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Grow Your Own Avocado Trees: Oooooooooooh AHHvocado!


Every plant that has ever been in my care, has died from one complication or another. Needless to say, green, my thumbs are not. However, the nature lover in me is always curious about plants and animals...the earth and even outer space! So where do avocados fit into all of this? I say everywhere! You can eat, wear and share their benefits across the globe.


Avocados have a subtle yet unique flavor that tops anyone's breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time. Enjoy an avocado spread on some toast, add a few slices over your favorite entree and even blend them with other fruits or veggies for the perfect smoothie. Did you also know that avocados supply many great benefits to your body? According to the Reader's Digest, avocado;


Reduces the risk of heart disease.

Lowers caner risk

Keeps blood sugar steady

Helps maintain hair health

Improves digestive health

Betters cognitive function


They also promote skin, bone and eye health with skin friendly fats, antioxidants and minerals. 


With all of its well known benefits, I eat at least 5-6 a week in one way or another and I love the taste! Now, because I eat so many avocados, I began to take notice of all the pits/seeds left behind and I began to wonder if I could recycle them some way. Perhaps grow my own avocados!!! I took my curiosities to Google and found out that I can grow avocado plants from the pit of an avocado. The plant itself may never harbor any fruit however, I hear they can make a great addition to any home. If they do bear fruit, it could take anywhere from 5-15 years. No matter! From that point on, I wanted to grow my own avocado plants...and so I am.


I started with 7 dried avocado pits.


How to Grow an Avocado in 10 Easy Steps


Supplies:

 7 - Avocado pits

 7 - 4-6 inch tall glasses or jars

14 - Toothpicks or 7 - medium sized paperclips

 1 - Tray 

 1 - Pair of scissors

   - Water



1. First, removed pit from avocado (be careful. It's very slippery) and rinse it clean. Then allow it to air dry for about 2 weeks or 7-10 days (can use a paper towel or dish to hold pits during drying process).


2. As the pit dries, you will notice flaking of the skin. This is normal and exactly what you want to happen.


3. At the end of the drying period, gently remove any flaking skin. It  is not important to remove all, just the pieces that easily flake off (which should be most of it). I noticed that this allows the root and stem to sprout faster.


3. Place a toothpick on opposites sides of the pit and push them just inside enough to balance the pit (tip down) while suspended by those toothpicks. If you are using the paperclips, straighten the paperclip as much as possible, then cut it in half placing each piece on opposite sides of the pit.


4. Suspend the pit over the glass/jar by the toothpicks/paper clips.


5. Fill glass/jar with water until the bottom half of the pit is covered. Replenish water once or twice a week, as needed to keep bottom half of pit covered and change water at least once a week.


6. Place on tray and place tray in a warm place.


If the seed thrives, three things will begin to happen within 2-4 weeks: the seed will crack from top to bottom on the sides, the root will sprout from the bottom and the stem from the top.


7. When the stem becomes about 6 inches, trim it in half. When it grows again and the roots are thick, transplant to pot with loose sandy soil, root down. Leave the top half of the seed out of the soil. Pot must have adequate drainage.


8. Place in a warm sunny area to encourage growth.


9. Water enough to keep top soil slightly moist. Watch for yellowing of the leaves. That means the plants has too much water. If the leaves turn brown, that is a indication of a build up of salt in the soil and you will need to flush it with water and simply let the water drain from the pot.


10. As it gets taller, pinch off new growth to force new branches to form.

 


References:


Francis, M. (2017, August 01). How to Grow an Avocado Tree: Guac 'n' Roll. Retrieved from https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/flowers-and-plants/vegetables/how-to-grow-an-avocado-tree-guac-n-roll


Jung, A., & Torres, P. (2018, March 28). Powerhouse Benefits of Avocado You Never Knew. Retrieved from https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/benefits-of-avocado/


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