You can buy potted avocado trees to plant from nurseries, which is a great way to get started. Position your tree in a bright, sunny spot. Make sure it is protected from strong wind. Avocados also struggle in salt-laden winds, so also be mindful of that.
Soil must be well-drained, rich, deep and friable with a pH of 6-7. You can measure the pH of your soil using simple kits you can purchase from your local hardware store or nursery.
How to plant
Dig your planting hole twice as wide as the root ball of the tree. Add Organic Xtra to the soil from the hole before backfilling. Don’t disturb the roots, and plant so the soil level is the same as it was in the pot.
Looking after your Avocado tree
You will need to water your avocado tree regularly, especially during summer, to produce more fruit. Mulch with a good quality organic mulch, keeping it clear from the trunk.
Feed young trees three times a year with a fertiliser with added nitrogen, Eco88s is perfect for this and your avocados will thank you for it. Feed mature trees yearly in spring with a fertiliser for flowers and fruit. Use Organic Xtra, add a dusting of a hundred grams per square metre equivalent of Qld Organics Natural Gypsum in the spring.
Quick rundown of some popular avocado varieties
WURTZ – Reaching 4-6m high, it produces medium fruit with dark-green skin.
HASS – Bears black-skinned fruit that stores on the tree for months. A tall spreading tree, this popular cultivar likes frost-free climates.
SHEPPARD – A small to medium pear-shaped fruit with thick, green skin that peels easily. The fruit has an excellent flavour, medium oil content and does not turn brown when cut
BACON – Upright and vigorous, it bears a medium fruit with light-green skin. Good for cool climates.
FUERTE – Suits cool climates and makes a great shade tree for a large garden. Bears small to medium green-skinned fruit.
When to harvest
Avocados don’t ripen until picked, so you don’t have to harvest them all at once. Wait until the first one falls to the ground, and put that in the cupboard, keep it for about a fortnight to ripen and it will be ready to eat. At that stage you know that you can harvest them from the tree.