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Avocado growing info

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by catlover on January 12, 2004 06:03 AM
This posting should probably be in a different area but there have been a few of you folks that grow them as houseplants.

I want to preface this by stating I know nothing about avocadoes except being around them as a kid my whole life. My dad took care of them....I just played in the trees and picked/packed the avo's. LOTS and LOTS of lbs. sold to packers!!!! There was an avocado grove there when they moved in and only removed enough to put the house....they lived there for approx. 35 yrs. and those trees had never been topped. He grew the Fuerte variety.

My dad has since passed away...but from recall I was under the impression that avo's trees produced from seeds will not produce...or if they do the fruit won't be as good. I also seemed to recall my dad stating they would take approx. 7 yrs. before they would produce! I do know that avocado's take A LOT of water!!!! Someone in my neighborhood has been in an experiment trying to find which pruning procedure would produce more avo's ....findings so far .... the untopped avo.trees produced higher yields than pruned.

Since there have been several people inquiring about there care I decided to look up a few sites that could back my statements!!!!
http://www.avocado.org/about/2000_24.php?sd=about
http://www.crfg.org/tidbits/AvocadoFromSeed.html
http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/horticulture/4742.html

This is info I found here that Bill had written up!
http://www.thegardenhelper.com/avocado.html

Gardengals dad has an avocado grove in this area and hopefully she will be able to add to this info!
[kitty] [wayey]

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by Pixilated on January 12, 2004 08:12 PM
Thank You Catlover! The links you provided regarding Avacados were excellent,particularly the 'Avacado From Seed' link. It answers all my questions and dispells some I hadn't thought of yet.Like, why more prople aren't growing avacados from seed.
Thanks for taking the time!
Pixilated

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Pixilated
by Sherri on January 13, 2004 03:53 AM
Catlover, you rock!!!! [thumb] [Wink] [grin] Thankyou so much for looking into that! I guess I should've waited and left my poor little guy in water longer, but, I'm just going to try to be pacient(see I don't even know who to spell it let alone be it!!!!) and see what happens with him in the soil. Thanks a bunch again!

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by iowadahlia on January 13, 2004 04:19 PM
you guys must be mind readers!! that is what i came here for this morning to ask about growing avocado seeds thanks!!!!!

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by gardengal on January 15, 2004 06:04 PM
Sorry Cat, although I know lots about a grove now I don't know how to grow an avo from a seed. [Big Grin] Lots of good I am, I know. I imagine it would take a long time to produce fruit, if it did, and a lot of paitence that I don't have. Its much easier to buy a little 5 gallon tree. They will produce within the first year or so. Most avocados will have one year of a great production then kind of skimpy the next year, that's their normal cycle. If you feed them (chicken manure is great!) and water the heck out of them, then you can get continuous good production.

The only tip I have for you is the one thing that avocadoes like more than anything else is water. They love to be slowly watered gallons a day. That makes them happy and produce lots of fruit. They are great trees to plant on a slope or hill because of the way their root structure goes into the ground (hence the reason why Fallbrook's hills are covered with trees). They can be sunburned when they are young and don't have enough leaves to protect the trunk, so you have to give them a whitewash covering. I've heard the controversy about topping your trees as well, don't know which way is better. My dad is thinking of topping some of his, I'll let you know the results. [thumb]

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Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
by gardengal on January 22, 2004 12:54 AM
FYI...in a book I just picked up about California gardening they had a section on avocadoes. It states that those started from seed may take up to 20 years to produce, if they produce at all. That seems awfully long to me, so if you want fruit that's not the best way to do it. If you keep your avo as a houseplant chances are it will not produce. They definitely need pollinators, (bees!), to encourage fruit. So if you have one outside its best to plant more than one or have some citrus trees nearby to attract additional bees. Just more info to add to our list. [grin]

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Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
by catlover on January 22, 2004 06:56 PM
Hey gardengal....out of curiousity how many trees does your dad have? I can't even imagine the waterbill. Does he have drip irrigation?

Neighbors behind me have an orange grove and they have dug wells around them and hooked up a faucet to fill each hole....a lot of water!!!! and Avo. take a lot more water... Since we only had 7 GIGANTO trees he never put in drip but I remember running that sprinkler head under there and let it deep soak for 8 hrs. at a time. He had those roots going way down deep searching for water! Good anchor in times of a good wind. Had a couple huge branches break with some good gusts....avocadoes have very brittle branches and with all that weight on them from not topping....you could hear the cracking and then the boom when it came crashing down.

My dad and I would yearly run an electric mower under the trees to make a great mulch layer (a lot of leaves)....sure helped to retain water. If your dad has his grove on hills that would be virtually impossible.

[Big Grin] How many times have you been under an avocado tree and one come hurling down and hit you in the head!!!! [Razz] Instant headache....we had many that would reach 1 lb. and from that height ...oh my!!!!

That is a good point you made about the trees bearing a lot of avo's one year and then less the next! Thank goodness or I would of really been dead. We picked and packed our own! [Frown] Killer on the shoulders!!!

Okay I've got the Weezie's [gabby] ....later gardengal!!! [wayey]

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by gardengal on January 22, 2004 08:17 PM
My dad has about 400 avos and about 50+ citrus. He use to have more citrus but pulled some out for the iris farm. Most of his avos are Haas, a few Fuerte and a few Reed. He has a massive sprinkler system that gives a light watering all day long. He runs it for hours at a time. More water= more avocadoes. [thumb] I can't imagine what his water bill is, I know its a lot. His idea is for the grove to pay for itself and the house, not really make a killing just enough to have a retirement plan of sorts. And he uses chicken manure as his main source of fertilizer, which when its kept moist doesn't smell so bad (or at least you get used to it right away!) [grin]

I have been whacked on the head by an avo before, not the best feeling in the world! When he bought the grove it had about 80 Fuerte trees and the rest were Haas (with the one or two Reeds). So after his first harvest, he chopped down the Fuertes to just a small trunk and then grafted Haas branches. So far all but 3 or 5 took. They look amazing. Hubby and I came down one weekend and helped chop up trees. That's a bunch of hard work, and that's when I got whacked. [grin] He can get almost twice as much for an organic Haas as he could for the Fuertes, so they had to go. Everyone across the country recognizes a Haas avo, a Fuerte doesn't turn black and doesn't tend to be so bumpy so therefore doesn't sell as well due to lack of recognition. I think they taste the same, hubby likes Haas better. I have a Haas avocado tree in my yard. [flower]

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Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
by MATT on January 30, 2004 12:26 AM
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INSIGHT ON MY INDOOR AVOCADO GROWN FROM SEED... I HAVE HAD IT ABOUT 9 MONTHS AND WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT IT WOULD PRODUCE WITHIN 2-3 YEARS, THAT'S NOT THE CASE IS IT?. [tears] .WELL IT'S BEEN FUN WATCHING IT GROW ON MY DESK AT WORK BUT IS GUESS IT'S TIME TO TAKE IT HOME AND PLANT IT IN THE YARD. THANKS AGAIN AND [muggs] CHEERS TO THE SITE.

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Matthew Stegamn
by gardengal on January 30, 2004 12:47 AM
Welcome to the forum Matt! [wayey] I'm glad you joined us. Come back often and chat anytime. [gabby]

It seems that no, your avo won't produce right away. How big is it now? I've never grown one from seed. What kind is it? Very curious...

Avos are self-pollenators to some extent but they do like help from our buggy friends, I think that's why indoors they don't produce well. Many of the commerical avocado groves lease a corner of their land to a honey bee farmer, helps the avocados with the bees buzzing about, and the bee guy gets to use someone else's land. So I bet your avocado will do just fine outside, especially in Napa. [grin]

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Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
by Jiffymouse on January 30, 2004 01:20 AM
[wayey] hey matt, welcome to the forum [wayey] sorry they didn't tell you what you wanted to hear, but at least they gave you good info!

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