where to grow
Dig a hole slightly deeper and wider than the bag. DO NOT include any fertiliser in the hole as this can very easily burn the roots. When planting the tree try to minimise root damage. Use the following method and also refer to our Planting Video.
Soon after planting, the young trees should be supported with a strong wooden stake. Do not push the stake through the nursery growing media as this will damage the roots. Tie the tree firmly to the stake attaching above the side branches. Regularly check that the ties are still effective (every four to six weeks) and note that it may be necessary to loosen the ties to prevent them from strangling the tree.
Irrigate well after planting as this helps to bring the soil into close contact with the root ball.
More damage is done by over watering than under watering so err on the side of too little. Avocado trees prefer to be watered deeply then left to dry out rather than being watered often. If there is no rain consider watering deeply once a week, adjusting the frequency of watering with natural rainfall
Apply little and often from early spring to late summer with a high Nitrogen fertiliser. Anywhere near a 12:5:10 NPK analysis will do. Animal manures are very good but ensure they are well composted to prevent burning.
Avocado trees respond well to mulch as it helps to minimise weed competition and retains moisture in the soil. Ensure mulch is either a loose material (e.g. wood chip) or well composted. Grass clippings (if applied too thickly) can create an anaerobic environment and suffocate the roots.
Avocado trees will start to produce fruit from as early as year three with the numbers increasing with tree size. Fruit set on the tree between September and November each year and are ready to pick anywhere between 10 and 18 months after fruit set, depending on the variety.
Avocado trees can be kept to a desired size by an annual prune (post-harvest). Make one or two cuts of the most offending limbs (target 20% of the total canopy area) and cut back to near the main stem. This will ensure the rest of the tree will keep flowering and fruiting.
Young avocado trees can with stand a light frost. The effects can be lessened by
-keeping the tree covered with frost cloth or similar,
-keeping the tree nice and green through regular Nitrogen applications.
-spraying with copper or a frost guard product. Fuerte and Bacon are more cold hardy than Hass and Reed.