Monday, 30 June 2014

How To Grow An Avocado Tree From Seed

Last Summer I got the most amazing surprise when I cut open my avocado - the seed / nut had split and  began sprouting inside the avocado. I  have always wanted to grow an avocado tree by seed, so I didn't waste this opportunity to grow my first avocado tree.  
I was hooked! Before I knew it every free window sill of the house was occupied with glasses of water and avocado nuts... I had turned into an avocado nut! 

Growing an avocado tree is super easy and very rewarding.

How I grow avocados from seed:

1. Remove avocado nut, wash with clean water and dry with paper towel. Eat the yummy avocado, I like it whole with a squeeze of lemon...

2. Press 3 toothpicks into the thickest width of avocado, this will suspend the nut over water.

3. Fill a glass with water enough so that half of the avocado nut is submerged. It is important that you place  the bulbous (fatter) end of the nut into the water.

4. Place on a sunny window sill - avocados love the sun. Top the glass up regularly with fresh water. Replace water entirely every week, and gently wipe down the nut with paper towel if there is any 'fluff' on it.

5. Wait patiently. The first signs of sprouting are cracks in the nut. This can take up to 8 weeks. Some Avocado nuts will not sprout at all, some will sprout in days, and some have already began sprouting inside the avocado - this happened to me with a 'Reed' variety. Reed  are those giant round avocados that are a bit squishy and over ripe (makes for a good guacamole!).

Here are my little avocado babies in varying stages. Sure you could just pop the seed straight into the soil, but that wouldn't be any fun!

LEFT: Reed Avocado
RIGHT: Hass Avocado

When the stem grows around 6 or more inches pinch out the top two sets of leaves. This will encourage the plant to grow side shoots and more leaves, making it bushy. Each time the plant grows another six inches pinch out the two newest sets of leaves on top.

Avocados are little bundles of goodness - they contain a rich variety of heart nutrients including vitamin E for preventing cholesterol oxidation; folate for reducing dangerous homocysteine levels in the blood; potassium for regulating blood pressure; phytosterols for reducing cholesterol absorption; and dietary fibre to control blood sugar levels

Once the avocado has outgrown the glass, I pot them and gift them to friends and family, quite a cheap gift but made with lots of love. Potted avocado trees make great indoor plants, but be aware if you plant these in the garden - under the right circumstances they can grow up to 40 feet and have invasive roots!

If you want your tree to fruit, you will need another tree or two to help with pollination.

Good luck! And  remember to give it time, if it doesn't work the first time, try again. The large over ripe avocados worked best for me. Its a fun process and you will remember your first sprout!  x x

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Op Shops & Port Elliot Loves

Two of my favourite things. Port Elliot is a quaint seaside town an hour and a bit south of Adelaide South Australia. My Dad was born here, many Summer holidays were had here and I married here! 

 Pt. Elliot South Australia is a quaint seaside town on the Fleurieu Peninsula famously known for its family beaches, cafes, surfing beaches, bakery (best mushroom parcels ever!) and the cute little shops along its main street 'The Strand'. 
Ever since I can remember there has been a new and second hand and collectors shop called 'The Bargain Barn' on The Strand. My last haul of goodies consisted of a collection of cat rubber stamps, old books and a roll of ribbon.

For over 30 years, Lyn & Dean Pearce have been supplying locals and  holiday makers with an eclectic range of goodies - from kites to the ever popular 80c lucky dips (keeping the kidlettes happy).

Double goodness . . .
Very conveniently across the road is a seasonal op shop run by St Judes Church.

St Judes  Op Shop is inside a big open beautiful heritage Anglican Church. It is only open through the  Summer holidays and is ran buy church volunteers.

This is a classic 'jumble sale' style with its random, cheap op shop goodness thinly spread out and boxes to fossick through. They have a huge selection of cheap vintage clothing patterns for sale, but you have to be prepared for a good 'dig thru'