Start to finish- everything you need to know about growing Avocados. Avocados are a wonderfully nutritious and tasty fruit packed with vitamins and minerals. They boast a great nutty flavor and are great by themselves with a little salt & pepper or in recipes, salads, sandwiches, guacamole and other dips. With a single fruit costing $1.25- $1.50 each it is easy to see why so many people would be intersted in learning how to grow Avocados.
Avocado seeds (or pits) are very easy to start and grow yourself. No special knowledge or green thumb required to enjoy 100% success. Just follow the simple instructions below and you will be growing your own Avacadoes in no time at all....well....kinda, you see the Avocado needs approx. 3-5 years to actually produce fruit, but if you get started now the time goes by pretty quick and they are a lot of fun to grow anyway.
also make a nice plant or tree for your landscape while you wait, so you can still enjoy them in the meantime.
Lets Get Started
1. First you will need an Avocado. Any kind will do as long as you enjoy the fruit (I like hass myself, but the large Florida Avocadoes are pretty good too). Now you need to carefully bisect (cut in half) the fruit being careful not to slice into the pit or seed inside. Now carefully remove the seed with a spoon. Next (and this is the best part - enjoy your Avocado - I like mine with salt & pepper as I stated above, some people like to add some lemon juice). NOTE: lemon or lime juice also stops the fruit from oxidizing (or turning brown) if you do not plan to eat it right away.
2. Next - rinse the seed under some cool water in the sink and peel the thin outer layer of skin off as best you can.
3. Okay, now you will need a small glass, (such as a rocks glass or similar container) large enough to accomodate the pit and three or four toothpicks. Place the toothpicks into the sides of the seed at an angle with the flat part of seed facing down and the pointier end facing up. Place the picks about half way down the pit so the toothpicks will rest on the edge of the glass and hold the top half of the seed up out of the water. See photo below.
4. Fill the glass with clean water so that it comes half way up the seed.
5. Place in a dark cabinet where you will not forget to check the water regularly. It will take a couple of weeks for the seed to begin to grow. First you will notice that it splits in half (this is normal) to allow it room to start growing out of the center portion of seed.
6. It is important to change the water every few days to keep it clean. It is ok to rinse the seed when you do this. Do not let the water evaporate to the point of falling below the seed or it will dry out and probably die. Check often.
7. After a week or so you will begin to see it forming a tap root and maybe a small shoot inside the split.
8. After the shoot gets about 1 1/2" tall it is ok to then place in a pot or directly in the ground if you live in an area that does not freeze often. Plant so the shoot is just barely above the soil and place an empty pot with holes in it (such as an old nursery pot-make sure it can breathe) upside down on top as to protect from direct sun the first few days. This is just to acclimate it to the outdoors a little so you do not shock the plant-as it was used to being in a dark cabinet inside the house and you should not throw it to the mercy of the blazing sun all at once. NOTE: avocadoes can take temperatures down to about 0 degrees F, but the roots need to be protected from freezing. So, if you have planted it in a pot you will need to bring it inside a garage or heal it into the ground, which just means bury it up to the top of the pot and add a heavy layer of mulch.
9. After a few weeks it will begin to produce small leaves from the shoot which will continually get bigger until they reach normal size.
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