Avocados are chockfull of essential nutrients required for optimal growth and development. These fruits are rich in dietary fiber, healthy fats, magnesium, folate, and vitamins B6, C, and E.
Thanks to their dense nutritional profile, avocados boast plenty of health benefits. Examples include relieving digestive complications, lowering cholesterol levels, and improving cardiovascular functions.
So, it’s unsurprising that the demand for avocados is at an all-time high.
The rising demand for avocados may come as great news for producers and traders. But it means the final consumer must spend more on the fruits.
Fortunately, it’s possible to grow avocados indoors and save a considerable fraction of your grocery expenses on these nutritious fruits. Read below for a beginner’s guide to growing avocados indoors.
Why Grow Avocados Yourself?
We’ve just pointed out that the demand for avocados has shot through the roof as many people increasingly become aware of their health and nutritional benefits. Therefore, growing avocados yourself could turn into a lucrative income-generating opportunity. With patience and persistence, you might eventually emerge as your neighborhood’s most reliable avocado vendor. The good thing is that you can find everything that you want to know about avocados on dedicated sites like avocadotrack.com.
Cultivating avocados at home also allows you to save on your groceries. Statistics indicate that avocados cost an average of $1.7 per unit in the United States as of December 2020. And while the savings may not seem much at face value, they could translate into hundreds of dollars if analyzed over time.
When growing avocados, yourself, you get to decide the type of soil to plant avocados and the fertilizers to feed them. It’s even better if you’re growing the fruits in an indoor space where you control the environmental factors. With homegrown avocados, you won’t need to worry whether the fruits were organically produced, timely harvested, and chemically treated using harmful preservatives.
Lastly, growing avocados at home makes it easy to experiment with numerous avocado recipes. You won’t need to endure hours of grocery shopping whenever the craving for guacamole or avocado sandwiches strikes. Simply pluck the fruits from your indoor garden and get down to business.
Steps for Growing Avocados Indoors
1. Strain Selection
The most crucial step in growing avocados is to pick the right cultivar. That’s especially if growing these fruits indoors.
First, space limitations in indoor gardens will demand that you pick a dwarfish strain. It’s also best to insist on cultivars that do not produce dense foliage. This allows you to maximize space without compromising airflow and light penetration.
Hass has emerged as one of the most preferred avocado cultivars. The strain is relatively short, less dense, and matures throughout the year. Plus, it produces a buttery, nutty fruit.
2. Seed Preparation
It’s possible to grow avocados from seeds or seedlings. However, traditional avocado seedlings may not be readily available in your location. That’s due to the expensive cost and stringent regulations in transporting these seedlings from one jurisdiction to another.
Therefore, you’ll most likely be growing avocados from seeds.
Follow the below procedure to prepare the seeds for germination;
- Take out the seed from ripe avocado fruit.
- Peel the seed from the brown layer.
- Place the seed in water.
- Wait about 2 – 4 weeks for the seeds to sprout and roots to form, then transport them.
Avocados don’t need to be transplanted multiple times during their growth cycle. Simply move the seeds to their permanent growing location once they sprout. This could either be a pot or garden soil.
If planting your avocados in the garden soil, the conventional wisdom is to space the plants around 5 meters apart. However, this will ultimately depend on the foliage density of the selected cultivar.
And if growing avocados in a pot, begin with a 6- to 8-inch-diameter container. You may need to change the pot size once or twice as the tree matures.
4. Choosing Suitable Soil
Avocado trees prefer loose, well-drained soils. Loam soil is your best bet. However, you might also consider sandy soil provided that you reinforce it with organic matter to allow it to hold water and minerals for longer.
Compost, straw, and shredded wood bark are all effective at improving the water retention properties of sandy soil.
pH is another key soil component to take into account. Avocados generally flourish between slightly acidic and neutral pH (5 – 7 on the pH scale).
5. Watering and Fertilization
Avocados are relatively resilient plants. That said, regular watering is still required to ensure a bumper harvest.
There’s no standard rule on how frequently you should water your indoor avocado plants, as it depends on the soil type and general environmental conditions. But if all other factors remain constant, watering the trees deeply once or twice a week would suffice.
When it comes to feeding, insist on fertilizers rich in nitrogen and a bit of zinc. The ideal fertilization time is every 6 – 8 weeks during the first year, 8 – 10 weeks during the second year, and 3 – 4 weeks after that.
6. Temperature and Humidity
One advantage of growing avocados indoors is that you have more control of various environmental aspects like temperature and humidity. However, that doesn’t make the experience entirely hands-off.
Avocados thrive under warmer temperatures of (60 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit) and moderate humidity of 40 – 60. Maintaining these conditions may require you to invest in space heaters, fans (for temperature), humidifiers, and dehumidifiers (for humidity).
Don’t forget a thermometer and hygrometer for measuring temperature and humidity, respectively.
7. Timely Harvesting
You’ll never truly realize that you implemented proper avocado growing techniques until it’s the harvest season. And when it comes to harvesting, timing is of the essence.
Note that harvesting avocados prematurely is just as terrible as late harvest. The ideal time to harvest these fruits is when they’re mature but still unripe.
You’ll know that your avocados are ripe when the skin color changes from light green to dark green, black, or purple, depending on the variety.
There goes our comprehensive guide to growing avocados indoors. It doesn’t matter whether you were born with green thumbs or not. Implementing the above-listed tips can set your avocado farming venture up for success.