Welcome to part 1: The Getting Started Blueprint for Growing Avocados at Home
Avocado: (Persea americana) is native to the Americas and now has a wide variety of cultivars.
It can be grown almost all over the globe except the coldest parts where heavy frosts are frequent.
If left to grow on it’s own this tree spreads into the form of a large shade tree, like the fig.
When pruned it keeps sturdy, short and more manageable. Some even like to keep it low like a hedge, especially the dwarf varieties.
Either way you choose, when grown in the correct environment fruits will be of plenty.
They say that if you are successful with growing Lemons, you can also grow Avocados.
Lemons and Avocado have similar needs: free draining soils, slight acidity, regular waterings.
Both trees need plenty of high nitrogenous fertilizer, so it may be a good idea to plant them together!
As mentioned above the Avocado tree is a spreading tree, so a good annual prune is critical.
This keeps the tree at a manageable height and easy access to fruits or any pest if they arrive.
When pruning it’s a good idea to always consider one central leader. This way the tree stays more vertical and does not spread as much.
Pruning in this way also allows more light to the tree in all areas. This helps the tree photosynethise and produce a lot more fruits each season.
The Avocado tree performs much better when another tree is close by. A single tree may have both male and female flowers and be self pollinating.
Over the years all the farmers swear black and blue that having a friend close by helps increase yields.
Avocado Trees Hate Wet Feet
2 days of saturated roots can kill a tree overnight or set it back years.
This is when Phytophora strikes at the root zone and creates a form of root rot.
Signs of Phytophera are browning and curling of the leaf, looks like it’s been burnt.
To learn more about this pathogen click the link provided here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytophthora
Growing Avocados in Clay Soil & Sand
If you have a clay soil your best option is to add lots of organic matter, gypsum and grow your tree in a high mound.
Also, consider growing your Avocado tree on the highest point of your property.
Avoid planting where there are strong winds or cool breezes.
Deep sandy loam is preferable as it has plenty of drainage and holds onto it’s organic matter!
Grow A Dwarf Species in a Container
Your next option is to grow a Dwarf species of Avocado in a container. These trees grafted to a special root stock only grow to about 6 feet high and still produce a lot of fruit.
This has been my preferred method for many years now. I have even put together a series of videos.
These can found at my YouTube Channel Marty’s Garden
The Avocado originated in the rain-forest of the Americas
This tree needs warmth and protection from winds to thrive.
It hates to have dry roots, so continual moisture is a must. Make sure you add plenty of mulch to the rootzone.
The root-zone will only come as wide as the tree, so no need to spread it too wide.
You must also make sure that your mulch is light and fluffy and not compacted.
Compacted mulch does not allow the water to penetrate, or oxygen to reach the roots.
This is critical, because it also allows microbes to congregate.
Microbes are essential in any garden. As it’s such a huge subject i suggest you do some research and find out why!
Avocados come in B and A Types
Most Avocados are either B or A type, and the normal recommendation is to have one of each for good pollination.
Below I have created a chart to help you with your choices.
Avocado Companion Plants
Yes, these tree have friends too!
African Marigolds: Help protect the root zone from pathogens.
Comfrey: Makes a wonderful nutritious compost and leaf litter.
It also has a deep root which draws nutrients back to the subsurface in it’s leaf.
Plant bother species around the tree root zone and you will see amazing results.
Mulching with Comfrey will save you money on fertilizer and this plant also has many other uses.
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Marty Ware (Australian Agricultural Horticulturist)