If you plan to grow an avocado tree in your backyard, having a care routine will help keep the tree healthy, evergreen, and producing creamy fruits.
With proper care and maintenance, the tree will produce yummy fruits and green leafy foliage that will be a perfect shade in your backyard. The best part is the plant isn’t demanding and requires low maintenance to thrive.
Start taking care of your plant from the first day, and you will enjoy your homegrown avocados. Let’s check the practices you need to take care of your avocado tree. Stick on.
1. A Good Planting Area
You can’t plant your avocado tree anywhere; it has some requirements for flourishing results. First, avocado trees do well in well-draining soils.
Sandy soil incorporated with organic matter helps accommodate the tree’s large roots for faster draining and preventing root rot diseases.
The planting area should have access to sunlight for at least 6 hours. Dig a hole with a wide diameter to cover the roots, and remember to remove dying roots when planting.
Avocado trees require slow and deep watering. You can water your plant weekly, and in the dry season, you can shift to watering your tree twice a week since it’s not drought-tolerant.
Before watering your plant, ensure that the soil around the tree has dried up to prevent forming of fungus that could destroy your plant.
During the fall and spring, water your plant at least once every two weeks. Watering the plant once a month is enough during winter.
A mature tree needs more watering since it doesn’t trap water from its environment. Ensure the area around the tree is saturated with water.
Avoid automatic sprinklers in the winter since avocados are sensitive to cold, and the excess water may cause soil freezing, affecting fruit production.
3. Fertilizing and Mulching
Fertilizing your avocado trees play a role in ensuring good yields. The plant needs feeding during summer and spring, plus you should avoid feeding during winter since it can affect budding.
Here are some fertilizers and important nutrients to consider:
Calcium Sulfate or Gypsum
Adding calcium sulfate makes the soil more porous, and nutrients, air, and water can penetrate the soil effortlessly. You can also use gypsum for the same purpose.
Begin with creating a thin layer of gypsum around the tree with a circular space 6 to 8 feet from the trunk, after which you should pat the gypsum to ensure it fixes on the ground.
Additionally, gypsum helps add calcium and eradicate excess sodium that can harm your avocado tree.
Get some wood chips and place them on top of the gypsum to help control the moisture levels and keep off harmful bacteria that form around the avocado tree. The mulch also protects the tree roots from excess heat or cold.
The wood chips act as food for microbial organisms and worms in the soil that feed the roots for stronger development. You will find mulch in most garden supply stores near you or online.
A year after planting your avocado tree, you can check the nitrogen levels. Only use fertilizers on your plant after a year old since it can badly affect the root system.
If the soil test results indicate nitrogen or zinc deficiency, you can apply fertilizers to your plant.
The citrus tree fertilizer works perfectly for avocado trees with nitrogen deficiency.
If you notice that your plant has mottled leaves, that is a sign of zinc deficiency, and adding zinc sulfate to the soil around the tree base will bring a tremendous change.
Mature trees can use up to 10 pounds of zinc sulfate when the deficiency has caused severe damage to the leaves.
Pro Tip: if your plant is still struggling with nitrogen deficiency, you can add horse manure which will add nutrients and help retain water in the soil.
Pruning helps in the proper establishment of your tree, and it’s one of the ways of keeping it bushy. Prune your tree after harvesting all the fruits.
The pruning aims at regenerating new growth and blooming of your avocado tree. Use sharp and clean pruning shears to avoid infecting your tree with rust or making a blunt cut.
Remember to remove low-lying branches that interfere with your watering. Your cut should flush against the trunk to ensure even removal and effective healing of the trunk.
The inner branches need sunlight to boom and produce, and pruning obstructive branches will help greatly. Use the shears to cut large branches that block sunlight. Cut off dead branches to allow new growth.
Taking care of your avocado tree will help you get healthy and sweet avocados, and you won’t have to spend some cash when craving some.
Start taking care of your tree from the nursery to when they are mature in the garden. Plant your tree in well-draining soils, checking that it accesses sunlight.
Ensure you use the right fertilizer amounts when the plant experiences deficiency plus observe watering routines during the dry season.