Thursday, August 8, 2013

Just rescued from the compost pile...

...two small avocado trees.

I was out inspecting the compost because I thought I might find a sprouted mango pit. My teenager thought that was weird, but I knew you would understand. I had heard that the extra heat of a compost pile can cause mangoes to sprout more easily than they would in a pot, so I had to see if there were any babies out there.

No mangoes sprouting, but as a happy instead, I found these avocados already well on their way. One of the pits had curly roots from growing around the inside of an egg shell! Both pits have stems (trunks?) around two feet tall. I potted them up and moved them to the patio.

Avocados are subtropical plants, so I wondered if there is any possibility of getting them to fruit indoors. Apparently so! This article by Lee Reich explains that you should start with a grafted tree to be sure you're getting a tasty variety that doesn't take too long to bear fruit. It should be a dwarf type so it will fit inside when you move it indoors before danger of frost. Otherwise give it plenty of sun in a south-facing window, good drainage (extra sand or perlite in the soil mix) and then enjoy guacamole in about 3 or 4 years.

Harvesting avocados indoors would make the sprouts on the kitchen windowsill look lame, wouldn't it?  I'm kind of amazed by the possibility. You learn something new every day if you garden.


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