Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Green Thumb -- Growing Avocados

The word "love" is an understatement for our feelings about avocados around here. I think it's even the one food that The Sheriff doesn't tire of in the rotation. We all know how excited we get when they like something and serve it to them 14 millions times which I'm sure drives any toddler insane, but anyway, he's always liked them, and I love them, and what do you know, but they're healthy! 

So when my mom told me that my grandmother grew them, I just knew that my green thumb was about to lose its innocence:  it was time to garden, my friends!

J thinks it's pretty funny that I'm doing this all on hearsay and advice passed on from my grandmother to my mom and that I haven't looked up one morsel online about it. Hey, I don't think JuJu (my grandmother) looked up how to do this mess, although she is on fb. Hmm. Anyway, I thought, why not just give it a go and keep it uncomplicated with advice from Sandy Gardener online. I'm sorry if you exist Sandy Gardener. I'm sure you are a wonderful person who  may or may not grow things; I just needed a name. 

So here's the process (all passed on from one generation to the next. I feel like saying that makes growing things a bit more epic. Perhaps more so when something actually grows.) 

Step 1:
Eat an avocado. Choose your method, but do not, I repeat DO NOT, try to cook an egg inside an avocado inside of a cast iron skillet. That little nugget you saw on Pinterest, is a sham my friends! Listen to this voice of reason--a sham I tell you! --signed the girl who tried it and failed miserably. 

Step 2:
Take the seed out and wash away any avocado pieces and let it dry out a bit. The outer brown "shell" will start to crack and then you can peel it off like this:

Peel all of the brown off then move along.

Step 3:
Place three toothpicks in the upper half of the avocado so that you can place them on the rim of a plastic cup and the avocado seed can sit int the water about halfway.

Notice the horizontal line in the next picture. I made the mistake of starting it this way but then had to turn it. Since I haven't looked up anything online (I think) that natural line should be vertical when you put into water, BUT I noticed that the second set that I tried had one arranged this way and it started to crack in another direction to fix itself.

Step 4:
Place in water like so:

Make sure the water level stays up to cover at least half of the seed. If your seed doesn't sit far down enough, move the toothpicks further up. 

Apparently I do not have any pictures after these bad boys started sprouting. Basically, they make these disgusting roots down into the glass. One day I noticed that a "root" was growing up and was all--what the heck? Am I supposed to turn this over at some point? I've got to call Ju Ju and find out about this. (See, no Internet.)

I called my mom instead who then informed me that I was growing a stem, not a root! See how virgin my green thumb is!!! Well, no longer. Whether successful or not, I rode with The Sheriff and Cowboy over to HGC and picked up this pot and some potting soil (which apparently has all of these nutrients) and planted these bad boys!

I even found some "hired help" to keep up with the watering. 

But I gave them some "Momma love" too. These are my newest babies after all. Who needs a dog right? 

After watering daily, they look like this!

There are two seeds inside (obviously) but my mom suggested planting a male and female seed in the same pot. What?! was my first reaction. There are male and female avocado? Indeed, check the seed shape when you open them. I don't need to give you any further explanation. I hope.

Anyway, the stem in the background barely reached out of the dirt when I first planted it, so this is pretty exciting, and the one in the foreground didn't have leaves at first. We'll see what happens. A friend told me that the trees get pretty large. I'm not ready for backyard planting. Neither is J who might be "hired" to dig a hole. She also told me they'd have avocados by the time W was 16. I guess that's Cowboy's hope; we can force him to dig the dang hole!


Lindsey said...

How exciting! I'm not much of an avocado fan myself, but both M and F are. Either way, this makes me want to go plant something. Did you keep the seed outside when it was still just in the cup of water?

Kat said...

we did this! In fact we had an almost avocado tree and then one day Jon overwatered so much that it died :( I wish we did live some place tropical so that I could actually bring it outside but we had to keep ours on the windowsill the whole time

Erin said...

This is too cool! Coming from an avocado lover who hates paying so much for them I may have to try....but for real, how long until those things can give you an avocado?!

ps your hired help is too cute!

Am I Really Grown Up? said...

I don't think I'm that ambitious! I am now interested in the male and female seeds since I'm not a huge avocado lover.

Anonymous said...

this is awesome! i'm interest in the male and female seeds now too! haha very interesting fact indeed. we love us some avocados! i grew up with them. so yeah- how long until the avocados start popping out?

Happiness Is... said...

I love the picture of him watering!!

Natalie said...

Look at you missy! I know what you mean I read up on my squash and it was saying it needed male and female blooms to make squash etc...I had no idea how complicated it could be LOL. Can't wait until you get to enjoy some of your home grown avocados!

Nicole said...

I love this idea. Lola just ate Mason's flowers which pretty much means he doesn't get a garden until she goes. I am getting him a planter for the front porch!

Lindsay said...

Very very cool! May I ask what you use all those avocados for?

Kelly said...

I love avocados, this sounds like fun! Thanks for the idea!

KERRY said...

14 years!!!??? You nearly had me wanting to plant an Avocado tree until I read that lol, I thought if I grew my own it would save me some money, but I'd be waiting a very long time for one!!

Andie said...

I totally want to do this except I don't want to wait 14 years for it to grow. LOL

courtney - larking. said...

Obviously, there must be a male and a female avocado -- but this has never occurred to me before! Lightbulb moment...I've never noticed anything about the seeds, either, so I'm going to have to look more closely next time!