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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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