Avocados are one of the most popular fruits eaten worldwide. They have been cultivated since ancient times.
There are two types of avocados: green and yellow varieties. Green variety contains less fat than yellow variety, but it’s high in calories (1).
It takes up to 12 months before ripe avocado fruit ripens completely; after that they’re considered ready to eat (2) .
Green and yellow varieties differ in their size and shape. The largest type is the Hass avocado, which weighs around 3 pounds while the smallest type is the Gros Michel avocado, which weighs around 1 pound (3).
Avocados are native to South America, where they were first discovered in Mexico. Today they’re grown all over Latin America. There are several different cultivars of avocados that vary greatly in taste, color and texture (4).
In the United States, there are three main varieties of avocados: Hass, Gros Michel and California. All three types of avocados have very similar nutritional values (5).
How to Grow Avocado Seeds Without Toothpicks?
If you want to grow your own avocado plants without using toothpicks or any other tools, then here is what you need to do:
You will need a container with drainage holes. You can use a recycled container, such as a plastic cup or a glass jar. If you want to buy a new container, you can get one at any local nursery or garden center.
Choose a good quality seed with a good shape and be sure it isn’t moldy or rotten. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where avocados grow, then pick the seed from an avocado that you have bought from the store and eat the fruit.
Rinse the seed gently under running water.
Fill the container halfway with a damp mixture of peat moss and potting soil. If you do not have peat moss, you can use a mixture of 3 parts of regular soil to 1 part of sand or perlite.
Place the avocado seed on top of the soil mixture and cover it with more soil until it is buried about 1/2 inch deep.
Put the container in a warm place where it will get plenty of sun. It is okay if the container is exposed to the elements.
Make sure that the soil is damp at all times, but not wet or soggy. Add more water if necessary.
As soon as the seed germinates and starts developing a root, it is time to transplant it to a larger container or directly into the ground outside.
If you transplant it directly into the ground, then make sure you choose a place in your yard that has full sun exposure and soil that drains well. Keep the young plant well watered and feed it with an organic fertilizer once every three months. Growing avocados from seed is a long process, but if you want to eat fresh avocados in the near future then it may be well worth your time.
What is a good way to grow an avocado tree from its seed?
If you have your own avocados and don’t mind the wait and effort, here is a tried and true way to go about it.
Get some small pots (about 6 inches ) and fill them about 1/4 full of mud ( soil mixed with peat moss.) Plant your pits in the pot (flat end down) just barely under the mud. Fill in with more mud so that the pit is level with the surface.
Keep the pots in a sunny place (but not in direct sunlight) and keep the pots moist by watering regularly (don’t let them dry out). In about 6 weeks you should see some green sprouts emerging from the top. After the plant develops 3 or 4 sets of leaves it can be transplanted into bigger pots or planted outside.
How can you plant an avocado seed so that it sprouts faster?
If you want your avocado tree to grow larger and bear fruit quicker, then it is suggested that you plant the seed in a glass (or some other non-porous container) and put it on your windowsill. Put a few layers of newspaper underneath the container so that you can easily water the seed without making a mess. Add just enough water to soak the newspaper without drenching it. Keep the seed moist but not wet.
Make sure that the container is placed in bright sunlight so that it gets plenty of light.
Be patient and check on it regularly. When you see little signs of growth, it should come out of its shell within 6 months.
What is an alternative way to grow an avocado from its seed?
Some people prefer to take the fruit from an avocado and stick the seed directly into a small pot of soil. They will then leave it outside in a sunny area where it is safe from extreme temperatures and predators.
They water it regularly and fertilize it monthly with a water-soluble fertilizer. Within a few months, they have a small plant that is growing larger every day. They continue to water and fertilize it on a regular basis until one day they find themselves with a mature avocado plant that bears fruit.
This process may take a little longer than a few weeks or months, but the person who owns the plant can decide how long they want to take with the project. It all depends on what you want to do.
What part of an avocado tree should I water?
Watering an avocado is very easy to do if you know what part of the plant needs water the most. The avocado plant has two different growing cycles: the vegetative and the reproductive cycle. During the vegetative cycle, the plant grows leaves, stems, and roots but doesn’t bloom or produce fruit. During the reproductive cycle, the plant flowers and produces fruit.
During the vegetative cycle, water the plant heavily to encourage vigorous growth. During the reproductive cycle, water it moderately since it won’t need as much water. Finally, keep the soil around the roots shaded since direct sunlight can scorch the plant.
What should I use as a container to grow an avocado tree?
You can use just about any type of container that has a diameter that is at least 3 times the size of the seed. The best choices are large plastic pots, wood containers or even a tire (for those who want to grow an avocado tree indoors). The depth of the pot should be at least 6 inches. This will allow enough soil for the roots to develop properly. Fill 2/3 of the pot with soil and gently place the seed into it.
Sprinkle water on the soil and pat down firmly to remove any air pockets. While you don’t want the soil too wet, you also don’t want it to be bone dry since avocado trees don’t do well with drought.
Use a small paint brush or your fingers to gently smooth out the surface of the soil. This will ensure that the seed is not buried too deeply. Gently water the soil again and place the container in a well-lit area, but not in direct sunlight since this will scorch the tender leaves.
Mist the soil with water twice a day to keep it moist but not wet since the seed needs oxygen to germinate. This means you shouldn’t see a puddle of water at the bottom of the container or running down the inside of the pot.
Wait a few weeks before you transplant it outside since it needs time to establish roots. While you can put it in direct sunlight once the seed has sprouted, it is best to keep it in a shaded area until then.
Also, be sure to water the soil and not the leaves since avocado trees are prone to root rot if the soil is consistently damp or waterlogged.
Finally, do not overwater the plant since this can lead to root rot and slow the growth of the plant significantly.
What type of fertilizer should I use on my tree?
You can choose any type of water-soluble fertilizer as long as it is high in nitrogen during the vegetative cycle since this promotes leafy growth. During the reproductive cycle, a high-phosphorous fertilizer promotes flowering and fruiting. Use 1/4 strength fertilizer each time you water.
If you choose to use organic fertilizer such as guano, bone meal, or blood meal, you can apply 1 tablespoon per gallon of water and dilute it through the soil.
It is also recommended to add mulch around the base of the tree to keep the soil cool and prevent weeds from growing. You can use wood chips, small rocks, or crushed corn cobs.
How should I prune my tree?
While over-pruning can be detrimental to the health of your tree, regular pruning keeps avocado trees healthy and promotes larger yields so long as you are pruning the right parts.
Since the avocado is a flowering tree, you want to prune off any old and dying flowers since these will not produce any fruit. This way, the tree’s energy will go into producing new flowers and fruit rather than wasting it on flowers that won’t produce anything
You should also prune out any growing stems that are growing upwards towards the sun since these will not produce fruit either. Since avocados do not self-pollinate, bees must carry their pollen to the flowers so that they can reproduce. By trimming away parts of the stem which produce no flowers, you are increasing the tree’s overall chances of producing fruit.
Priming a flower is the final step in getting your tree to bloom. This is a process in which you trim the tree back hard so that it produces a large number of flowers all at once. This helps ensure that there are plenty of bees around at the right time to reproduce.
You should do this once a year during the winter months, at which point you can also fertilize the tree as described above.
How long does it take for an avocado to grow?
The amount of time it takes for an avocado to fully grow and ripen can take anywhere from six months to a year, depending on the variety as well as the conditions it is exposed to.
Your tree will start producing small, green fruit during the first year. These will continue to ripen until they reach their full size and color, which can take another year or more.
Most varieties will not produce flowers the first year, but will instead spend that energy towards growing their roots and trunk.
After a few years, your tree should be producing an abundance of flowers and fruit. Enjoy!
How do I harvest my fruits?
Before you pick your avocados, make sure that they are ready. They should be the size of a goose egg and yield slightly to your touch.
To pick it, hold it with one hand and twist it off with the other. Make sure that you wear gloves when handling the fruit since the sap can irritate your skin.
How do I store my avocados and how long will they last?
It’s best to eat your avocados as soon as you pick them since they do not store all that well. If, however, you need to store them for a day or two before eating, here is what you need to do:
– Place the fruit in a paper bag since plastic can make it ripen faster.
– Hold the stem and give it a twist to remove the fruit from the tree.
– To prevent bruising, put it in the bag with the stem side down.
– Place in a cool place since heat can also make it ripen too quickly.
TIP: You can ripen an avocado quickly by placing it in a brown paper bag. Fill the bottom of the bag with apples, tomatoes or potatoes. The ethylene gas that they produce will speed up the ripening process.
Wrap the avocado in a newspaper or cloth since avocados can discolor the paper. Check it every day until it reaches the desired ripeness.
What is the difference between ripe and rotten?
You should pick your avocado when it is mature but still firm. It should be a deep green color rather than a bright green. If you pick it when it is turning brown or black, you will end up with a ripe fruit rather than a rotten one.
When you pick an avocado, it will ripen at different speeds depending on where you place it. For the best results, pick it when it is mature and firm. Here are the different ripening times depending on where you place it:
If you put it in a paper bag, it will ripen in three to five days.
If you put it in the fruit bowl or on the kitchen counter, it will take one to two days to ripen.
If you put it in a dark place such as a cupboard or drawer, it will take five to seven days to ripen.
If you want to prevent your avocado from ripening too quickly, place it in the refrigerator. This will prevent it from ripening at all!
Are there any books about avocados?
Here is a list of some of the best books available on growing and caring for your favorite fruit:
– “All About Avocados” by Charles Healey
– “The Avocado Grower” by John Cox
– “The Complete Book of Fruit Trees” by Ken Cleveland
– “Growing Unusual Fruits” by David Fairchild
– “The New Sunset Western Garden Book” by Tom and Nancy Ellis
– “The Home Orchard” by Robert Cox
– “The Pruning Manual” by John Creech
– “The Vegetable Garden” by Barbara W. Ellis