Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Planting Avocado Seed - The Many Beneficial Uses of Avocados

Avocados are not only tasty, but a marvelous source of B, E and K vitamins. Another great thing about this refreshing, creamy fruit is its versatility. It can be eaten plain, put into many vegetarian dishes as a meat substitute, it can even be used as a beauty product. The fruit aside, avocado trees also make for fantastic decorative houseplants.

All that said, who wouldn't want an avocado tree of their own?

But planting avocado seed can be tricky. These plants can be finicky and need a good deal of tending. However, the task is not impossible. Here's how:

You can start by removing a seed from a ripened avocado and either sprouting it in water before planting, or planting it directly in the soil.

Many people begin sprouting the seeds by piercing them with a toothpick on four sides about a half inch deep so as to hold it to the rim of a jar or drinking glass. The seed should be partially immersed in water, base down. Some people also swear by adding a piece or two of charcoal to keep the water sweet.

Keep the glass near bright sunlight, change out the water about once a week and in about three to six weeks your seed should begin to sprout. When the roots are well formed, it is very important to move your plant into potting soil, otherwise it will begin to deteriorate.

Planting avocado seed directly into rich, fertile soil is another great way to begin. Like other plants, avocado roots need plenty of oxygen, so your seed might actually grow better in soil. As with water, make sure to plant your seed base down. The top of the seed should peek out just above the surface.

Indoors, you must be sure to keep your soil moist, but not drenched and the temperature fair at about 60 or 70 degrees.

When your seed has reached around twelve inches, it is a good idea to pinch it back a bit to create a fuller, healthier plant.

While your plant begins to bloom and its roots expand, it is important to transplant it into a larger pot. It is a good idea to do this in the early spring while the temperature is still mild.

Planting outside is yet another option. Avocado trees grow their best in loose, sandy loam. They will grow in shade, but grow stronger in full sunlight. Once the tree is fully grown, it should be given a well balanced fertilizer three to four times a year.

You should also keep in mind when planting avocado seed outdoors that because of its broad root system, it should be kept at least 20 feet from any other plant, otherwise it will choke any nearby plants. However, for fruit bearing trees, it is possible to plant a few more avocado seeds which will allow for cross pollination.

These are all a great start for having your own avocado tree, and possibly--with a lot of time and care--your own, home grown fruit.

Wendy Pan is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about planting avocado seed, please visit My Gardening Blog for current articles and discussions.

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