Are you interested to learn how to start an avocado farm? Embarking on this journey requires time, effort, and commitment. Plus, it would help if you considered several factors, including soil preparation and weather conditions.
You’re probably aware that avocado trees or Persea spp are originally from Mexico. Origin explains why one of the famous Mexican cuisines include avocado-based guacamole.
You can choose to grow avocado trees indoors or outdoors. If you plan to grow them in a hobby polytunnel or at home, all you have to do is sow the seeds in pots. When they’re grown outdoors, avocado trees can grow up to 40 feet. You can al
Moreover, these trees thrive well in UK regions where the weather is mostly warm and sunny. However, don’t expect them to grow in areas that experience extreme temperatures during the summer and winter.
Avocado: The Superfood
Did you know that the global demand for avocados has been steadily increasing? Aside from the fact that its fruit is known for its full, buttery flavour and rich texture, it’s also packed with loads of essential nutrients that are good for your body.
A single serving of avocado fruit contains vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and vitamin A. It also has protein, fibre, and healthy fats. If you’re on a low-carb plant food diet, you’d want to incorporate avocados into your diet.
What are the Growing Requirements of an Avocado Tree?
Since avocado trees need to be grown in warm semi-humid climates, they only grow in the plant hardiness zones 8 to 11. However, it’s important to note that while avocado trees may be grown in those zones, they don’t always thrive well in areas that get extremely hot during the summer or frosty, chilly, or snowy the winter. The requirement for temperature implies that the ideal environment for an avocado tree should have moderate temperatures all year round.
What are the 3 Primary Groups of Avocado Trees?
If you plan to start an avocado farm, you need to know the three main groups of avocado trees: Guatemalan, West Indian, and Mexican. Each type has its ideal growing range.
A Guatemalan avocado is known for its hard skin that features plenty of warts.
West Indian Avocados
This type of avocado tends to flourish in warm climates. Unlike the Guatemalan avocado, a West Indian avocado has thin and shiny skin and could weigh up to 5 pounds.
A Mexican avocado thrives well in tropical highland areas. Compared to the other avocado groups, the Mexican avocado is more tolerant of cold weather. It can manage to survive even when temperatures drop to 26˚F.
Moreover, this type of avocado produces smaller fruit that weighs less than a single pound, and its skin has a distinct papery-smoothness to it.
Expert Tips on How to Start an Avocado Farm
Unless you’re willing to take on a long-term project, spend a considerable amount of money on planting, and wait for a period of 3 to 5 years for your first harvest, don’t get into avocado farming. However, if you’re willing to go through the whole nine yards to enjoy top yields for many years, check out this guide:
Tip #1: Plant them in areas where the temperatures are consistently cool
Be sure to plant your avocado trees in cool temperatures that can range between 68˚F to 75˚F daily to avoid fruit drop. However, when they’re flowering or starting to bear fruit, the humidity levels shouldn’t go below 50% at midday.
Tip #2: They don’t like wind
In case you’re not aware, avocado trees have brittle branches that easily snap off. For this reason, it’s best not to plant them in areas that are primarily windy because wind can cause considerable damage to their fruit.
Tip #3: Most of them need proper irrigation
If your avocados are rain-fed, they need to have at least 1,000 mm rainfall spread throughout each year. Before their flowering season, avocado trees require a drier season that lasts for about two months. Every week, avocado trees need about 25 mm of water.
It’s essential to test the quality of irrigation water because if its pH and bicarbonates are high, they trigger a build-up of free lime in the soil. It would help if you also remembered that high sodium and chloride levels could hurt your avocado plants.
Since the plant’s roots are shallow, the ideal way to apply water is via a micro-sprinkler or drip. Apply water in this way ensures an even distribution throughout the avocado tree’s root area.
Moreover, proper moisture control needs to be ensured in the root zone because this area tends to dry up quickly.
Tip #4: Determine the soil’s suitability and prepare it accordingly
You can’t just plant an avocado seed on soil that one has not prepared accordingly. To prepare the soil for planting, you need to dig soil profile pits throughout your farm. Make sure that the pits are 1.5 m deep.
Only a single put per ha is required. However, you need to dig more pits if the location is non-homogenous or hilly. Check the soil’s colour, texture, structure, patches, sitting water, concretions, hardpans, stones, and gravel.
Grow Your Avocado Trees in a Hobby Greenhouse!
Since avocado trees require specific temperature and humidity levels, you’ll find it easier to grow them in a hobby greenhouse. The enclosed space allows you to customise the environment to meet the needs of your plants. What’s more, it protects them from strong winds and the constant threat of pests.
Learning how to start an avocado farm outdoors is excellent, but growing them inside a hobby polytunnel is even better.