• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Dave Burton
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
  • jordan barton
  • Carla Burke
  • Leigh Tate
gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
  • Jay Angler

Avocados and Frost in Europe (plus info on the cold-hardiest avocados and how to grow them)

 
Mother Tree
Posts: 11735
Location: Portugal
2362
2
dog duck forest garden tiny house books wofati bike bee solar rocket stoves greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
From what I remember, Tristan went to huge lengths to legally import Mexicola seed then grew them out and sold most of them. I had two of them but they're not old enough to fruit yet.

I have no idea if he imported more seed. If he did the seedlings will still be expensive and in limited supply. If not the supply will be super short until the young trees are old enough to bear fruit. Then the price ahould plummet as Europe becomes home to ever greater supplies of frost hardy avocado trees.
 
Posts: 4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If I could find a supplier I would buy a whole pallet of them and grow them on my land in the Mediterranean.

Reason I am going to use Mexicola is because -2°c is a yearly occurrence, I know a Hass Orchard grows 60 Miles away and I'd assume they have a similar cold hardy root stock at the very least.
 
Richard Duncan
Posts: 4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well I managed to find Mexicola pits and all pits have split so far, also I've had 100% success rate with 15 hass pits.
 
Posts: 65
Location: central brittany, france
30
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Two pictures of my outdoor avocado that has survived the last winter unprotected. It is a mexicola avocado. Thanks to Benoit for the seeds. It had a type of disease at the lower trunk that turned all black. I then put clay paste onto the afflicted area for one year with a bandage and now the wound seems clean. I am hoping that the bark will grow and close the wound. This is my best achievement yet at growing avocadoes outdoors cause the plant is still alive and growing. It has survived 2 or 3 winters outoors, i can't remember exactly.
I do have to say that the last couple of winters were quite mild, no doubt thanks to global warming, but most of its leaves look totally brown and wasted each spring. But it always grows back, for now.
If it continues to survive and grow maybe i will get some fruit in 10 years time. There is hope yet...
20200901_204523.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20200901_204523.jpg]
20200901_204535.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20200901_204535.jpg]
 
pollinator
Posts: 853
184
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm not in Europe but in the cool coastal pacific northwest of California. I've got one 2 year old has that needs to be uppotted, one bacon that is a year old, and two fuerte avocados. The bacon and fuerte grew very well this year and I'm optimistic about their prospects

Should I up pot things over winter like I would with most perennials?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1821
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
573
hugelkultur dog forest garden urban cooking bike
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Interesting to see avocados can grow even as far North as Brittany. But I am even a little more to the North. I keep my avocado indoors (already for about 5 years).
 
Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes olease re getting Brogdon and other hardy avos over to Europe including UK
A lot of people will be queuing up to buy! Including me
 
pollinator
Posts: 334
Location: Worcestershire, England
72
4
hugelkultur purity forest garden fungi trees urban bike bee woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:Interesting to see avocados can grow even as far North as Brittany. But I am even a little more to the North. I keep my avocado indoors (already for about 5 years).



London is furthur north! (is milder than the rest of England though) : https://www.growingontheedge.net/viewtopic.php?p=46849
 
Philip Heinemeyer
Posts: 65
Location: central brittany, france
30
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mexicola frost damage.
We had quite a hard freeze in early january. This is how my outdoor mexicola looks now. I made a protection from wire and metal hoops to be able to put a vlies over it should there be frosts again this winter.
There is still a bit of green left in the leaves and i can see tiny green shoots, but i am a bit worried about the tree. Hopefully it will grow back in spring.
20210125_100122.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20210125_100122.jpg]
20210125_100143.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20210125_100143.jpg]
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 11735
Location: Portugal
2362
2
dog duck forest garden tiny house books wofati bike bee solar rocket stoves greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Philip Heinemeyer wrote:We had quite a hard freeze in early january. This is how my outdoor mexicola looks now.



Ouch. Can I ask how hard the frost was?
 
Philip Heinemeyer
Posts: 65
Location: central brittany, france
30
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I asked a neighbor who lives close by since i don't have a thermometer. I was minus 5 Celsius.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 11735
Location: Portugal
2362
2
dog duck forest garden tiny house books wofati bike bee solar rocket stoves greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
OK that's interesting. I've had a few dips down to -5 C but my mexicolas have been ok. They're planted up close to a south-facing terrace wall though so maybe that's saved them.
 
Philip Heinemeyer
Posts: 65
Location: central brittany, france
30
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, everything is relative. If you live in portugal i don't think that you get constant rain and wet weather. Sometimes a minus 5 with wind and the soil being really wet can be much worse than a minus 7 with the soil being dry and not much wind. My avocado is not so wind protected, but i think the moisture is a key element. I saw this again recently where i have 4 macadamia baby trees in my polytunnel and only one of them is planted in shop-bought dark soil, the others are planted in garden soil or in a drainig sandy seed mixture and only the one in the shop-bought soil had freezing damage.
I think now that weed-free soil that you buy in the shops is great for not having weeds growing, but it is "shallow" , less good than soil from your garden or a more "sandy" mixture.
Plants that are borderline in terms of frost tolerance will fare better if they are growing in better draining or more substantial garden soil, also in pots they do better if the pots are dug in (surrounded by soil) and not sitting on top.
 
Henry Jabel
pollinator
Posts: 334
Location: Worcestershire, England
72
4
hugelkultur purity forest garden fungi trees urban bike bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One other thing to consider is need for the wood to 'ripen' with hot weather to survive the cold. Not sure if that is the case with avocados it's just a guess. We had a fairly poor end to the summer here but perhaps that missed you down in Brittany?
 
Philip Heinemeyer
Posts: 65
Location: central brittany, france
30
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Henry,
The end of the summer wasn't that great if i remember correctly and yes you are making a good point here. What people often seem to forget is that the plants frost tolerance/ ability to grow in hardiness zone such and such is only part of the story because it's also down to heat units. If, like in our case, the summers are cool the poor avocado tree may never truly die but might always be lacking the necessary heat to actually ever successfully produce fruit, something we can can witness around here with the loquat (eriobotrya japonica) They grow OK here but hardly ever make fruit.
You have to be kind of crazy to attempt growing avocadoes outdoors in central brittany and hope for fruit, but oh well.....
 
Henry Jabel
pollinator
Posts: 334
Location: Worcestershire, England
72
4
hugelkultur purity forest garden fungi trees urban bike bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I hope I am wrong because as I am in the crazy club too as I have a mexicola grande, poncho and something I suspect is fairly cold hardy that I grew from seed. The video I posted earlier in the thread shows a guy growing in Kent in South East England, his did survive in the cold one year now I am trying to recall if one of the previous summers was one of the hot ones we had.
 
Posts: 21
Location: London, UK, 51.5°N
14
forest garden urban chicken food preservation solar rocket stoves
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am another wannabe avocado grower in the UK. I live in London, actually not far from where the photo above was taken. Near where I work there is a huge avocado tree, about 30 or even 40 feet tall, which bears fruit!  Looks like it may well be a Hass seedling!  And I've seen several other smaller avocado trees growing outside in London as well, but none of those seem to have fruited yet, but then they are still quite small. So it CAN be done in the UK.  London is about Zone 9 in US hardiness terms: we will go below freezing on a handful of nights a year, but very rarely (like once in 50 years) go below -3C or even -2C.  During the "Beast from the East" in 2018 we did go to -4C overnight I seem to recall, and, VERY unusually, we had 3 days where we didn't get above freezing during the day (everyone's boilers, including mine, all failed on day three of the freeze as our condensing pipes all froze up at the same time!).  The huge avocado tree appears to have shrugged that off, and as of December 2019 was full of fruit. Figs grow and fruit well here, but only the breba, though I have just acquired a Doree which may fruit twice. I can grow tomatoes, chilis and aubergine outdoors in the summer. I have had an olive tree in a pot in my garden which produces olives for about 15 years.  Hope that gives some idea of temperatures and climate!  It can be very wet though - this year being a case in point - so the issue with drainage and quality soil is important I think.  From what I have gleaned from other avocado growers in marginal areas, avocados are not at all cold tolerant until they at least have brown bark on their trunk. Whilst its green, keep it above freezing. I am intending to overwinter mine in pots in a slightly heated greenhouse (keep it just above freezing) until they are big enough to be planted out.

I currently have about 30 avocado seedlings growing in my house, all sown since summer 2020. Some are from supermarket fruit: Fuerte, Ettinger, Pinkerton, Gem and, of course, Hass - though the Hass are all from avocados that looked...different...just in case they happened to have inherited some cold hardy genes somewhere reflected in their appearance! I'm not really expecting them to survive...  I'm interested in the Gems as they are Hass grand-offspring (mother is Gwen, which is a Hass offspring) and were bred to look and taste like Hass but be more heat tolerant than Hass, but it transpires they are also more cold tolerant than Hass - my research indicates similar to Fuerte, so may be OK for London but perhaps not somewhere colder. Some seeds are ones I bought on the internet, so I have to trust that they did indeed send me the named variety: Mexicola Grande, Fantastic, Lila and Brazos Belle. I also have two Galil seeds - I ordered Fuerte avocados from an online supermarket but Galils arrived!  They gave me my money back. As far as I can tell Galils are an Israeli bred avocado, which look like a Fuerte or an Ettinger, and like an Ettinger don't peel, but I don't think they are related to Fuerte's (Ettingers are Fuerte offspring).  I can find nothing about its cold hardiness.  But naturally I planted them!  Interestingly they look like very different seedlings from ALL the others: pale green with very little pinkness, and very compact growth.

Personally I don't get the toothpick and water method for germinating avocado seeds. I can appreciate that it's a good experiment for kids because you can see it, but it's not exactly how nature does it!  I figured that the seeds are designed to be swallowed whole by some giant, now extinct, plant eater, and pooped out the other end, with their seed coat mostly removed by stomach acid and deposited on the ground complete with a blob of fertiliser.  So I peel the seeds and put them into a well draining soil mix (sand, perlite, vermiculite and compost) about 1/3 to 1/2 the seed's height deep. I then put a plastic cloche over the top of each one (actually a plastic fresh soup container from Lidl) and leave them in a warm, light place. I've had 100% germination success. Most crack from 1 week to 2 months after sowing, and then the sprout crests the top of the seed about 4 weeks later. At that point I remove the cloche, add bark to the top of the soil and put the pot on a windowsill. Obviously it's winter here so the sun isn't that strong. The first one (a Fuerte) I sowed back in June, was simply put outside on the northern side of the house - so it got light, more light that it would indoors, but no direct sun.

I tried to buy grafted varieties from Tropicaflore earlier this year, they were not cheap when you included postage, and they arrived broken but the company have not refunded me, in fact they will not communicate with me at all, so buyer beware if purchasing from abroad!  The broken avocados had very high grafts and so broke below the graft point. I tried to root the broken graft parts, but none of them took. I wasn't really expecting them to but I thought it worth a try.  However, the root stocks are growing just fine and have both pushed out new leaves and a branch. One root stock is Duke7 the other is, presumably, an unknown seedling.  I'm growing both out as, at the very least, they are a couple of years older than my seedlings and so should flower earlier. Particularly the Duke7 as it's cloned "mature" stock which should flower considerably before a seedling and is known to be cold hardy, and root rot resistant. Time will tell what its fruit taste like hopefully!

For me, first and foremost, the desired outcome is a tree that stays alive, fruits and that that fruit is ok enough.  By all accounts the tree near where I work does all that.  I don't care what it looks like, whether it's black or green, how thick its skin is. Even its stone to fruit ratio is less important. First step is to get a live tree that produces fruit that is, at least, edible.  After that I'll get fussy!

Pics of seedlings:







EDIT: Just to add, the distance between the big avocado tree that fruits and the nearest avocado tree that I know about is 2.2 miles. So I figure either there are a bunch of bee hives close to the big avocado tree who are returning to the tree day after day, or there is another flowering avocado tree somewhere just around the corner that I can't see, but bear in mind it's winter and evergreen trees stand out!  So I'm suspecting the former, which means the tree is pollinating itself. So possibly its seeds will come true-er than a cross-pollinated seed... D*mn lockdown!  Perhaps I could do my daily walk close by the big avocado and see if there are any seed left lurking on the ground...
 
Alcina Pinata
Posts: 21
Location: London, UK, 51.5°N
14
forest garden urban chicken food preservation solar rocket stoves
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One of the problems with the two root stocks I was left with after the Tropicaflore fiasco is that neither had a label on them. The broken off bits had no labels on them either. There were many labels in the box though, some of which bore no relation to the plants I had purchased.  However, now they have leaves I think I've worked out which one is the Duke7.  According to this page: http://sacramentogardening.blogspot.com/2013/09/baby-duke-finds-home.html Duke leaves are quite distinctive:

As I gazed upon those light green leaves tinged with yellow streaks, a signature of the Duke tree, I knew that my work on this venture had not been in vain.



I'm presuming it's this one!  The yellow is almost more an iridescence than a streak, quite hard to pick up on the camera and not just look like reflective light.

More mature leaf:


Young leaf:


So, should you come across an avocado tree that has leaves that look like this, you're probably looking at a Duke of some sort!  Grab it. Allegedly cold hardy to 21F or -6C. I believe Duke (the original, no information on Duke7) is an A type pollinator (most cold hardy are B types), the fruit has thin skin and ripens in about 48 hours of being picked. So absolutely useless as a commercial avocado but excellent for the home grower in colder areas.
 
Alcina Pinata
Posts: 21
Location: London, UK, 51.5°N
14
forest garden urban chicken food preservation solar rocket stoves
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So... a few days ago I couldn't resist!  I took advantage of having to go into the office and took my daily exercise wandering along the streets nearby....and to one street in particular!


So here it is, in all its glory, in context. That's the Shard Building in the background to prove this picture is taken in London 51.5 degrees north! It's about 30 feet tall. Looking very, very healthy, not a burnt leaf in sight. The area is very, very sheltered so microclimates are definitely key. It's growing in a small housing estate: three rows of about 6 terraced houses. Surrounding the little estate are very tall buildings and high railway arches i.e. a lot of masonry.  The gardens are also sunken by about 6 feet - the other side of the wooden fence drops vertically down at least 6 feet. So the garden in which it is growing is effectively a walled garden inside a really big walled garden.

   

Lots and lots of avocados hanging on the branches.  They are green, classic pear shaped, with what looks like thick, knobblyish skin. Larger than a Hass (and different shape). Pinkerton?


But wait...what is that?  Cukes!  So I think that makes it likely to be a Fuerte offspring of some sort. But don't quote me on that!

I took a little movie of it to give you and idea of just how many avocados are on it. LondonAvocado

Alas there were no fallen fruit to grab the seeds from. I shall return however...  As I wandered round being rather nosy in people's gardens, there are a lot of maybe more tender plants growing happily in people's gardens. There are lots of fig trees.  There are also another two avocado trees!  They are both in a garden of a house in the next row. One is about 12 feet tall, looks no more than about 3 years old. The bark is green all the way down. However, it is not looking well at all.  It's very pale green and there are only a couple of sickly leaves on it. I don't fancy its chances.  Next to it is a small, maybe 2 foot seedling, so probably about a year old. It's looking very healthy.  No idea if they are seedlings from the big tree or not. I believe the 12 foot tree is neither mature enough nor well enough to produce flowers, so I still think the big tree is self pollinating and so those seeds could be very, very useful.

The UK is currently experiencing another Beast From The East. Temperatures in Scotland reached -22C which is very, very cold for the UK. Here in London we've had predicted overnight lows of -8C but when it came closer to it the predictions rose to -5C.  Thus far the lowest I have seen in the exposed middle of my garden is -3C. The cold has been in for a week and is expecting to break this weekend when we'll once again be in mild weather. So my avocado empire dream is feeling a little shaken. -5 to -8 is going to be difficult to deal with, even with Mexicans, should it actually happen as the forecasters predicted.  That said, I believe the big freeze in 1913 in California, when allegedly only the Fuerte's survived, went down they believe to -10C (no-one recorded the temperature, but eyewitnesses said they heard the trees popping and the bark splitting which would happen when the sap freezes solid and that occurs at about -10C).  And the point is, the Fuerte's survived. And Fuerte's are NOT the most cold hardy avocados...

EDIT:

Last night was the last of 2021's Beast From The East for London, hopefully there's won't be another this year! From today it gets warmer. It was the coldest night in London since 2018: my garden thermometer went down to -5C.  So looks like London avocados will have to face -5C more often than I thought. But the big avocado above shows it can be done and microclimate and drainage is EVERYTHING when growing avocados on the margins of possibility.  Masonry and lots of it I think!

 
Alcina Pinata
Posts: 21
Location: London, UK, 51.5°N
14
forest garden urban chicken food preservation solar rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Henry Jabel wrote:I hope I am wrong because as I am in the crazy club too as I have a mexicola grande, poncho and something I suspect is fairly cold hardy that I grew from seed. The video I posted earlier in the thread shows a guy growing in Kent in South East England, his did survive in the cold one year now I am trying to recall if one of the previous summers was one of the hot ones we had.



Henry, are your trees outside? How low did you go in this 2021 freeze?

If I recall from the Kent guy growing the avocado on YouTube, his tree survived the 2018 Beast From The East, but down here in the south east we went from -4C almost immediately into a long, hot, dry spring and summer. In London we went 10 weeks without a single drop of rain. It was the lack of water that killed his tree that summer - possibly because it was already weakened slightly by the 2018 freeze.
 
Henry Jabel
pollinator
Posts: 334
Location: Worcestershire, England
72
4
hugelkultur purity forest garden fungi trees urban bike bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The two named varieties are inside as they are small. I actually bought them off the guy in the video so perhaps I will email him and let him know about this thread because you have posted some really interesting information Alcina. That's right the beast from the east year was the one with the drought and the drought killed his tree. The question is whether the summer before the freeze was hot as well to ripen the wood fully for the temperatures his survived. I think it was a hot summer too but not as excessively dry as the year after. If we have a bad summer like 2012 (where we only really had the two weeks of the Olympics were on and it pretty much rained continuously after) followed by a beast from the east scenario will they survive? I would assume from the age of that London tree perhaps it is possible.

I do have the avocado I grew from supermarket seed outside in a pot under an overhang, its got some frost burn on the edges at the moment but it will be fine. The problem here is also the wind, despite only getting down to -4C here the wind on top of the cold probably gave it the damage. About 4 years ago we did have -7C here so I wont be growing them out in open anyway.

Do you know if the fruit that overwinters are still good to eat or do they typically go mouldy?

 
Henry Jabel
pollinator
Posts: 334
Location: Worcestershire, England
72
4
hugelkultur purity forest garden fungi trees urban bike bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Henry Jabel wrote: If we have a bad summer like 2012 (where we only really had the two weeks of the Olympics were on and it pretty much rained continuously after) followed by a beast from the east scenario will they survive? I would assume from the age of that London tree perhaps it is possible.



Even though the link below is pointing out the hyperbole used by the press it does seem to suggest it was still rather cold that winter. So it would suggest even with a poor summer the avocado would survive. Hopefully I can find some clearer data than that though:
https://unchartedterritory.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/the-severe-winter-of-2012-13-4th-coldest-in-5-years-shock/
 
Alcina Pinata
Posts: 21
Location: London, UK, 51.5°N
14
forest garden urban chicken food preservation solar rocket stoves
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Henry Jabel wrote:Do you know if the fruit that overwinters are still good to eat or do they typically go mouldy?


There is a YouTube video on "Joe's Tropicals" where Joe also went to visit the tree in late December I think, and he ended up speaking to the owner of the tree. He said the owner told him the history of the tree, but Joe did not enlighten us with that information. Fair dues to the owner's privacy. The owner gave him an avocado from the tree. Joe ripened the avocado at home for about a week and then cut it open and sampled it live on video. I don't know who was more excited when the avocado was split open, me or Joe!!  It looked like the perfect avocado. Green and creamy, no strings, good stone to fruit ratio. Joe then sampled it and claimed it tasted great. He said he was going to grow a seedling from the stone. Assuming Joe isn't lying about the origins of the avocado he cut open, and we have no reason to suppose he is, as you can see from the photographs above the avocados look great, it appears that the avocados are good to eat and do not go mouldy. Or at least, do not go mouldy until they are over mature and the tree drops them.  Quite when that will be I do not know, but for sure I'll be standing underneath with a big plastic bag
 
Alcina Pinata
Posts: 21
Location: London, UK, 51.5°N
14
forest garden urban chicken food preservation solar rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Henry Jabel wrote:The two named varieties are inside as they are small. I actually bought them off the guy in the video


Ah...I remember from his channel he got Mexicola Grande and Poncho seeds sent over from a Texas avocado enthusiast Jerry Satterlee. Are yours seedlings? Jerry does about 5 YouTube videos a year, always the same: one at flowering in March, one as the fruit sets, one as the fruit matures and one when the fruit is picked. He often does another random one as well. They're just him walking round his garden filming the trees, so you get to see the changes every year. They're great fun, he clearly loves his trees. All his avocados are cold hardy grafted plants: Mexicola Grande, Poncho, Fuerte, Opal (aka Lila), Pryor (aka Fantastic or Del Rio) - those are the ones I remember now, he may have more. This last year he talks about and films a young seedling of his from an Opal fruit (not to be confused with Opal Fruits sorry only oldies like me will get that!) which flowered and fruited at just 4.5 years old!  But the fruit was largely seed so he was a little disappointed.  He doesn't seem to prune his trees and just lets them grow, which therefore means harvesting all the fruit is impossible because the trees are too tall. He says not to put the trees into the ground until they have brown bark. Where he is in Texas has not dissimilar winter temperatures and durations as London, but of course his summers are much hotter and longer.  But he needs to grow the cold hardy varieties to survive the winter lows.
 
Henry Jabel
pollinator
Posts: 334
Location: Worcestershire, England
72
4
hugelkultur purity forest garden fungi trees urban bike bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow my jaw is on the floor too despite you telling me how good it looked. The figs that survive winter here usually look a bit tatty and not very appealing, so I really wasn't expecting an avocado be that good especially when you can end up getting some pretty awful ones from the supermarket sometimes.

 
Henry Jabel
pollinator
Posts: 334
Location: Worcestershire, England
72
4
hugelkultur purity forest garden fungi trees urban bike bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Alcina Pinata wrote:

Henry Jabel wrote:The two named varieties are inside as they are small. I actually bought them off the guy in the video


Ah...I remember from his channel he got Mexicola Grande and Poncho seeds sent over from a Texas avocado enthusiast Jerry Satterlee. Are yours seedlings? Jerry does about 5 YouTube videos a year, always the same: one at flowering in March, one as the fruit sets, one as the fruit matures and one when the fruit is picked. He often does another random one as well. They're just him walking round his garden filming the trees, so you get to see the changes every year. They're great fun, he clearly loves his trees. All his avocados are cold hardy grafted plants: Mexicola Grande, Poncho, Fuerte, Opal (aka Lila), Pryor (aka Fantastic or Del Rio) - those are the ones I remember now, he may have more. This last year he talks about and films a young seedling of his from an Opal fruit (not to be confused with Opal Fruits sorry only oldies like me will get that!) which flowered and fruited at just 4.5 years old!  But the fruit was largely seed so he was a little disappointed.  He doesn't seem to prune his trees and just lets them grow, which therefore means harvesting all the fruit is impossible because the trees are too tall. He says not to put the trees into the ground until they have brown bark. Where he is in Texas has not dissimilar winter temperatures and durations as London, but of course his summers are much hotter and longer.  But he needs to grow the cold hardy varieties to survive the winter lows.



Yes mine are seedlings so I would assume they would be from Jerry's trees, i shall have to check out his videos now! You are welcome to some graft wood (or seeds eventually!) when they get bigger. I am going to have to prune and train them anyway as I have overhead electrical cables here and looking at the London tree they still get pretty large here!

They are still opal fruits in my mind too!
 
Philip Heinemeyer
Posts: 65
Location: central brittany, france
30
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I also bought 3 lila avocado seeds from ebay and they arrived in really good condition. I had contacted the seller before ordering and asked if these really were lila seeds and she said yes and they are fresh, but she gets them from someone else. So the seeds arrived fine and they look like lila seeds from all the pictures that i could find on the internet. Big and round. They certainly don't look like any of the seeds that i have found in shop-bought fruit.
Whether the trees inherit the semi-dwarf growth pattern and what the fruit will be like should they ever make some is an entirely different question, however. Also, were they pollinated by another variety growing close by?
And how much selection was done to find these cold-hardy varieties? In other words, trees grown from seed of known cold-hardy varieties may not inherit their cold tolerance.
20210211_133007.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20210211_133007.jpg]
 
Alcina Pinata
Posts: 21
Location: London, UK, 51.5°N
14
forest garden urban chicken food preservation solar rocket stoves
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Philip Heinemeyer wrote:Whether the trees inherit the semi-dwarf growth pattern and what the fruit will be like should they ever make some is an entirely different question, however. Also, were they pollinated by another variety growing close by?
And how much selection was done to find these cold-hardy varieties? In other words, trees grown from seed of known cold-hardy varieties may not inherit their cold tolerance.


Ah yes. For those of us that cannot get hold of grafted trees, that is the million dollar/Euro/Yen/Pound question! We have no idea what who the daddy is.  Even within my shop bought Hass seedlings I can see subtle differences between the seedlings. Others, like the two Galils, are pretty much identical to each other. There are two Hass seeds I've very recently sown (just cracked a couple of days ago) that I selected because they had very, very small seeds for Hass, like the size of a marble! So fruit to stone ratio was excellent. Research says it's the pollinator that affects stone size, so who knows what they will turn out like!  All I can say is that the different varieties all look different from each other a) as seeds; b) as seedlings. The Mexicola Grande is a very macho looking seedling with vibrant mulberry stem and bright green leaf stalks and reddish leaves (it's so macho looking I find myself referring to it in a Spanish accent and kinda want to stick a moustache on it! ).  The Galils are pale green all over with faint pink spots and very compact tidy growth. The Hass are tall dusty red-stemmed with large pale green leaves.  The Fuertes are paler red-stemmed with smaller pale green leaves. The Fantastics visually look like a cross between a Fuerte and a Mexicola Grande. (Incidentally...my larger seedlings all got their first snip this weekend, very traumatic, but I can confirm that both the Mexicola Grandes and the Fantastics both had aniseed scented leaves when they were crushed which is a sign of Mexican, i.e. cold hardy, heritage!). All we can assume is that they will have inherited 50% of their genes from their named mother but which 50 when you're dealing with hybrids anyway is difficult to know. But we have to start somewhere, and if we live long enough to breed European, cold hardy avocados then the world will be a better place

BTW: Philip, your Lilas look like my Lila seeds (we probably got them from the same supplier!) - were they much harder to peel than other avocado seeds because mine were! My Lilas are the three on the left hand ends of the rows in the first seedling picture. Two cracked after 2 weeks, the third cracked a week later. Waiting for the shoots
 
Philip Heinemeyer
Posts: 65
Location: central brittany, france
30
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello,
yes i noticed that the lila seeds were difficult to peel. I don't know if it's really necessary to take of the brown coating but i don't see why not. In my mind the seeds will absorbe moisture better when they are "naked". I don't put a glass/plastic bottle over my seeds, but i suppose that it creates more of a greenhouse effect and that the additional moisture can only help providing it's not too wet. I think it's great what you're doing and i wish you the best of luck with growing avocadoes in the UK.
 
Alcina Pinata
Posts: 21
Location: London, UK, 51.5°N
14
forest garden urban chicken food preservation solar rocket stoves
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Henry Jabel wrote:Yes mine are seedlings so I would assume they would be from Jerry's trees, i shall have to check out his videos now! You are welcome to some graft wood (or seeds eventually!) when they get bigger. I am going to have to prune and train them anyway as I have overhead electrical cables here and looking at the London tree they still get pretty large here!


40-50 feet I believe if avocados are not pruned!  Particularly Fuerte and Duke. Some are naturally slightly smaller, so...30-35 feet Pruning is the name of the game if you want to harvest all your fruit. Or grow in a UK sized garden!  I have also now got Poncho seeds. Hopefully between all of us we should have at least one tree that stands up to the cold and damp of British weather, and produces tasty enough fruit!

BTW... it's -22C in Texas at the moment. There are some amazing YouTube videos showing ice on the leaves of trees. I fear for Jerry's trees. Not even the Mexicans can deal with those low temperatures without microclimate assistance.  Hopefully he'll just get some dieback and not actual tree death. I await his mid March (the flowering time of his trees) video...
 
Posts: 1
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have grown sweet potatoes in the uk against a warm wall.. next to roses.. they have a beautiful flower.
 
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi!  can any one provide me the contact of the Lila avocado seller. We are a group of 2 to 4 peoples who are looking for this Lila variety hier in europe (France / germany).  By the i am growing avocado seedlings and a lot of exotics fruit. You can follow me here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5ph1dkSE_s
 
Philip Heinemeyer
Posts: 65
Location: central brittany, france
30
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello,
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Avocado-Lila-Cold-Hardy-Variety-3-seeds/224158482421?hash=item3430e2fff5:g:k8cAAOSw0BlfjiKd

If you create an ebay account you can contact the seller, maybe even without an account, i am not sure.
 
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live in Vancouver, Canada.  My friend eats lots of Avocados and tosses the seeds into the compost in his back yard.  Some of them sprout, but when Winter hits, they die.  Except that he has 2 baby Avocado trees that are now 3 years old that have survived their entire lives outdoors, unprotected in Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA.  It has reached -8°C (18°F) a few times in the past 3 years.

over 90% of all Avocados sold in Canada are of the Hass variety (which is 61% Mexican and 39% Guatemalan).  So, if you simply plant all the Hass seeds that you get in the supermarket, you'll end up with A FEW Cold-Hardy Avocado trees.  Probably 3% to 7% of them will be cold tolerant.  So be sure to plant 20 seeds or more to ensure that one will survive the first winter.

Here is an article on  a strategy that you may find useful for growing your own Avocado trees:

https://georgestancliffe.medium.com/the-b-c-avocado-project-670ed22a74d7
 
Alcina Pinata
Posts: 21
Location: London, UK, 51.5°N
14
forest garden urban chicken food preservation solar rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's a great article George!  It's pretty much what I and others here are trying to do, but as individuals, rather than a whole county. I like your call to arms  I am also VERY heartened by his Hass seedling that has survived outside thus far. We do know that microclimate seems to play a huge part in avocado cold survival - both in relation to absolute temperature, duration thereof, and waterlogging. It's possible that his little Hass seedling is actually protected from the -8C and "only" goes down to -3C. But this is all evidence that avocados CAN be grown where winter temperatures drop well below freezing for short periods, it's "just" a case of finding the right tree. Then our next hurdle is producing tasty enough fruit.

Speaking of cold...still no March report from Jerry Satterlee in Texas. Normally his trees are flowering by now. I do hope it's not terminal news
 
George Stancliffe
Posts: 2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Alcina posted:  "....Normally his trees are flowering by now. I do hope it's not terminal news...."

If he piled Wood Chips 12 inches high (or higher) around the base of his Avocado tree(s), he will likely save the tree from being killed altogether.  It will at least pop back up from the base.  

I did that to 3 Avocado trees that I planted outdoors last Summer and they all "survived" the winter, even though the tops died off.

--George
 
Maybe he went home and went to bed. And took this tiny ad with him:
List of Early Bird Goodies for SKIP book kickstarter
https://permies.com/wiki/157072/List-Early-Bird-Goodies-SKIP
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic