It may not look as appetizing as other popular fruits like oranges and pears, but the avocado fruit can hold a candle against any other superfruit when it comes to taste, nutrient content, and health benefits. Avocados, aptly called “alligator pears” because of their shape and rough green skin, contain more than twenty vitamins and minerals including potassium, fiber, and vitamins B, E, and C. They are also loaded with fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids which are responsible for faster absorption of fat-soluble antioxidants that help with fighting cancer-causing free radicals, and protect from other chronic diseases like stroke, hypertension, diabetes, macular degeneration, and more.
Types of Avocados
Worldwide, there are over one hundred types of avocado trees planted for home gardening and commercial growth. However, only a few of these avocado tree cultivars are grown widely in the United States for their superior quality.
- Hass Avocado – This avocado is the most popular cultivar in the United States and accounts for 95 percent of avocados sold. It has green bumpy skin that turns purplish upon reaching maturity and offers a creamy flesh with superior taste. What keeps the Hass avocado apart from the rest is its ability to ripen on the tree and remain there for many months. It also has the longest seasonal availability, which can last for 7 months.
- Reed Avocado – Reed is a summer-fall variety of avocado that compliments Hass. It is bigger compared to Hass and stays green even when ripe. The golden-yellow flesh is buttery and offers a wonderful flavor that is rich, bold, and nutty.
- Zutano Avocado – This variety has a waxy, green-yellow-skin that retains its color upon maturity. Compared to Hass, it boasts a silkier texture and offers an avocado flavor with a note of lemon. This cultivar is mostly used as a pollinator to Hass.
Avocado Tree Care
Growing an avocado tree at home can be rewarding. Imagine having an avocado fruit all to yourself for much of the year, with free access to nutrients you can only get from fresh fruits.
If you wish to grow an avocado tree in your backyard, follow the avocado care tips we have prepared below to grow a healthy plant that will produce flavorful fruits in no time.
- Avocado trees thrive in rich humus soil where they can get nitrogen and other nutrients needed to establish healthy roots.
- These trees like sunlight and should be planted in an area where they get 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day.
- When watering avocado trees make sure that you do not over do it, as they do not like standing water. Keep in mind that the soil should be moist, not saturated. For the first week water your tree daily, then reduce watering to once a week or when the soil gets dry to 2 inches deep.
- If you live in an area where winter is harsh and there is always the danger of frost, provide your tree with cold protection.
- Prune diseased, damaged, or decayed branches to prevent the spread of disease on your tree.
- Fertilizer is a must when it comes to fruiting trees like avocado trees. You must apply ½ to 1 pound of nitrogen for every avocado tree you have. You may spread out the administration into several applications so long as it amounts to the recommended volume.