Fruit and Vegetables

Avocado cultivation

Avocado cultivation

Guacamole, salad, tropical fruit salad. There are many possible dishes to make with this food that in recent years has been enjoying great success also in Italy. The avocado in fact lends itself to the imagination in the kitchen and is excellent for accompanying different courses or for making sauces and side dishes. Hands up whoever did not wonder, at least once, during his culinary experiments, if it was possible to plant that big seed and make it a new plant.

The plant

Avocado is a typical plant of Central and South America, but is also well suited to our environment, especially that of Southern Italy. In fact, cold climates suffer.
Perhaps it will be challenging to make it bear fruit, but even if you do not succeed in the specific enterprise, with a little patience you will be able to enjoy a very decorative plant, which can even reach 20 meters in height. Everyone will envy you, with its large, oblong, bright green leaves. The most sensational news is that even those who do not have a green thumb can successfully engage in this cultivation, thanks to its simplicity and cost-effectiveness. That's enough, in fact the avocado seed you bought from the supermarket ... Try it! Fun and satisfaction are guaranteed! And in the end, you will grow fond of your plant and consider it as a home!

How to start

Creating a new seedling starting from a seed is very simple: just clean it from the fruit residues, using water, and follow these cultivation instructions step by step.
Take the seed and stick it with four toothpicks, creating a kind of scaffolding for a nineteenth-century skirt. Place the seed in a glass filled with water, orienting the seed like an egg, with the thinnest part at the top. The toothpicks, resting on the edges of the glass, will ensure that the seed does not touch the bottom.
The space between the seed and the bottom of the glass is important, because the first roots of your seedling will develop there, which will take the nourishment from the water to develop.
Likewise, it is important that the top of the seed (about half) remains out of the water, because from there the bud of the small avocado will be born.
At this point, place the glass in a safe place, lit but not exposed to direct sunlight, and be patient, because you will have to wait at least 20-30 days to see the first results. During all this time, every day you give your seed good morning: check that there is enough water and, if it has evaporated, give it to drink. It's just a seed, but it already lives.
After this time, the seed will begin to form the roots and, at the same time, it will develop "cracks", just like an egg from which a chick must be born.
The sprout will also sprout slowly.

Keep and protect the plant

Initially the bud is very small and greenish in color, almost white.
As days go by it will strengthen and grow taller. When it reaches 2-3 cm, the first leaf will appear. What a joy!
To make sure your creature is strong enough to withstand the soil, you can leave the bud for a little more time in the glass of water, always remembering to give it to drink.
It will sprout another leaf and then another and another, and the stem will begin to be colored dark green to brown.
The ideal is to grow the seedling up to 30-40 cm. At this point you can remove the toothpicks and bury the seed in a vase. Now you can also water it less often, for example once a week.
The choice of the soil is important: initially a soft, moist soil, consisting of soil and sand, will be the ideal place where the roots can find their nourishment and grow strong. Subsequently, it will move to more drained soil, where the water is abundant but not stagnant. Even if the shoot was born in water, the roots do not like to stay "wet": they could become moldy and perish.
The ideal environment in which to grow the small fruit is hot and humid. In summer, therefore, take care to water it often. During cold periods, instead, you will have to pay particular attention not to make him suffer: put him in a sheltered place and, if you can, cover him with a cloth, as if he were a coat.
If you have followed these instructions carefully, after just a year the plant will have reached a height of 50 - 60 cm, although there are also seedlings that easily reach the height of a meter in such a short time.
As it grows, help it to grow in height with small tricks: remove the lower leaves and the secondary branches. In this way its energy will concentrate on the young leaves and, subsequently, the main branches will be created around which the tree will develop.
If the weather allows it, you can also choose to transfer the plant to open ground, to give the roots all the space they need to develop: in fact, they tend to grow in depth.
After 2-3 years it will be a small tree and, perhaps, it will begin to give you its first fruits.
The ideal would be to have more than one tree. They too need company!
All that remains is to wish you good luck ... and a good feast of avocado!