Growing avocados can be a rewarding but challenging endeavour for gardeners. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Time and patience: Avocado trees can take up to seven years or longer to bear fruit, especially when grown from seeds. Grafted trees, which are commonly sold in stores, may produce fruit sooner, but still require patience.
- Well-drained soil: Avocado trees require well-drained soil to flourish. Avoid planting them in clay soil, as it can lead to moisture retention and increase the risk of root rot. If the soil is heavy, consider mounding the plant to improve drainage. Plant straight into Searles Fruit, Citrus & Rose Specialty Mix or improve existing garden soil with Searles 5 IN 1 Organic Fertiliser.
- Sheltered position: Plant avocado trees in a sunny but sheltered position where they are protected from strong winds. Windy conditions can damage the trees and affect their growth and fruit production.
- Watering: Avocado trees need regular watering, especially when they are first planted. Once established, you can reduce watering, but be sure to monitor the soil moisture regularly. Avoid overwatering or allowing water to sit around the roots, as it can contribute to root rot.
- Pollination: Avocado trees are typically categorised as A or B varieties, and having both types can increase the yield of fruit. This is because the trees produce male and female flowers on different days and need cross-pollination to set fruit. Check with your local nursery to ensure you have the right combination of avocado trees for optimal pollination.
- Spacing: Avocado trees can grow into significant size trees, so give them ample space to grow. Avoid planting them too close together, as overcrowding can lead to higher rates of pests and diseases and completion of soil nutrients and water.
- Fertilising: Regular fertilising is important for avocado trees, but be careful not to over-fertilise, as it can cause issues. Consider using an organic-based fertiliser with added trace elements, such as Searles Fruit and Citrus Food, and follow the recommended dosage on the package.
Growing avocados is rewarding. Give them time, well-drained soil, and proper care and you can enjoy the satisfaction of home-grown avocados on your menu. If space is limited, consider checking with neighbours to see if they are interested in growing avocado trees as well, which may increase the chances of successful pollination and a bountiful harvest.