July 15, 2006

Plant Your Avocado Seeds

Those avocado seeds can be your own avocado trees without much effort.

Start by holding the seed with its pointed end up, and the little bumpie-thing side-down, and push three or four toothpicks around the sides (NSEW). Then, fill a clear-glass jar with water, and balance the toothpicks on its sides so the bumpie-thing is totally immersed. Some people put a bit of charcoal or a penny in the bottom of the water, but you don't have to do this.

Keep that water refilled, right up the brim - this keeps oxygen running through there. (Clear glass containers help you monitor the water level.) Soon, the bottom of the seed will crack open, and a root will emerge.

In about six weeks, you will have a nice little plant, with big. long roots and nice leaves. Now it's time to move your tiny tree to a soil home. It won't live forever in this water world you've created.

As an option, you can forego the water method, and just plant the seed in a 5-inch pot of good soil, with its pointy top just above the soil line. Keep the soil moist, and the temperature around 72 degrees, and a little tree should pop up.

Either way, once your baby reaches a foot in height, prune it back to about 6 inches. This makes for a nice, full tree and not a stringy, ugly one.

Your avocado tree will grow inside or out. It will need sun. If you are using pots, check for root growth and give it a bigger pot when necessary. Feed and water it regularly.

Here in San Antonio, there are several families that have backyards filled with their own home-grown avocado trees - how nice to have guacamole made with your own fruit.

4 ripe avocadoes, seeded and peeled
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 cup chopped roma tomatoes (they have less juice)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion (Vidalia, Texas 1018)
1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of Tobasco or 1 small, seeded, finely chopped serano pepper
salt to taste
Serve with chips, or make chapulas, tacos, etc.
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