Stewart vs Bacon Avocado

I live in 9b with some cold air off the surrounding hills. For reference, one night this winter had the surface layer of birdbath water freeze and several night of light frost on cars/roofs. I’m trying to decide what type of avocado tree to plant, unfortunately only have room for one. Have seen two in the neighborhood though. Both Stewart and Bacon are hardy to 24 degrees which sounds fine. I’ve had bacon avocados from our farmers market and they were good but not amazing. I’ve read Stewart can be a shy bearer (not many fruits after 5-6 yrs in ground) but those were reports from California folks more north. Any thoughts or experiences with either variety? Or suggestions of others to consider? My husband isn’t crazy about licorice flavor so I’m thinking mexicola is out (but haven’t tried)

Like all avocados grown in our environment, you need to feed it to obtain regular crops. The Grow Power Citrus/Avocado food at Walter Andersen’s is a good choice. In my experience it’s a productive cultivar.

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I’ve had Stewart, it is very good. And you’ll get more fruit set if you have a B avocado nearby (such as Zutano). And Richard is correct, then need more water and more fertilizing than citrus do, so be sure to frequently fertilize (every month - many folks just put them on a constant fertigation system, all commercial growers do).

Patty S.

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That is true in when the tree is in juvenile stage and the inflorescences are few – and synchronized. Once the tree is old enough to produce many sets of inflorescences the tree will have plenty of pollen and ova simultaneously. Note also that Stewart varies between type A and type B depending on climate.

Grow Power is slow release. Every three months is sufficient. Check the feeding directions on the bag or pail.

That’s neat! Any idea if Stewart would behave more A or B in Poway?

Yes, saw that on UC RIverside’s site, very interesting. Lids, check with the folks at UCR about how Stewart tends to behave down here in San Diego area, a little inland.

True for Grow Power, but if you’re not using Grow Power and just a regular fertilizer, you’ll want to fertilize frequently, they are heavy feeders and need plenty of nitrogen. Also, they do not like to have their root disturbed as they develop a very large network of close to the surface feeder roots. They rely on their own leaf drop to help with absorption, so leave all their leaves dropped underneath.

And, I love Grow Power, I think it’s one of the best products for us here in California, especially in S. California.

I wouldn’t recommend growing Hass since the fruit is ubiquitous in markets, but for reference I must mention that my Hass tree has grown astoundingly well here in 9b. I almost didn’t plant it because people told me it’s too tender. We’ve had a number of 26-28F events in its 3.5 years here and it hasn’t shown even a hint of cold damage. Given the lack of even minor stress at 26F I’d bet it could handle 24F too.

Now having said that, plant a Reed or a Sharwil instead. They put Hass to shame. If I had known better 4 years ago I would have done that.

Joe, I would love to plant a Reed! They are my all time favorite avocados. They are only hardy supposed to be hardy to 30 though which seems a little close. We lost our whole star fruit crop this year just before they ripened and some of the Subtropicals got seriously beat up so I’m trying to pick something that won’t break my heart :slight_smile:

I don’t blame you for not wanting to risk it, but I’m skeptical of all hardiness claims that I read. There are so many factors besides minimum temperature. I’m going to plant a Reed this year and hope for the best.

On a side note, my little Starfruit tree has remained green all winter despite several frost events. It’s not fruiting yet but I’m sure I would have lost the fruit if there was any. I was just watching a video of a gardener not far from me who had a similarly sized Starfruit killed by frost this December. Why did mine survive and his did not? Who knows. Could be I lucked into a hardier variety.

Don’t worry about it. You’ve got lots of Avocados being grown nearby, and in 5-6 years it won’t matter.

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There’s no such thing as a regular fertilizer. Best to check each package separately. Also, it’s true that Avocados are heavier feeders than some fruit trees but not just Nitrogen – Potash is equally important.

I’m growing Reed here in 10b and it’s very happy so far.

Growing up in the Redlands area (9a / 9b) there were plenty of Stewart around and they never had a problem with the climate.