Avocado trees require well-aerated and loose soil. Limestone, sandy loam, and decomposed granite are important types of soil, in particular, which encourage the growth of fruits. Avocados are shallow-rooted trees whose roots cannot penetrate compacted soil, so breaking the soil into the planting hole is always better before planting the tree. Let’s check out how to prepare the soil for Avocado plants/trees.
Avocados prefer very coarse, well-drained, loamy soil, and they will struggle to thrive in heavy clay soil. Furthermore, it is important not to plant Avocados too deeply, as it can stress the root system and damage the trunk. Avocado trees can’t tolerate soggy soil, especially when the temperature is low, so it’s better to make a mistake on the shallow side when planting these trees.
Compacted soil will hinder the spread of roots, preventing tree growth and contributing root rot. The roots suffocated with constant moisture will demonstrate their poor health with low fruit production and a possible branch; Avocado trees should have good soil drainage for healthy growth. While you may be concerned about keeping your tree in the water, little dry conditions are perfect for Avocados.
However, if a handful of soil has a granular texture after several dry days, you can water it at this time. Wet soil on a muddy structure will damage the tree. Excess salt in the soil causes the Avocado leaves to brown. You can clean salt from the soil by slowly and deeply watering. Irrigate the tree for pot plants until the water drains the holes at the bottom of the plant for several minutes. Water plants in the ground dripping only 1/2-gallon per hour for several hours.
How to Prepare the soil for Avocado plants/trees
Soil pH for Avocado
Avocado trees tolerate acid and alkaline soil but prefer soil pH between 6 and 6.5. A pH less than 6.2 increases the chance of phytophthora root rot. Naturally, gardeners with less than 6.2 soil can increase their pH by adding calcium carbonate. You can balance the pH by adding sulfur, lime, or calcium carbonate to the ground. Soil should not be compacted as it will hamper the spreading of roots.
Avocado trees are acid-loving plants. While they tolerate a slightly higher pH range, they make the best progress in the ground, with pH values falling into a narrow band between 6 and 6.3. Gypsum applications are required for this crop to get a high calcium level without lifting the soil pH.
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Preparation of soil for growing Avocado in pots
If you choose to grow an Avocado tree in a container, the soil should combine specialized mixtures for Avocado with some soil from your garden. For best growth, use a well-draining potting mix with lots of organic matter and aged manure. Prepare potting soil with sand and decomposed granite for best results. It will perform well in both alkaline and acidic soils. Transplanting the tree into large containers will help you grow the plant into a mature, fruity tree.
Preparation of soil for growing Avocados on grounds
Before planting, add lots of organic matter to the soil and check the soil for porosity. Work in sand or other hard materials to increase drainage if your soil doesn’t drain well. Improve soil by adding a combination of well-aged cow manure and blood and the bone meal a few weeks before planting. Loosen the soil deeply before planting.
Heavy lime applications may be necessary if the soil is too acidic. Distribute a recommended amount of agricultural lime into the area 12 months before planting, disking it, and plowing as deeply as possible to mix it in the above soil. You can grow cover plants and plow to increase the amount of organic soil matter six months later.
Apply the remaining lime and required phosphate at the same time and do a little work. You can plant trees after three months. Do not fertilize the trees planted recently too soon. Trees should be well established first. In most cases, it is appropriate to wait a year. These applications should be very light, and fertilizer should be applied uniformly and not come in contact with tree stems. Irrigate immediately after fertilizing.
How to grow Avocado in clay soil
Clay soil, when wet, is sticky, gluggy, and lacks oxygen, but it can also be as hard and dry as a rock. Avocado trees originated from rainforests, where they adapted to grow in fertile black soil with deep organic matter. However, getting plenty of water from this free-draining growing source allows the root system to breathe and expand. Therefore, Avocados have a fickle root system that responds poorly to root disturbances (so be careful when you plant them).
They will not tolerate long periods of rock, compacted soil, dry soil, or sticky wet soil with low oxygen. If you have heavy clay soil, grow the tree in the mound for better drainage. Make the mound 1 to 2 feet high and 3 to 5 feet around. Do not put gravel or anything else like putting media in the hole. The sooner the roots enter the bulk soil, the better the tree will work.
Avocados are sensitive to salt burn, and with a combination of high salt concentrations in our water and heavy clay soil, it is essential to remember to water slowly and deeply. You can achieve this by using drip emitters of ¼ to 1/2 gallons per hour every time you water. If you don’t use the drip system, you can get the same results by turning your hose on just a trickle and leaving it at the plant for a few hours, thus allowing water to penetrate deeply so that the roots can reach it.
Soil composting for Avocado
In the Avocado tree, boron, zinc, and copper levels increase by steer manure. Fertilizer does almost the same inside the soil as other additions, such as ammonium nitrate fertilizer, except for nitrogen deficiency. If you use steer manure as a soil modification, combine it with nitrogen-rich modifications. The proper proportion of fertilizers will yield the balanced, nutritious soil that the Avocado tree craves.
You can feed avocados by spreading aged chicken manure under each mature tree. If the mulch is too thick, rake it, sprinkle the food below, then replace the mulch on top. You can use homemade compost on your Avocado trees if you wish. Balanced fertilizers will already contain all the nutrients and micronutrients that plants need. Adding coffee ground, fruit peels, and nuts to your compost adds extra nitrogen, while gourd and watermelon seeds boost zinc.
Land preparation for Avocado
Choose a plantation site that receives direct sunlight and has about 30 to 40 feet of clearance everywhere to ensure the best place for your mature Avocado tree. The complete preparation of land is important. Prepare the land by clearing weeds, dead trees, and other materials from the previous crops.
Use a local tractor to give a couple of ploughings and a cross-harrowing to a fine tilth stage. Before planting, you should add manure and compost to the soil for better production. Dig a hole and prepare a planting space the size of the pot with your Avocado seedling growing. Unlike many species of trees, avoid putting soil amendments in the planting hole.
In case you missed it: Avocado Growing Tips, Ideas, Secrets, and Techniques
Soil recipe for Avocado
If the Avocado is planted in the container, use a common-purpose potting that is sand, bark, and perlite instead of heavy peat-based potting soil. This type of soil will give the plant what it needs and drain what it needs. Avocados require a rich, fast-draining potting soil mix, like rich humus soil, or recycle some old soil from your garden. If you are using old potting soil, remove weeds, grass, or leftover roots that can reduce the chances of Avocado seed sprouting.
Best soil mix for Avocado
The 50/50 mixture of topsoil and coir usually works best, but check the soil where you are planting to ensure it is the right mixture. Smooth and pack the soil slightly, adding more soil as needed. Once the soil is ready, dig a narrow hole deep enough to accommodate your Avocado roots and pit.
Natural soil amendments for Avocado
Avocado trees grow best with additional fertilizer, so soil additives can help treat poor growth. Aged manure is a natural source of nitrogen and other nutrients. Organic granular fertilizer specially prepared for fruit trees can also trigger tree growth. The key things to an Avocado’s desires are rich soil, excellent drainage, and thick layers of mulch on the roots. Let the leaves fall under the tree.
Don’t rake and add extra mulch to young trees. Adding a single layer of mulch around the tree can help the soil maintain the right amount of moisture, and Avocado will protect the tree’s shallow root system. Make sure to keep the mulch about 6 inches from the stem base to avoid suffocating the roots.
In case you missed it: Growing Avocado in Containers/Indoors – a Full Guide
Avocados can take advantage of homemade compost, such as Coffee, Epsom salt, or Eggshells. A tablespoon of Coffee grounds will give all the necessary nitrogen and minerals every few months. An Eggshell used as a planter or eggshell powder is added as grounds to the soil every few months. You can use slow-release fertilizers for long, progressive effects.
What to do with soil when growing Avocado
Lavender, Comfrey, Garlic, and Strawberry are the best companion plants for Avocado trees. Although each plant has a different advantage, they all grow well under the canopy of Avocado trees. Some attract pollinators, while others keep pests away or provide living ground cover. Lavender is the best companion plant for Avocado trees because they are easy to grow, drought-tolerant, perform well in part shade, and attract pollinators.
While Avocado trees themselves are pollinated, they can benefit from cross-pollination. So, if possible, not only should you have multiple Avocado trees, but Lavender will attract many pollinators such as hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Lavender does well in full and partial sunshine, so you can choose to plant Lavender under the canopy of Avocado trees or just close.
Like Lavender, Basil is well planted under the shade of Avocado trees. Basil can die quickly if overheated, so pairing it with Avocado trees can protect it and provide some extra herbs in your garden. Onions are good companion plants for Avocado trees. They can repel rabbits and some harmful pests such as aphids, mites, and maggots.
Garlic, like onions, is a natural pest deterrent. Garlic can repel pests, including mites, aphids, mosquitoes, and some harmful beetles. You can crush and use garlic cloves as an insect repellent for other garden plants. Comfrey has a long taproot and lifts more nutrients in the soil, benefiting not only small Avocado plants but other nearby plants.
You can use comfrey leaves as a mulch for Avocado trees, add good amounts of nitrogen to the soil and increase water retention. You can plant Melons such as Honeydew and Watermelon near and below Avocado trees. Melons also work as ground cover and increase water retention in soil. They also protect the ground from drying in the hot sun. Moreover, the partial shade provided by Avocado trees is a good environment for growing Melons.
If you like the idea of using Melons as ground cover for your Avocado trees, but want something with less invasive root depth, consider growing Strawberries. Strawberry plants send out runner roots, which can quickly make more Strawberry plants in your garden. While they form a great ground cover and perform well in the partial shade of Avocado trees, Strawberry plants are difficult to limit.
In case you missed it: Avocado Seed Germination, Time, Temperature, Process
So, consider associating them with more mature Avocado trees. Summer Squash and Winter Squash are like Pumpkins; they are vining plants. Although Summer Squash can still grow as a companion plant for Avocado trees, they are usually more of a bush type.
The age of the Avocado tree will depend on its environment. Healthy Avocado trees, however, have been known to survive for hundreds of years. Their shallow root system requires a lot of garden space, and these complex evergreen trees need full sunlight to produce large fruits. The soil itself is an important determinant factor for whether the tree fruits or not. This article will tell you about the soil preparation for Avocado trees.
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