Growing Avocados in Florida is tricky – Introduction
Avocados are an incredibly delicious meal option that is also pretty healthy to boot. If you are someone interested in healthy eating, then you no doubt know quite a bit about this magic fruit.
There is one issue with avocados, however, and the extent of that issue depends on where in the world you live. The issue is that it is not the cheapest fruit. In some areas, it can get quite pricey. Therefore, many people decide that they would rather grow their own avocados. No problems there, except growing your own avocados takes a certain amount of knowledge.
This guide is all about how to do so. More specifically, it is about growing avocados in Florida. Why Florida, you ask? Well, avocados have a very particular climate in which they can survive, namely a subtropical one, and Florida is one of the most ideal places in the US for growing avocados. Therefore, if you are someone interested in growing your own avocados and happen to live in Florida, well then you are in luck.
This guide will go over some of the main general points about growing and caring for avocados, while also touching upon specific things you should watch out for when growing avocados in Florida.
When it comes to growing avocados, it is very important that you have soil that is well-drained as they do not like wet feet. The thing with soil in Florida is that it usually fits well under this criteria, but can sometimes become too moist because of rainfall. You can plant your avocados in mounds in order to ensure proper drainage.
Another great thing about avocados is that they can fruit in large pots, and so you can opt for that if your yard has flooding tendencies or if it has a high water table.
The important thing to remember about the avocado plant is that it is fragile and cannot withstand hostile weather conditions. This is why it is important to always make sure the area where you plant and grow your avocados is warm and that it features mild weather at best.
Luckily, if you are planning on growing Avocados in Florida, then you do not need to fret. It just so happens that Florida has the near-perfect climate for growing avocados (subtropical). This is good as you will not have to face the drawbacks that people growing avocados elsewhere have to face. You will not have to worry about placing your avocados indoors during colder periods and things of that nature.
The only issue with the weather might come with the aforementioned abundant rainfall, but that can easily be managed with proper soil management.
Note: some species of avocado are more suited to cooler weather, but Florida will most likely be able to accommodate any avocado plant you wish to grow.
Grafting vs. Seeding
The avocado is interesting in that it will not, in most cases, grow true from seed. This is why the preferred method of propagation is grafting, and what you should opt for if you are growing avocados in Florida.
You will have to be very careful when it comes to watering if you are planning on growing avocados in Florida, as avocados do not like to have overly moist soil. Newly planted trees should be watered every other day for the first week. This should later be reduced to two times a week for the first few months.
Of course, rules change during periods of dryness or droughts, and during this period younger trees should be watered twice a week. Once the rainy season starts, however, you can reduce this or even stop.
Avocados are one of those types of fruit that need to be carefully fertilized. As long as they are newly planted, they should be fertilized only once or twice a year. After the first year, you can increase this to three to four times. Good fertilizers are packaged citrus or other common mixes which include 6-6-6-2 or 8-3-9-2.
Presumably, you are growing your avocados in order to eat them. As such, it is useful to know that avocados do not ripen on the tree. It is, therefore, useful to harvest only the amount of fruit that you need and let the rest remain on the tree.
Keep in mind, though, that mature avocado ripen in about three to eight days once they are removed from the tree, and take care not to let them ripen too much.
You should keep a grass-free area two to five feet out from the trunk of the tree. The best way to do this is to use mulch, as that will both help retain moisture quality and improve the soil quality at the surface. Keep the mulch around eight to twelve inches from the trunk as avocado tree trunks can be susceptible to rotting.
In general, avocado trees do not like being over-pruned. Be sure to prune only in order to remove dead branches. Otherwise, leave the tree alone.
The avocado is a fragile plant that does not stand up well to cooler temperatures or harsh weather effects. As such, it is important to grow it in a subtropical climate where it can enjoy the warmth and pleasant weather.
Luckily for those who opt for growing avocados in Florida, that area has just the right climate.
The thing to keep in mind when growing avocados is that they require care when it comes to watering and fertilization. You also have to make sure that they do not get wet feet by being in soil that is overly wet. You also need to give them some breathing room by leaving some grassless land around them.
Overall, the avocado can sometimes sound like a real hassle to grow, but if you really put your mind and back into it you should have no problems. If you are growing your avocado so that you can eat its fruits, then just keep the end goal in mind and everything should be fine.