Author Topic: Avocado Soil for mound  (Read 670 times)

Va Beach Grower

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Avocado Soil for mound
« on: February 06, 2023, 10:55:11 AM »
Hi All,
I have a 3 ft. tall Mexicola in a 3 gal pot right now.  It's shown some stress but I'm hoping it makes it through the winter.  My plan was to make a raised bed out of planter bricks that is about 1 ft tall, loosen the soil underneath so the roots have room to grow down and out and then basically sit the avocado on top of the ground, then backfill the area in the raised bed with soil.  So I have 3 questions:
1. Should I instead just up-pot into a 5 gallon (or 10 or 15) pot this year and give it another year before putting in the soil?
2. When it eventually goes into the ground, should I make a "mound" within my raised bed, or can I just fill it up so the entire raised bed is the same soil level?
3. What soil amendments should I use?  My go to for my other raised beds is mel's mix (1 part peat poss (or coco coir), 1 part perlite (or vermiculite) and 1 part compost, and for other fruit trees I've planted, I've just mixed in a slight bit of compost into the native soil and they have all done well.  I've read that builders sand is good, but I'm not sure if that's in place of perlite or in addition.  Would love to hear some examples of soil mixtures others have used that have been successful for a raised/mounded avocado in the ground.
4. I assume that mulching w/wood chips or pine straw similar to other fruit trees is okay?


drymifolia

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Re: Avocado Soil for mound
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2023, 01:03:25 PM »
1. Should I instead just up-pot into a 5 gallon (or 10 or 15) pot this year and give it another year before putting in the soil?
In my experience, the sooner an avocado can go in the ground, the happier it will be. Some do fine for a couple years in 10-15 gal pots, but I'd say go in the ground as soon as last chance of frost has passed.

Quote
2. When it eventually goes into the ground, should I make a "mound" within my raised bed, or can I just fill it up so the entire raised bed is the same soil level?

I'm not sure that I understand the question, but a raised bed is already a mound (relative to the surrounding soil level), you don't need to build up an additional mound of soil above the top of the raised bed.

Quote
3. What soil amendments should I use?  My go to for my other raised beds is mel's mix (1 part peat poss (or coco coir), 1 part perlite (or vermiculite) and 1 part compost, and for other fruit trees I've planted, I've just mixed in a slight bit of compost into the native soil and they have all done well.  I've read that builders sand is good, but I'm not sure if that's in place of perlite or in addition.  Would love to hear some examples of soil mixtures others have used that have been successful for a raised/mounded avocado in the ground.

This is going to be highly dependent on the nature of your native soil. Since it's a raised bed, does it already contain amended soil, or is it just your local topsoil? Avocados can handle a wide range of soils but generally don't like highly alkaline soils, soils with high salt content, or any soil with poor drainage/high water table.

Here in the PNW, my native topsoil is comprised mostly of silty/sandy/clay-rich glacial deposits from the last ice age, and is very low in organic matter. I mostly don't amend the soil much other than to mix a bit of organic matter into the backfill (using a mixture of compost and composted manure), but I do top-dress with compost and then often add wood chip mulch on that when I've got some handy.

Quote
4. I assume that mulching w/wood chips or pine straw similar to other fruit trees is okay?
Not just ok, it's highly recommended. I don't know about pine straw, but some of the fungal pathogens that cause root rot in avocados are reduced by the beneficial microbes that flourish in wood chips.

Va Beach Grower

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Re: Avocado Soil for mound
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2023, 05:48:22 PM »
1. Should I instead just up-pot into a 5 gallon (or 10 or 15) pot this year and give it another year before putting in the soil?
In my experience, the sooner an avocado can go in the ground, the happier it will be. Some do fine for a couple years in 10-15 gal pots, but I'd say go in the ground as soon as last chance of frost has passed.

Quote
2. When it eventually goes into the ground, should I make a "mound" within my raised bed, or can I just fill it up so the entire raised bed is the same soil level?

I'm not sure that I understand the question, but a raised bed is already a mound (relative to the surrounding soil level), you don't need to build up an additional mound of soil above the top of the raised bed.

Quote
3. What soil amendments should I use?  My go to for my other raised beds is mel's mix (1 part peat poss (or coco coir), 1 part perlite (or vermiculite) and 1 part compost, and for other fruit trees I've planted, I've just mixed in a slight bit of compost into the native soil and they have all done well.  I've read that builders sand is good, but I'm not sure if that's in place of perlite or in addition.  Would love to hear some examples of soil mixtures others have used that have been successful for a raised/mounded avocado in the ground.

This is going to be highly dependent on the nature of your native soil. Since it's a raised bed, does it already contain amended soil, or is it just your local topsoil? Avocados can handle a wide range of soils but generally don't like highly alkaline soils, soils with high salt content, or any soil with poor drainage/high water table.

Here in the PNW, my native topsoil is comprised mostly of silty/sandy/clay-rich glacial deposits from the last ice age, and is very low in organic matter. I mostly don't amend the soil much other than to mix a bit of organic matter into the backfill (using a mixture of compost and composted manure), but I do top-dress with compost and then often add wood chip mulch on that when I've got some handy.

Quote
4. I assume that mulching w/wood chips or pine straw similar to other fruit trees is okay?
Not just ok, it's highly recommended. I don't know about pine straw, but some of the fungal pathogens that cause root rot in avocados are reduced by the beneficial microbes that flourish in wood chips.

Thanks for the info!  I haven't built the raised bed yet, I'm going to do it out of leftover pavers, so will basically be placing the avocado on top of the native soil, and then filling in the sides w/amended soil.  Not all the soil in my yard is well draining, but on the side I never have any draining issues so it should be fine there.  I'm just wondering if on the sides to fill up the rest of the raised bed, if I use my standard mel's mix that I use in my raised garden beds (the veggies do really well there), or if I mix in sand to the mix and do 1 part each (sand/perlite/compost/peat moss) or if there is some other mixture that does well, or if just getting topsoil from home depot is best?

Calusa

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Re: Avocado Soil for mound
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2023, 10:01:14 PM »
I've read on here that the best thing to do for a new avocado is mound up quality soil mixed heavily with pine bark, and don't be shy about making the mound on the high side. Plant the tree right on top. They can't tolerate wet feet.

drymifolia

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Re: Avocado Soil for mound
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2023, 10:05:22 PM »
If you aren't just mounding the existing soil, you're probably better off using whatever mix has worked well for you in raised beds before, rather than buying "topsoil." I've seen some questionable stuff sold under that label. You may want to dig down a foot or so below ground level and mix that soil in with whatever you buy, so there's less of a stark line between the two. But I'm sure the avocado roots will find their way into the ground fine either way.