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How to Grow an Avocado Tree

How to Grow an Avocado Tree

Avocados are healthy, tasty treats, but they’re difficult to grow in a lot of the United States because it gets too cold for them to make fruit. Still, it can be fun to grow an avocado plant from a seed just to see what happens; it’s a great experiment for the kids!

How to Grow an Avocado from Seed

1. Next time you eat an avocado, save the seed. Wash it off, then stick toothpicks in the sides so you can suspend the seed on top of a cup filled with water. About an inch of the seed should be down in the cup.

2. Put the cup in a warm place outside of direct sunlight, refilling the water as needed. It will take between two and six weeks for the roots and stem to sprout, so be patient.

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3. When the green sprout has gotten to be a bout 6 inches long, trim it back to about 3 inches. This will encourage stronger growth. All this time, keep it in the cup with water.

4. When the roots get nice and thick and the steam leafs out again, then it is time to plant the avocado seed. Put it in a large pot with rich soil, and leave half of the seed exposed.

5. Water it regularly but not too much. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and make sure the plant gets plenty of sun.

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6. Again when the plant is about 12 inches high, trim it back to 6 inches.

You can keep the plant going in a pot for a long time, and you’ll probably want to keep it in a pot if you live anywhere with a harsh winter, because you’ll need to take it inside during the cold season.

Planting an Avocado Plant

Should you want to plant your avocado tree outside, you can do so put it in well-drained soil with a pH of 6 to 6.5. Mulch around the tree, but don’t put the mulch up against the trunk of the tree.

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It’s best to plant in the spring, and to keep the plants well-watered but allow the soil to dry a bit between waterings. If you’re growing a plant from an avocado seed, you should know that it’s unlikely you’ll get fruit from it any time soon, if ever. Agricultural extension agents in California say it can take between 7 and 15 years for a tree grown from a seed to begin producing fruit, and the fruit will likely look and taste different from the original.

If you want to plant an avocado tree for fruit, you should buy one that’s been grown for that purpose, so long as you live in an area where avocados can be grown successfully. That usually means USDA zones 9 and 10, where there’s little to no danger of frost in the winter.

There are some varieties of avocado that can grown in slightly cooler zones (8, or possibly 7), but you need to shop around to make sure you have a plant that does better in cooler weather. You should probably still protect from frost, no matter the variety.

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Caring for Avocado Trees

The California Avocado Commission recommends buying grafted varieties like Hass from reputable growers, planting in the spring in a well-drained area with full sun where they will not compete with other trees. A general-purpose fertilizer is helpful, and younger trees need more frequent, smaller applications of minerals.

Avocado trees need a lot of water, so be sure to water at least twice a week, more in hotter times. Salt buildup can be a big problem for avocados; you may have this problem if the tips of the leaves look burned. Increase watering until the problem goes away.

Avocados are not easy trees to grow for fruit in the vast majority of the country, but they are fun to have as houseplants when you start them from seed. It’s a great science experiment for the kids as well as a conversation starter.

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Sarah White

Freelance Writer, Editor, Professional Crafter

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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