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Author Topic: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!  (Read 16802 times)

TheWaterbug

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2014, 06:53:47 PM »
^^
How do avocados compare with other trees with respect to "taproot drilling" capability? I have horrid clay adobe about 18" down, but I also have lots of healthy trees, including California Pepper, varous pine trees, Eucalyptus, and walnut. Are these also deep-rooted trees? Since these do well, does that tell me anything about how avocados and mangoes will do?

I do have two neighbors with healthy avocado trees.
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ricshaw

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2014, 07:19:57 PM »
^^
How do avocados compare with other trees with respect to "taproot drilling" capability? I have horrid clay adobe about 18" down, but I also have lots of healthy trees, including California Pepper, varous pine trees, Eucalyptus, and walnut. Are these also deep-rooted trees? Since these do well, does that tell me anything about how avocados and mangoes will do?
I do have two neighbors with healthy avocado trees.

I have horrid adobe clay and grow avocado trees and have neighbors and orchards near me with healthy avocado trees.

ricshaw

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2014, 07:25:37 PM »
For Simon, Mark or anyone.....
If you have a hard clay soil what do you think would happen if you dug down 24" with a post hole digger. Then put that soil back in the hole, making sure to put the top soil back on top.
Then planted your avocado seedling in this? Or any fruit tree? This would make for easier tap root growth.

That is kind of how commercial avocado growers plant avocado trees.  The young grafted trees come in a plastic sleeve the size of a post hole.  A hole is dug with a post hole auger the depth of the plastic sleeve. The sleeve is removed when the tree is slipped into the post hole.

zands

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2014, 07:40:55 PM »
For Simon, Mark or anyone.....
If you have a hard clay soil what do you think would happen if you dug down 24" with a post hole digger. Then put that soil back in the hole, making sure to put the top soil back on top.
Then planted your avocado seedling in this? Or any fruit tree? This would make for easier tap root growth.


That is kind of how commercial avocado growers plant avocado trees.  The young grafted trees come in a plastic sleeve the size of a post hole.  A hole is dug with a post hole auger the depth of the plastic sleeve. The sleeve is removed when the tree is slipped into the post hole.


I have seen fruit trees for orchards come in deep narrow two gallon pots that look like this. This would help promote tap roots. What you describe has no bottom so you can plant them quicker and easier. But the shape is about the same. Yours is cylindrical.


For those who who want to make tall cylindrical bottomless pots.... Go gather up corrugated plastic election signs after November 4th election. Get out there on Wednesday. They are great material to work with. The wires are also good for caging tomatoes

You could also cut the bottom off a 3 gallon plastic pot. Turn upside down and plant your avocado seed in it. Then pot will slip off when you plant it.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 07:54:44 PM by zands »

shaneatwell

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2014, 07:57:53 PM »
Hey Shane, did your mango seedlings taproots go sideways after two inches because you have hard impenetrable clay and rocky soil? If this was the cause, perhaps you can till the soil first to loosen it up? I wonder if your mango seedling would have eventually taken off? I have some mango seedlings that stall a bit before pushing.

Simon

I suspect it was because I had layered my clay and compost in those sections when i built the walls, but it still surprised me because I was watering thoroughly.
Shane

Mark in Texas

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2014, 10:28:17 PM »
Zands, your goal is to fracture the soil, give the roots a chance to enter native soil.  Over time those fractures will close up as tight as before but by then the roots will be growing well unless compromised because of real problems such as high salts, water logging.  I use everything from ripping my tree planting site with a chisel behind a tractor which rips the soil to a depth of 2' to using a post hole digger and then a miner's pick to fracture the sides and bottom manually.

Mark

cuban007

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2014, 11:14:31 PM »
My neighbor has beautiful, productive avocado trees. He accomplished this by deep watering his trees. He has a watering systems in which he has pvc pipes going deep into the ground to provide that needed water for his mature avocado trees. So far, it's working beautifully for him.

simon_grow

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2014, 12:41:50 AM »
For Simon, Mark or anyone.....
If you have a hard clay soil what do you think would happen if you dug down 24" with a post hole digger. Then put that soil back in the hole, making sure to put the top soil back on top.
Then planted your avocado seedling in this? Or any fruit tree? This would make for easier tap root growth.

That is kind of how commercial avocado growers plant avocado trees.  The young grafted trees come in a plastic sleeve the size of a post hole.  A hole is dug with a post hole auger the depth of the plastic sleeve. The sleeve is removed when the tree is slipped into the post hole.


Zands, I think digging a hole and then backfilling it with the original soil and planting your seed is a great way to go. It would make it easier for the seedlings roots to dig down. Although the soil will compact again, it should still be looser than the surrounding soil that was not loosened.

Waterbug, I'm not sure about the other trees but 18 inches is great soil compared to my Poway Conglomerate. I can only stick my shovel down 1 inch before I hit rock and clay. I hired some helping hands to help me dig my planting holes and after sweating our way down several inches, my helpers suggested I rent a jackhammer. I would assume Avocado and mango will do ok with 18 inches of soil especially if your neighbor has a healthy Avocado.

Another thing I learned in another post from Mark in Texas is that the younger the tree you plant, the better and faster they establish.

Shane, could it have been a sunlight, pH or fertilizer issue that caused the stalled growth of your seedlings. It kinda makes sense the taproot grew horizontally if you layered compost and clay. The roots seem to want to find the path of least resistance.

Simon

Mark in Texas

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2014, 07:18:38 AM »
That is kind of how commercial avocado growers plant avocado trees.  The young grafted trees come in a plastic sleeve the size of a post hole.  A hole is dug with a post hole auger the depth of the plastic sleeve. The sleeve is removed when the tree is slipped into the post hole.

My Christmas trees (pines and other goodies) come in 7" tall cones about 1.75" at the top.  I use a garden auger of the same diameter on a 18V drill to dig the holes. Pop the liner out, drop it in the hole, do a little cover up and then scratch in about a tbsp. of Polyon.

I can't believe some of you have to use a jackhammer to bust up your soil!

Mark

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2014, 04:29:33 PM »
"I can't believe some of you have to use a jackhammer to bust up your soil!"

Oh , yeah Mark that is for real . You ever try digging in hard caliche clay soil . Take a pick to it and it bounces right off the hard soil back at you. You have to wet first wait a couple days while it softens then dig!

simon_grow

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2014, 08:56:16 PM »
I didn't end up renting a jackhammer but I wish I did. The guys wanted to quit digging after about ten minutes and demanded more money and better equipment. I obliged and picked up some long picks and crowbars, the shovels didn't work at all. Only useful after soil was loosened. I took some pictures, I'll see if I can find them.
Simon

Mark in Texas

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2014, 07:46:04 AM »
"I can't believe some of you have to use a jackhammer to bust up your soil!"

Oh , yeah Mark that is for real . You ever try digging in hard caliche clay soil . Take a pick to it and it bounces right off the hard soil back at you. You have to wet first wait a couple days while it softens then dig!

What is able to grow in that stuff?  What kind of soils do you have in the Fallbrook area? 

Seems to me the only way to grow would be raised beds or mounds.

BTW, had our first Reed shipped from McManigle Grove, Fallbrook, last night and all we could say is OMG!  That has got to be the richest, creamiest, most nutty avocado we've ever eaten in our life.  We almost didn't get the slices to a plate for eating it right out of the peel with a spoon.

Mark

davidgarcia899

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #37 on: October 16, 2014, 05:06:59 PM »
Be happy water loosens up your soil, the only way to open a hole in SFL requires a heavy excavator
- David Antonio Garcia

simon_grow

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #38 on: October 16, 2014, 07:09:06 PM »
Here is a hole I dug earlier this year, this hole is not for trees, just experimenting on Watermelon but you can see the clay and rocks.  Only about 1 inch of topsoil before the cement like layer.  This hole took about 2-3 hours to dig.
Simon



« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 07:10:38 PM by simon_grow »

huertasurbanas

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #39 on: October 16, 2014, 08:24:22 PM »
Hi! very good history, I need some help:

Some months ago I sow 5 or so avocado seeds from fruits from my parents tree, their fruits are not good so I want to graft them.

They are growing very strong, 1m tall (3 feet) now, and I will get some wood from a neighbor that has a good variety.

The question is:

what kind of graft should I practice? cleft graft?

simon_grow

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #40 on: October 16, 2014, 08:32:29 PM »
This video is good for grafting seedlings, I believe Carlos is a member of this forum.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0K-SBInTyFk

Here's one for top working:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI51Ck6Nk4E

I'm no expert on avocados or grafting, just got lucky. If you have vigorous rootstock, you're on the right track! Let us know how it goes😀
Simon

TheWaterbug

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2014, 12:25:29 AM »
I can't believe some of you have to use a jackhammer to bust up your soil!

I'll take this an opportunity to advocate for the Green Broadfork of Destiny:



From top to bottom I have a scant few inches of good topsoil, then yellowish clay, then compacted sand(stone), then black adobe clay. I have a similar experience to mangomanic in that a pickaxe is just useless. It'll make a tiny little dent, and that's it. If I try to dig a hole with a garden spade I can jump my 220# up and down on it all day long and never penetrate more than 4". I have a rototiller, and if I attempt to till un-forked soil it will just skate across the top.

With the broadfork I can get down a good 12", and without breaking my back. It's still hard work, but it doesn't hurt.

So I typically fork in rows until I've prepped a few hundred sf, and then I run the tiller over it 2-3 times. Then I can actually plant something.

Of course I also paid $250 for it  :o :o, so it's not for everyone, but it's the best garden tool I own. And now it's "only" $200, so it's a bargain!
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

davidgarcia899

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #42 on: October 18, 2014, 12:39:57 AM »
Here is a hole I dug earlier this year, this hole is not for trees, just experimenting on Watermelon but you can see the clay and rocks.  Only about 1 inch of topsoil before the cement like layer.  This hole took about 2-3 hours to dig.
Simon






I wouldnt even be a able to dig that. Its rock all the way down
- David Antonio Garcia

davidgarcia899

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2014, 12:41:54 AM »






 I dont even have 6 inches of soil before you hit soild and I mean solid limestone
- David Antonio Garcia

Mark in Texas

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #44 on: October 18, 2014, 09:57:11 AM »

I'll take this an opportunity to advocate for the Green Broadfork of Destiny:




That looks like the real deal!  Looks solid and well built.  I don't know how many fork handles I've busted in my gardening days but it's a bunch. 

Soil looks crumbly, and that's a good thing.

Any way you guys can get a tractor onto your property?  Only issue might be spinning of your tires but if you have/rent a 4 wheel drive tractor and drop the chisel/knife about 4" with every pass, it will break up concrete down to 2'.  Once that's done your roots have a place to go.  After you plant add mulch and/or compost frequently in order to establish a nice feeding zone for surface roots.

Bought this one for $50.  Is one of my most valuable tools.  Have prepped hardpan for a vineyard, wildflower stand, 60 trees around the house, hundreds of rows for Xmas tress...you name it.
 

« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 09:59:34 AM by Mark in Texas »

zands

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2014, 03:07:27 PM »
I can't believe some of you have to use a jackhammer to bust up your soil!

I'll take this an opportunity to advocate for the Green Broadfork of Destiny:



From top to bottom I have a scant few inches of good topsoil, then yellowish clay, then compacted sand(stone), then black adobe clay. I have a similar experience to mangomanic in that a pickaxe is just useless. It'll make a tiny little dent, and that's it. If I try to dig a hole with a garden spade I can jump my 220# up and down on it all day long and never penetrate more than 4". I have a rototiller, and if I attempt to till un-forked soil it will just skate across the top.

With the broadfork I can get down a good 12", and without breaking my back. It's still hard work, but it doesn't hurt.

So I typically fork in rows until I've prepped a few hundred sf, and then I run the tiller over it 2-3 times. Then I can actually plant something.

Of course I also paid $250 for it  :o :o , so it's not for everyone, but it's the best garden tool I own. And now it's "only" $200, so it's a bargain!

So with this broadfork you can stand on it and your body weight will dig into your soil. I suppose you rock sideways a bit to get it to penetrate..... But will it penetrate??

You then rototill a few times. Looks like a plan!
That broadfork is from the old double digging school of Alan Chadwick and John Jevons

MangoFang

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2014, 03:10:24 PM »
Gosh - I'll never complain about my sandy soil again!

GREAT job, Simon - I've always like your positive outlook
and knowledge seeking and experiments you seem to
perform on every project.

You are so much more than a Brix Master and sugar cane
juicer!!!!



Gary

simon_grow

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #47 on: October 18, 2014, 09:14:05 PM »
Thanks Gary,

I think I'm approximately 70% sugar cane juicer and 30% experimenter.

I really hope this post will help those out there there that have previously tried and failed at growing avocados to give it another shot. My friend really really loves Avocados and it was really heartbreaking for him to plant each avocado tree and watch as it slowly died. We were both so excited when we first saw the new growth pushing through the para film but i didn't want to get his hopes up and I kept telling him that there was still a chance the graft could fail. Now that we have harvested the first avocados, and they did ripen properly, we can raise our arms and proclaim victory. I think Julie Frink would be proud of us:)

This victory is dedicated to the little guy/gal, the runt that survived, the zone pusher. The underdog that got knocked down 5 times and got up 6. Plant that seed and watch it grow!

Simon

TheWaterbug

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #48 on: October 30, 2014, 03:45:01 PM »
So with this broadfork you can stand on it and your body weight will dig into your soil. I suppose you rock sideways a bit to get it to penetrate..... But will it penetrate??

You then rototill a few times. Looks like a plan!
That broadfork is from the old double digging school of Alan Chadwick and John Jevons
Yes, exactly. I have some old video of myself using the 'fork on some of my worst soil. Look how long it takes just to get the tines all the way in the first time.

Back on topic with respect to avocados, I suppose this might contribute to the "virtual pot" problem if I didn't dig deeply and widely enough. But if you need to fracture soil, and you don't have access to a chisel plow, the broadfork works very, very well.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

Pancrazio

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Re: Success planting an Avocado after 8 years of failures and 5 dead trees!
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2014, 08:08:19 PM »
My soil has a fair amount of clay: not hard at all.
This summer i have lost TWO avocados (bacon and mexicola), I'm assuming because root rot.
I will try the seedling technique, but i wonder if i will able to graft low enough. I'm assuming i will have to use T budding. Cleft grafts usually don't give very low grafts.
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I want to buy/trade to get the following mango scions: Florigon/Rosa/Francis Hargrave. Avocado: Mexicola. Contact me in PM if interested.

 

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