Avocados B to Z
Only in California
Growing avocados is one of the great joys of temperate-climate California gardening. Nowhere else in the continental U.S. can this be done with such success. With the variously-sized avocado trees, there’s one for every size of garden. And by planting different varieties, you can harvest avocados almost year-round.
Mexican or Guatemalan?
Mexican type avocados can take cooler winter temperatures than Guatemalan types—a consideration when choosing. Mexican types also ripen faster—in about 6 to 8 months. Guatemalan avocados mature between 12 and 18 months. Hybrids are crosses between the two types
Avocados come as two flowering types: A and B. To increase production, you’ll need two of the same type. However, if you live in an area where avocado trees are commonly grown, there’ll likely be a tree of both flowering types in your neighborhood that will pollinate yours.
Avocados like to stay evenly moist, yet require good drainage. They will suffer if the soil is waterlogged. A bark mulch will help keep soil moist.
Use E.B. Stone SureStart at planting time. After six months feed twice a year with E.B. Stone Citrus & Avocado Food following directions on package.
In addition to keeping moisture in the soil, mulching will help deter root rot. A yearly top-dressing of gypsum will also help. Keep mulch, fertilizer and gypsum 6- to 8-inches away from the trunk.
How to Ripen Fruit
To speed up the ripening process, place avocados in a brown paper bag at room temperature until you’re ready to eat. Adding an apple or banana (add several if you’re really in a hurry) will help your avocados ripen even faster. Refrigerate only ripened fruit.
Avocados B to Z
- Bacon – A Mexican type that bears more heavily in alternate years. Medium-sized fruit with green skin on an upright tree. Type B flower; fruit ripens mid-fall through winter.
- Fuerte – A popular hybrid variety. Large trees bear high-quality, medium-sized green fruit late fall through spring. Type B flower.
- Hass – Hybrid. The most common supermarket type: medium to large fruit with dark purple, pebbly skin. Great flavor. Large and spreading tree with Type A flower, with fruit harvested during spring into fall.
- Holiday – A Guatemalan type with very large green fruits with very good flavor. Trees are dwarf and weeping. Bears in alternate years and can be grown in containers. Type A flower. Ripens mid-fall through winter.
- Jim Bacon – A selection of ‘Bacon’ that can take slightly colder temperatures.
- Lamb Hass– A more productive form of ‘Hass.’
- Mexicola – A small-fruited Mexican type with a rich, nutty flavor. Skin is soft and dark purple; seed is quite large. Prolific producer, with fruit ripening late summer and fall. Type A flower. A great choice for colder areas.
- Mexicola Grande – Larger fruit and more cold hardy than ‘Mexicola’.
- Pinkerton – Large trees produce high-quality, medium to large fruits with green skin. Guatemalan type; ripens winter through spring. Type A flower.
- Reed – A narrow, upright trees bears quality, medium-large fruit (bears well without a pollinator) summer into fall. Guatemalan type with green, bumpy skin. Type A flower.
- Stewart – Mexican type fruit (with dark purple skin) of small to medium size ripens fall into winter. Trees are compact. Flowers are Type B.
- Zutano – A hybrid often used to pollinate (to increase production) of ‘Haas’. Medium size fruits with green skin. Type B flower.
Great Guacamole Recipes
You would expect California avocado growers to have some fantastic guacamole recipes and they do! Click here for classic and exotic guacamole recipes (and other recipes) from the California Avocado Commission website. [Link to: http://www.californiaavocado.com/recipes/ ]