Fertilizing avocado trees

Fertilizing avocado trees

Last week, I visited the largest organic avocado farm in California. It’s those hills in the photo above — they’re covered with 1,000 acres of avocado trees. And I felt vindicated when I saw that they care for the soil under their trees in essentially the...
Where and how to buy good avocados

Where and how to buy good avocados

I’ve been buying avocados the last couple weeks. This is embarrassing because I have more than a dozen avocado trees growing in my yard. We have no fruit off our own trees at the moment, however, due to a combination of some trees having an “off” year, plus the...
Where to buy an avocado tree

Where to buy an avocado tree

Looking to plant the common Hass variety of avocado in your yard? Looking for the less common Reed? Searching for where to buy a rarely grown avocado variety like Nabal or Jan Boyce? Let me try to connect you with the grower or seller of the avocado variety of your...
How to plant and stake an avocado tree

How to plant and stake an avocado tree

Even though I’ve planted many avocado trees, I was nervous putting in this little Jan Boyce, or JB for short (pictured on left). It is a particularly fine-tasting variety that I’d been trying to get my hands on for years. But I needn’t be too nervous. I’ve...
Hand pollinating avocados

Hand pollinating avocados

It was 95 years ago that J. Eliot Coit, who would later be called the father of the avocado industry, wrote the article “How to make the avocado tree bear.” In other words, we’ve always wished avocado trees gave us more fruit. One way to encourage production is...
What’s the best kind of avocado to grow?

What’s the best kind of avocado to grow?

This question is unanswerable in an absolute sense. For who has tasted, let alone grown, every kind of avocado? Certainly not me.  But I’m game to attack it with a more fun and more practical twist. I’m imagining that I just moved into a new house with a...
The Quetzal and the Wild Avocado

The Quetzal and the Wild Avocado

Our guide through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve in the highlands of Costa Rica had just picked up a fallen orchid to show us when we heard a whistle. He put the orchid down and started walking briskly toward the whistle. We followed. He turned back to...