Over the years, numerous superfoods have emerged in the food market. Numerous of these have found a permanent place in the diets of many. Avocado is one such superfood that has skyrocketed in price and value in the past few years. Not only is it high in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and proteins but also provides healthy fats to the body.
Now, even though this food is nutrient dense and delicious, it is somewhat expensive. Due to this people are starting to grow these themselves to save money. If this is similar to what you had in mind, then this post is for you. Here, you will find an answer to the most crucial question about Avocado cultivation – “What kind of soil is good for avocado trees?”
Let us get started.
What Kind of Soil Is Good for Avocado Trees?
Having avocado flesh that is ripened is definitely a treat for your taste buds. This can especially be true if the fruit comes from your own cultivated tree. However, how does one do so? Does the Avocado need special soil? Avocado trees are sometimes influenced by the soil they grow in when it comes to fruit production.
So, you can say that the soil it needs is special and needs to have certain characteristics. To begin with, an Avocado tree will grow well in soil that is well-aerated and loose. Here are some of the soil types that you can choose for the proper growth and development of your Avocado trees:
- Sandy loam
- Decomposed granite
If you are growing Avocados or are planning to do so, you should know that these are shallow-rooted trees. When it comes to their roots, they are unable to penetrate compacted soil types. Before you plant them, break the soil into the planting hole before you plant them. Now, let us quickly tell you how you can prepare the soil for this.
When planting an Avocado tree, you should know that they grow well in very coarse, well-drained, loamy soil. Choosing a clayey soil medium may do no good to your plants. Furthermore, it is important not to plant them too deeply during the planting process. It is because doing so can stress the root system which can further damage the tree trunk.
As mentioned earlier, for this, the soil you are using for the trees should be loose and well-aerated. Therefore, avoid compacted soil that can hinder the spread of roots. This can further prevent tree growth and may lead to root rot. Furthermore, when the temperature is low, do keep in mind that Avocado trees will not be able to tolerate soggy soil.
The constant moisture in the soil can suffocate the roots. This cannot just cause root rot but also low fruit production. If your tree demonstrates its poor health this way, and you notice that the soil remains moist, you know how to deal with it. That being said, it does not mean your trees need no water. Somewhat dry conditions are perfect for them.
If you notice that the handful of soil that your Avocados are growing in has a granular texture even after many dry days, you can make some changes. It is ideal to drain holes at the bottom of the plant for several minutes. Now, simply water the ground. Make sure that only 1/2-gallon per hour is dripping for several hours.
What Soil pH Is Ideal for Avocado?
Now that you know what kind of soil is good for avocado trees in terms of physical appearance and some other characteristics, let us also discuss the soil pH that is needed. Typically, your Avocado trees can tolerate acidic as well as alkaline soil. However, they prefer a soil pH between 6 and 6.5. In case it is less than 6.2, there is an increased chance of phytophthora root rot.
Now, this pH can easily be increased once you figure it out. Calcium carbonate is a great solution. Sulfur and lime are also excellent methods you can use to balance the pH of your Avocado soil. Further, if the pH is suitable, and you only want to uplift a nutrient level, there are various solutions for it. For instance, to get a high calcium level without lifting the soil pH, you can make use of Gypsum.
How Do You Make Avocado Soil More Acidic?
If you are wondering about – “how to make avocado soil more acidic,” we have an easy solution for you. This is by adding vinegar to the soil. You can use this method not only for your avocado trees but also for citrus trees. The use of vinegar is recommended to make alkaline soil acidic because it does not overly acidify your soil. Also, it cleans the water. Here are the steps to use vinegar for soil:
- Firstly, you need to measure the amount of vinegar you want to use on your avocado trees.
- In case you are looking for a way to increase the acidity of the soil, we recommend about 1/2 cup of vinegar for every gallon of water. You need to use this mix each time you water the trees.
- Alternatively, if you only want to clean the water, and not change the pH much, use 1 ounce of vinegar for every gallon of water.
- Once you have mixed the required quantity of vinegar with water and formed a solution, it is time to use it.
- Start applying this water and vinegar solution around the base of your Avocado tree.
- Once you do so, the solution will soak into the soil, and start working its magic.
- Make sure that you add enough of this water-vinegar solution. It should be enough to soak down to the roots of the Avocado tree.
What Soil Conditions Do Avocado Trees Need If Grown Outdoors?
After the soil pH, let us move on to the soil conditions that are crucial while selecting the soil for Avocado cultivation. So, what are the soil conditions for avocado trees? Let us find out. Here are the most crucial soil conditions (other than soil pH) every Avocado cultivator must know about. (Please note that these conditions are to be followed if you are growing Avocados outdoors. You can find the soil condition for pot/container cultivation after this section.)
When looking for soil that is ideal for Avocado trees, make sure to choose soil that is not compact but loose in texture. This soil can be composed of decomposed granite or sandy loam. Such kind of soil will ensure that there is proper drainage of water and no excess moisture retention. It is because the latter will damage your Avocado plants.
Increased moisture in the soil can also lead to root rot in Avocado trees. Another thing that you can add to this soil is – wood chips or leaves. Make sure to add them to the top of the soil. The purpose of these is to ensure that the sun does not overheat the roots of your Avocado trees. Also, this way, the nutrition distribution becomes better as wood chips or leaves are nothing but organic matter.
As mentioned earlier, your Avocado tree will need a soil type that can drain well. If that is not the case, the soil will accumulate too much moisture.
The avocado tree needs soil that drains well. If the roots have too much moisture, the tree will not be healthy. The result will be low amounts of fruit and branches dying. Even though there may be watering concerns, conditions that are slightly dry cause the tree to thrive.
If a handful of soil has a granular texture and has been dry for several days, you can water it. Soil that looks wet and muddy will harm the tree.
Usually, salts are naturally present in all kinds of soils. However, when it comes to avocado trees, these salts can be an issue. It is especially true if they are highly concentrated. You can easily find out if your soil has a high salt concentration. If it is the case, you will notice that the leaves of your Avocado trees will appear brown or look sunburnt at the tips.
A great way to level out this concentration is by watering your Avocado trees consistently. Doing so will clear the salt from the soil slowly and deeply. It will also provide good health for the trees. That being said, if you live near an ocean, controlling the amount of salt in the soil can be difficult. It is because even the air there has salt content in it. In such a case the only solution is to look out for the color of the leaves, and ensure that the soil has a low salt concentration.
What Soil Conditions Do Avocado Trees Need If Grown in Containers?
The above soil conditions were mainly for those who are growing Avocado trees in open spaces. Now, what if you are growing them in a container? What kind of soil is good for avocado trees in such a case? If you are wondering the same, this section of the post is for you. If you choose to grow your Avocado tree in a container, your soil needs to be special.
It should be a combination of specialized mixtures and soil from your garden. In the container, it is also a great idea to place thirsty flowers below the tree. This should be done to prevent the tree from a scaled-back soil environment that can trap water and cause root rot. This way you can equalize the water and soil ratios readily.
Further, when it comes to watering an Avocado tree that is growing in a container, it is similar to that of trees planted in a garden. A thing that you may have to follow for healthy growth is to transfer the plant into larger containers. Make sure that the container is big enough to promote stronger root development and the formation of a healthier tree.
Typically, the container you are choosing for your tree should be about ten inches wide. Also, when you decide to fill it up with the potting soil for your Avocado tree, make sure to wash it with soap and water. Another thing you need to take care of is the surrounding temperature and humidity. Ideally, your indoor temperature should be between 60 to 85°F. similarly, humidity should be 50%.
What Is the Best Soil Recipe for Avocado Trees?
After finding out what kind of soil is good for avocado trees, let us move on to a good soil recipe that you can follow. If you are using a container for your Avocado tree, avoid heavy peat-based potting soil. Instead, use sand, bark, and perlite as the potting medium. These will make sure that your tree gets what it needs, and the rest is drained.
In order to ensure that you have a rich, fast-draining potting soil mix, you can recycle some old soil from your garden to use it. Alternatively, you can also go for rich humus soil. In case you have old potting soil, make sure to clean it first to reduce the chances of Avocado seed sprouting. For it, you can remove weeds, grass, or leftover roots.
Coming to the best soil mix for Avocado trees, we recommend a 50/50 mixture of topsoil and coir. This kind of mix usually works the best. that being said, you need to check the soil first to see if it is the ideal fit for your Avocado trees. Once you have the mix ready, you can smoothen it slightly, and even add more soil if needed. This potting mix will probably be the best for your Avocado.
What Are Some Natural Soil Amendments for Avocado Trees?
Like most plants and trees out there, Avocado trees grow best with additional fertilizers. Therefore, if you ever notice poor growth, soil additives can be of great help. If you are looking for a natural source of nitrogen and other nutrients, you can begin with aged manure. Another thing that you can go for besides manure is organic granular fertilizer of any kind.
Manure and other organic fertilizers can readily trigger tree growth and development by providing them with enough nutrition. We have some additional points that you can take care of if you are looking for some natural soil amendments for your Avocado trees. To begin with, make sure to plant your trees in rich soil with excellent drainage.
It is a good idea to add thick layers of mulch to the roots. When leaves fall from the tree, let it happen under the tree only. You do not have to rake the ground again or add more mulch for young Avocado trees. It is because even a single layer of mulch around the trees is enough for maintaining the correct moisture content and protecting the root system of the trees.
While using mulch, make sure to keep it six inches from the stem base. You need to do so to avoid suffocating the roots and damaging them. Homemade compost is also a great natural amendment for Avocado potting soil. Coffee, Epsom salt, or Eggshells are some great things you can use. The use of coffee every few months is great to fix nitrogen and minerals in the soil. Also, all these are slow-release fertilizers, and can thus have long progressive effects.
Are Coffee Grounds Good for Avocado Trees?
In the section above, we mentioned that using Coffee can be a great amendment for your Avocado plants. So, are coffee grounds good for avocado trees? If you are wondering whether or not you can use the leftover grounds from your coffee beans for your Avocado trees, the answer is yes. You can readily use them in your garden soil.
These will supply nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, and other elements to the soil. All of these nutrients are needed by Avocado trees for growth and development. However, we know that coffee grounds have a lot of caffeine. In such a case, will they harm the trees? Well, if you use the right amount, and compost them first, coffee grounds are super good for your Avocado trees.
If you do not follow the same and use too many coffee grounds, it might not be good for your garden soil. Sure, some caffeine is lost during brewing. Still, it is not fit for the soil. Instead, use only 15 and 20 percent of them in the compost, and this quantity is sure to benefit your Avocado plants. If you are not composting the coffee grounds, make sure to keep the quantity very low.
So, this is all about what kind of soil is good for avocado trees. Cultivating Avocados, yourself is undoubtedly an excellent idea. The age of your trees will depend on the kind of environment that it gets. In order to ensure that you grow healthy Avocado trees, make sure to use the right soil, and keep the temperature and moisture in check. If you follow all these, your tree is sure to survive for hundreds of years. Happy gardening!