The avocado is a tropical fruit that is native to Central America. The fruit has a leathery skin, a fruit with a buttery consistency and a large, egg-shaped seed. When planted in the ground, an avocado may grow as tall as 80 feet in height with oval or elliptical-shaped leaves. Avocado trees grown from seed may take up to 10 years to bear fruit, while grafted varieties may produce fruit within 3 years. Fruiting is generally irregular, and an avocado tree will not produce fruit unless conditions are ideal.
Select a planting site for your tree with well-drained soil, which receives shade from the western sun, protection from high winds and has a neutral pH of 6.5.
Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of your tree. Place the tree’s root ball into the hole and cover with soil. Pat the soil to dislodge any air pockets.
Water your avocado tree at the same time you water your grass in the spring, summer and fall. Soil should dry out slightly between watering. Do not water in winter.
Fertilize your plants after they are a year old with a balanced, citrus fertilizer.
Force your plants to bloom if they do not naturally bloom by making a series of small cuts in the surface of the bark with a gardening knife. Do not cut the bark enough that you permanently damage the tree. According to the website The Fruit Expert, the trunk of your tree should not be smaller than 5 feet when you do this. The stress put on the tree will force it to flower.
Pollinate the flowers to encourage fruiting by transferring the pollen from the stamens of one flower to the pistil of another with a small paint brush. Although avocado flowers have both the male and female parts, they are divided into two kings. Type A releases pollen in the morning, and pollinates in the afternoon. Type B pollinates in the morning and releases pollen in the afternoon. For the best results, cross-pollinate an avocado from type A with one from type B.
Harvest the fruits as they become ripe. Mexican varieties of avocado tree produce fruit that ripens within 6 to 8 months of blooming.
Things You Will Need
- Garden hose
- Balanced fertilizer (10-10-10)
- Gardening knife
- Small paint brush
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