How to Grow Avocado Trees
Here’s an update on from our post from 2016, where we planted out a rows of several grafted varieties of avocado trees. If you click here, you’ll see step by step how we planted them with great results.
2 years later, the trees are looking great. They’ve had 2 summers of beautiful growing weather, where they have stacked on a flip tonne of new growth. The first step to planting is to make sure your avocado tree is nice and protected and hardened off a bit from being in the nice, warm, climate controlled perfect environment >>> AKA the greenhouse! When our avocados have flushed with foliage after grafting, we will let them grow out in our greenhouses and then pop them under shadecloth for 4-6 weeks, depending on the time of year. You could keep yours in a nice protected spot under the patio if you like, until the weather warms up for planting. This helps the soft, beautiful new baby foliage acclimate to the slightly harsher environment of the shadecloth as well as growing a bit more. You might notice some brown tips or marginal burning on the lovely baby foliage. Don’t panic – your avocado tree loves to grow more beautiful leaves, so don’t worry a bit as long as you see new leaves growing -this is a normal part of the growing/hardening off process. If not, then you will have to figure out why it isn’t growing. It is usually a water issue (too much or not enough) or it needs fertiliser – or the soil isn’t at the correct parameters for the tree to uptake nutrient.
So here’s a little update on how to plant and avocado tree
You’ll want to choose a sunny spot with good drainage. They won’t tolerate the soil getting saturated at all – so no wet feet please! Ideally, the soil is mixed with compost (well aged) and if you’re in sandy type soil, add in a bit of clay to hold water and nutrients and also add rockdust as it is chokkas full of minerals. Plant up on a bit of a mound.
Build a tent around your tree using star pickets or stakes, or whatever, and wrap shade cloth around it. This protect your tree’s trunk from getting sunburnt, which can seriously set back the tree, or even kill it entirely. As your tree grows, the canopy will protect the trunk. Leave the top uncovered.
Feed the tree
Aside from your beautiful soil that you have built, you will need to apply a good quality fertiliser. We use a 12 month slow release as well as multi-species microbial innoculant to kick-start the microbial growth that allows the trees to take up soil nutrient. Check out the growth in 2 years in the pics below. Most of them started out as infant, newly grafted trees. There’s even been some fruit on our Reed and Hass trees.
Avocados like a lot of water – they don’t like drying out at all and will quickly let you know that they are thirsty by wilting. Adding your clay and rockdust helps hold on to water. Mulching also helps to prevent water loss – use the irregular shaped, large bush mulch for this. Make sure the soil is well draining – as saturated soil and avocado tree roots do not get along at all and you will lose your tree.
Observation and maintenance. We have seen the limits that avocado trees can be pushed to – and still survived. Often, if you’re having trouble, generally people start to notice when the tree really starts to struggle. If the tree isn’t actively growing in the warm weather, you will have to nut out why and fix. We have had success with trees on farms that were struggling due to limited water, and other issues and with the right care and maintenance, they have come good again .
These are Reed avocado trees. We have planted Hass , Fuerte, Sharwill ,Bacon, Wurtz, Pinkerton.
Here is another little piece we wrote about the varieties we grow. Whether you’re growing your avocado in Perth or Bunbury, or further South, with a little care and definitely a lot of observation and some maintenance,they should grow well for you.