Thursday, December 3, 2009

Avanavocado - in your back yard

Avocado Stake Out

Look, I'll admit, Hannu, that when you arrived in my garden with something I first eyeballed as an avocado tree I was hoping it was some other rare nut tree that just looked strikingly like an avocado. When I realised it was, I was somewhat mildly horrified.

I love avocados and have always loved the thought of some tasty specimens dangling from my very own tree - until I realised that avocados are a semi-tropical plant that appreciate humidity, warm nights, high rain fall and sandy soil. So I live in the driest part of Australia (humidity speaking), I have clay soil, and have high rain fall in winter (accompanied by heavy frost), but our summers have similarities to the Sahara Desert. The expression 'pushing shit uphill' comes to mind.

I am aware that people do grow avocados successfully in Adelaide, however, they just need a LOT of lovin' to keep them happy. So it wasn't an avocado tree I sighted, but hard-labour-in-a-pot. And a scary thought that this kindly gifted tree would be dead before Christmas (three weeks away). So I've grabbed the instructions for planting from Perry's Nursery and have done absolutely everything they recommended.

To Plant Avocado Tree:

1 x Tree
1 x Shovel
1 x Pick
1 x Wheel Barrow
1 x Barrow full of mushroom compost
2 x Barrow mulch
4 x Long Star-Droppers
7m Dog Fencing
7m 50% Blockout shade cloth
6 x Free Hours
4L Water

Remove sod in 1 sq metre. Attend to child wanting to pick oranges from tree. Dig topsoil and shovel onto pile, continue until down to clay. Dig clay around a little. Drive child to compost pile on ride-on lawnmower, shovel, drive back. Layer topsoil back in with mushroom compost and sandy loam until ... grab child from suspicious looking long grass... until heaped into a mound. Make lunch for grumpy toddler. Put toddler into bed. Dig hole in the middle, plant tree, water tree. Shovel bark mulch all around top. Bang in 4 x star droppers. Take toddler to Mitre 10 to get shade cloth, chase around store. Install fencing wire around star droppers (AKA new cubby house). Broom child around orchard on spare piece of fencing. Use spare piece for a lid to the new cage. Water tree again. Pray to Jesus, Mohammed and the Buddha...

It's nearly complete, but I've run out of time to fit the shade cloth. I just hope we're not in for a windy night and I awake to find it horizontal.

Apparently in creating its own mini shade house it helps to keep off the nasty ozone-hole Adelaide sun, creates a little bit of humidity and will protect it from frost in the Winter. If I can successfully grow a tree anyone can!

Well I always say that the best gifts are those that you wouldn't go buy yourself. And lest I sound ungrateful, now that the labour is out of the way, I'm very excited about my new addition to the orchard. I never would have got off my laurels to do it otherwise! So thank you.