Is there a chart showing the flowering and fruiting months for cold hardy avocado trees? I’m thinking about growing a Mexicola type A and another type B tree in large containers I can move around with fork lift. Does the Brogdon, Pancho, Brazos Belle, Winter Mexican, Joey etc. flower at the same time as the Mexicola?
Not sure if they will all do good in containers or not? I would like at least one with edible skin.
We can get freezing temps between December and February roughly so I guess I need trees that don’t fruit those months.
I didn’t realize it takes that long. Mine will be outdoors but I was going to move them near the wood line and cover with plastic on cold days. In the spring I would take them back out into open sunlight but if the fruit will be on during my winter months then plastic probably would not be enough winter protection?
I cannot find any source supporting this claim, and I’ve mostly heard they ripen in ~7-8 months in northern CA, though I don’t have personal experience ripening them myself in non-ideal climates yet.
For example, when I’ve bought Mexicola fruit and seeds from @Marta, they were typically ripe in September/October, after flowering in late winter (same year). She was growing them near Davis, CA, not the tropics.
With a Mexicola or Zutano, the temperature required to kill buds is several degrees lower, and the delay until the next crop is reduced because they ripen 7-10 months after bloom instead of 14-18 months for a Reed or Hass.
My experience thus far (just a couple years into this journey) is that container growing isn’t feasible for avocados. It’s possible that it can be done, but I’ve yet to hear any success stories other than from questionable nurseries’ marketing materials. You are probably better off planting them in the ground and trying to protect them during late freezes. But if you’re using a forklift, maybe your containers will be big enough? I can’t help much on that front.
As far as varieties for north FL, I think Craig Hepworth’s experience is more worthwhile than mine:
I’m not sure that most of the CA cultivars have been trialed much in north FL, though, so it’s possible some of those would do as well or better. E.g., I’m not aware of anyone trying Duke in Florida yet.
Thank you for sharing the chart. I planted a Mexicola Medium last June and I opened the remay tent covering it and it has blossoms forming now. I live in zone 9b and am looking for recommendations for a type B. Joey sounded like it might be a good choice. The coldest temperature we have had this winter was 24 degrees and other than some insect damage it seems like it is doing okay thus far.
I usually suggest that people who are pushing avocados in cool climates just ignore the reported flowering types and simply grow 2-3 varieties that bloom around the same time as each other.
The distinction between A and B is fairly temperature & climate dependent, and sometimes the same cultivar will shift its flowering pattern significantly in cooler climates, so that it functionally changes to the other type (or for more extreme cool temperatures, maybe never even have a male phase). Until you actually grow the tree in your climate and closely monitor the flower opening and closing times, there’s no way to know for sure if any two allegedly compatible cultivars will flower in sync with each other. Also, once a tree gets big enough, it should have plenty of pollen floating around to self-pollinate, so unless you’re planning to grow commercially (i.e., looking to maximize yield), you don’t really need a pollenizer at all.
Thank you, neighbor across the street planted a Mexicola Grande several years ago and he has a Haas in his greenhouse neither of which has ever bloomed. My tree is covered due to low temperatures at night and I open a small flap during day. Should I hand pollinate with a soft brush? My bees did not make it through the winter and I will not get my new bees until mid April. So far only my plums and peaches blooming now and hopefully the rest of the orchard will just be starting to bloom around the time I get the new bees.
Unless you see a large number of flowers in overlapping male and female phases, you’ll need to collect pollen and apply pollen at different times each day.
It’s been very cold here, so even my trees in a heated greenhouse have barely started flowering yet. This Duke flower is in “male” mode today, but still not releasing pollen when tapped, and this is two days after the same flower opened in female mode:
I picked up a Fantastic, Pancho and Mexicola Grande today. I have about 12" of dark soil then clay below that, both layers fill a little gritty like there is a little sand in both layers. I figure the best way to plant them would be in 2’ tall raised bed and put the new soil wright over the grass? The nursery said to fill the planter with native soil mixed with some peat moss and not to dig into the ground since the clay layer might hold water if I dig into it. They also told me not to add compost now or any fertilizer. Any other advice? Any way to naturally dwarf these trees by planting them close together or would that cause problems with our high humidity?
I would cut/remove the sod first personally, but either way is fine. Your soil looks very good to me, have you tried a percolation test on the deeper clay layer? Fill a hole with water and see how long it takes to drain out. If that’s fine, you don’t need such a big mound, I’d just add a little organic matter (mature compost or aged manure) to the backfill, but not too much. I mean the big mound is probably fine, but seems overkill.
I don’t think planting them close will dwarf them, they will just root graft onto each other and be less productive from the light competition. The key to keeping them manageable will be heavy pruning, which will also be easier if they are far enough from each other to easily reach all sides of each tree.
What nursery did you get them from? I have had nearly 100% mislabeled avocado trees from a couple online nurseries based in FL. Do the leaves at least smell like anise on all three?
This is getting well beyond my own knowledge into things I’ve just read about, but I think the more sun the better in winter. They are evergreen and they do a lot of their root growth during winter. They’ll probably flower near the end of winter, too, so you’ll want good sun by then at least, and being in a sunny spot might help them recover from freeze events quicker.
Summer, on the other hand… many growers in FL seem to protect young avocados with light shade for the first few years because they can get sunburned before they build up a meaningful canopy of leaves. I have only noticed sunburn here when first bringing indoor trees outside (even from full sun in the greenhouse), but our sun angle is lower even in summer, so it’s never as intense.
All the leaves smell like anise. One nursery said thier Fantastic skin was black and edible? I’ve seen pictures of both green and black, either way I will be happy to just get some to eat.
I’ve stripped the 12" of top soil off and have the planter row down to the clay layer. Just got the sand yesterday which looks like it has some clay mixed into it. The ground goes down hill so I was going to fill the 12" back in with the sand and put the grass back down over the sand between the planters to stop erosion. Still thinking about how to fill the 6’x6’ planters which will be 24" tall from the grass level. Thinking about putting the sand in the lower 12" of the planter so it will have a total of 24" sand in the bottom layers and then mix the sand and native top soil together in the upper 12" of the planter and then finish it off with 6" of my 2 year old pecan leaf mulch and worm castings. I might put some small gravel or perlite in a 2’ diameter around just the tree when I plant them and use the sand only?
I think there’s enough fertilizer from the nursery with the trees to feed them the rest of this year so I’ll put the leaf compost away from the trunk so the roots will have to grow to reach it. Might put some pine bark around the trunk this year? This is my one and only try to grow avocados so I’m going all out to avoid root rot.
Weird thing is there’s no grubs or bugs in my pecan leaf mulch but my oak leaf mulch is loaded with grubs. Maybe because of the acidity levels of the mulch?
I’ve never seen a photo of Fantastic fruit other than in nursery listings, where other fruit I know are often not the correct fruit shown, so who knows what it really looks like. What I’ve heard is it has green skin similar to Del Rio. Most Mexican avocados have edible skin, though some of them have the anise taste or a piney taste in the skin, which some people don’t care for.
I’ve decided not to use any of the native soil with the sand. I filled a container 50/50 with sand and native soil and it still hasn’t drained 20 minutes later. I’m leaning towards trying to find small pine bark tomorrow to mix with the soil which should help hold it together so it doesn’t wash out.