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Growing Avocado Trees in Texas

Although San Diego, California, is the avocado king when it comes to commercial growing, avocado trees do quite well in southern Texas. Gardeners in other areas of Texas may have trouble growing the tree because of its sensitivity to frost, but horticulturists at Texas A&M have suggestions for how to protect the tree in the winter. 'Lula' is the suggested avocado variety for Texas growers. It will bear fruit in October and can be picked through January.

Plant the avocado tree in an area of the garden that gets a full day of sun, preferably on the south side of the house, 8 to 10 feet the house.

Eliminate weeds and grass as they appear, especially in young avocado trees.

Apply a 3-inch layer of organic mulch, such as shredded fir bark, around the base of the avocado tree, keeping it 6 to 8 inches from the trunk, to help prevent weed growth and keep the soil moist.

Water the avocado tree deeply and slowly with at least 3 inches of water. Allow the soil to dry out before watering again, which, depending on the weather, could mean every day or once a week.

Fertilize your Texas avocado tree monthly, from February to September, with 21-0-0 fertilizer. Feed the tree 1/2 cup of fertilizer per month for the first year the tree is in the ground. Fertilize the tree with 1 cup per month in the second year and 2 cups per month every year thereafter.

Protect the avocado tree from frost by mounding soil around the base of the tree. Water the tree two to three days before an expected frost, horticulturists at Texas A&M advise, and cover the tree during freezing weather with plastic or a blanket. Provide heat sources such as camp lanterns, electric hears or decorative lights under the covering.

Tip

Weeds and grass around an avadado compete for water and other resources vital to the tree's roots.

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