them as a whole
Leaf dropping can be a sign of various avocado diseases such as root rot.it could also be that mites have attacked the tree.
Depending on the variety, an avocado tree can continue producing fruits up to 100 years.
Pruning helps the trees develop more foliage and become bushier.
Avocados can also grow indoors. Go for the dwarf varieties since some varieties can get tall and difficult to grow indoors.
When provided with the right growing conditions, the Hass avocado trees begin to produce fruits 3-4 years after planting.