22nd November 2011 – Avocados and Grapes

Last Thursday we discovered we have many many tiny avocados growing for the first time in our orchard.  Amazing!! Wonderful!! It is always exciting (for me at least) to see the first fruit growing from any of our trees. The first year it is important to pull off all the little fruit before they grow to give the tree a chance to put all its energy into developing strong roots. This is hard and really feels wrong when the reason you plant the tree is to get the fruit in the first place. Year 2 is usually a small taste of what is to come with fruit production. But never enough to satisfy the impatient person who planted the tree and has spent so much time dutifully watering / weeding / mulching etc. So to get to year 3 and finally see literally the fruits of your labours is an exciting time. Avocadoes are a bit different, usually taking longer to get established and much longer to  produce fruit.  It is not uncommon to be waiting seven years or more and some trees never produce fruit at all. My neighbours just chopped down a huge avocado tree which has never fruited.

So to see our avocado trees with lots of tiny fruit after only 2 years in the ground is fantastic, but there is a reason they have fruited so early and it is because, on the advice of a very nice man called Hooshang who is an expert avocado grower who lives on the North Shore, we planted 3 trees very close together and made sure they were a mix of A and B pollinators. Our trees are Ettinger (B), Hashimoto (B) and Hass (A). They have all been flowering at the same time over the last few weeks, so obviously the combination has worked well.

The plan with these trees is to let them grow into each other but not to let them get too big, so we will prune them after fruiting, and keep them about head height. If you are interested in any more avocado information Hooshang has a website with plenty of informative links http://www.avopro.org/mini-avo-trees/

Secondly, as if that was not exciting enough, we have hundreds of little bunches of grapes growing all over the pool fence, which i suspect we will soon have to net to protect from birds. We have 3 grape vines and they are all Albany Surprise i think. Better go check the labels 🙂

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Hooshang said,

    The combination of you, your students’ and colleagues’ enthusiasm, joy and spirit of “Can Do” plus a little help from me has done the trick. Good on you guys and thank you 🙂
    Hooshang


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