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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Yarden Haul

Fresh From The Yarden

We were able to pick a very nice selection of fresh veggies from the garden today.  Each and every item is so wonderful to eat fresh!

We have the light skinned armenian cucumber, a recent pick of two zucchini, our great green onions, a little peter pan squash, lancinato kale, yellow pear tomatoes and little red principe borghese tomatoes.  Just lovely to pick these in the morning during the watering process.

Avocado Sprouts

We tend to sprout our avocado seeds.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.  We've had some good luck recently with the Costco Hass avocados.  Hass avocados have a very dark green alligator like skin and are very popular.  An interesting fact is:

All commercial, fruit-bearing Hass avocado trees have been grown from grafted seedlings propagated from a single tree which was grown from a seed bought by Rudolph Hass in 1926 from A. R. Rideout of Whittier, California. At the time, Rideout was getting seeds from any source he could find, even restaurant food scraps. The subspecies of this seed is not known and may already have been cross-pollinated when Hass bought it. ~ Wikipedia

When dicing up the avocados, I tend to look for the seeds that have a root growing in the fruits, and then stick some toothpicks in the seeds and suspend them in water.  Avocado seeds are kind of egg-shaped, and the rounded, larger end should be under water. Detailed instructions are available at thehungrymouse.

The roots are the first to appear.  After some time, a sprout forms at the top of the seed and quite some time later the leaves show up.  It requires patience. Not only for the seed to sprout a little tree, but if you plan on eating the fruit a seed-grown avocado tree will produce after 5 years. For some reason, it is believed that home grown fruits are inferior to the avocado trees purchased from nurseries.  Perhaps it could be due to grafting.

I peeled the brown casing from the seed and planted it in a recycled self-watering wine bottle planter.  These seeds can stick out above the soil a bit.  The little seedling will grow quite high pretty quickly.

In Phoenix, Arizona, these little trees will not develop bark to protect them from the relentless sunshine and must be grown indoors for the first few years.  Otherwise, the leaves aren't enough to shade their tender trunks and prevent burning.  Once successfully growing the tree, it may not bear fruit for you.

If you know the variety of avocado you’ve bought -- such as a "Hass" avocado (P. americans “Hass”), a common market variety -- you have no guarantee it will grow true to the parent, particularly if it has been grafted to another rootstock, which is common in commercial avocados. Choosing a complementary variety to guarantee pollen is problematic if you don't know the variety of your window-grown tree. Providing you actually have a "Hass" avocado, can meet its cultural needs and afford a large water bill, it will need five to seven years before it starts to produce. At the end, the odds that your tree will produce fruit are small -- but you’ll have an evergreen ornamental tree and a story to tell. ~ SFGate

I guess good intentions only go so far.  If you want guaranteed success with a smaller growing tree, the Wurtz Avocado tree may be the one for you.  We need to finish up our garden before we buy more trees. 

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