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avocado in central valley: hass?stewart?bacon?
I am intrigued by knowledge in these posts! I live in Stockton (northern CA, Cantral Valley), in town on a 1/2 acre lot, I've bought a hass and a stewart at home depot, but could get a bacon instead. Will plant them together, but not sure if Stewart's seasons even match the Hass (the whole A/B pairing issue seems a moot point if they bloom at different times). Yet Stewart gets better reports of quality eating.
Specific issues: on well water which is very hard (lots of calcium)
Can plant on east side of fence with a small building to south, so thus north/east exposure, under a canopy of a big valley oak, OR...
Could plant on east side of house, between mine and neighbors, which would not have the nice high canopy but would get a little more sun, a little more cold (thus getting a cold tolerant one to shield the Hass), and would let the trees serve as much needed screen between our house and the bright pink one next door!
Down the street is a large mature avocado (50 years old) that's some unknown mexican variety, that bears well. The first setting described is more like that tree's setting. Eventually I might get some material for grafting from that tree, but I'm a novice so don't want to count on that at this point.
So my questions:
will the Stewart cross-polinate the Hass, or is Bacon better?
if neither the Stewart or Bacon are likely to produce much fruit in Stockton, should I get the Stewart for its cold protection values?
Or does my well water make the Stewart (Stuart) too risky?
Any other issues I'm missing here?
The following thread was started by Ruth on February 25, 2010 at 11:32 am PST
Hi, Ruth. I live in Stockton, also. I've got a 4 year old Mexicola Grande that produced fruit for the first time last year. I only got two!, but I understand that once they start producing, production increases year over year. I think I bought mine at Lowe's or maybe Walmart, I don't remember.
The above followup was added by Kurt on February 25, 2010 at 3:58 pm PST.
thanks will look
HI Kurt, thanks, I haven't found any of that kind (yet) for less than a hundred bucks, but will look at those stores. I'm curious where you planted yours (eastern exposure? under other trees? next to house?). Ruth
The above followup was added by Ruth in Stockton on February 25, 2010 at 5:39 pm PST.
cold hearty avos...
R....your biggest problem may be the cold mornings in winter. Mexican varieties are most hearty. I would recommend Bacon. It is a good tasting avo....not great. Basically, you will find the best tasting/high oil avos are cold sensitive. Do not get a Zutano (poor taste). Look here:
The above followup was added by Ed of Somis on February 25, 2010 at 8:01 pm PST.
Avocados in the San Joaquin Valley
It seems that Stewart does not do well here in the area, no fruit set or very low set of fruit.
Mexicola Grande is a good producer, but fruit does not last long on the tree, stays less time then most other Mexican Varieties.
Bacon here in the Valley is normally quite productive, if not in a cold low spot. But they ripen in Winter and the flavor is not real Good but is ok, but does tend to have a sweet taste.
Hass might survive and do ok, until we get a nasty low arctic blast, then free to the ground or down to large wood if mature enough. Hass are only rated safe down to like 29F, but know it can go a bit lower, depending on how long the lows last, then the actual low itself.
If you took a trip to SoCal, there is a nursery which sells Sir Prize, a Hass type, bread back to Mexican they think. Which has Hass like taste and flesh an skin, but is a bit more hardier then Hass.
There are various Mexican seedlings here in the Valley, which are like Mexicola, but a bit larger. Mexicola is a good avocado, small fruit, but the flavor is good, but they ripen Aug thru Sept. some hang on into mid winter, and the their taste only gets better of not frozen.
There is one tree not often mentioned, Fuerte, it is a large low growing spreading tree, and fairly hardy. It was the commercial fruit CA produced before the Hass came along.
I don't know if there is actually a perfect fruit for the whole Central Valley and specifically the San Joaquin Valley.
What you can grow all depends on how your winter lows. Here in Waterford, I have a Hass or etc covered with something, it can take down to 21 F.
There is a good option, Holiday, low growing or can be easily trained to do so. So it would not be hard to protect it.
If you can get a tree large enough, it can take more cold, even if you loose back to 1 to 2 inch wood, it will regrow from the Arctic blasts every 10 to 20 years.
I know of a Bacon tree, around 16 feet tall, out in the country, southwest of Waterford. It got down to 15F, froze off leaves and small wood, but was back to fruiting in year.
Trees should not cost you $100. Usually around $30 or less for 5 gallon plants at Home Depot.
I only wish I had more avocado trees grafted and size up for sale. I have some from producing seedlings in this area and some which were originally smuggled into the US a decade or more ago, by locals traveling back and forth form Mexico.
The above followup was added by David Johnson, Waterford CA, zone 14 on February 26, 2010 at 4:01 pm PST.
thank you all... still would love advice on placement
Thank you all for the good advice. I have found trees for $25-30, just not in the Mexicola type varieties (yet). I'd still love advice on placement, unless the best advice is simply eastern exposure with protection from large canopy trees. Ruth
The above followup was added by Ruth in Stockton on February 26, 2010 at 5:07 pm PST.
Ruth, location of cado trees
If your soil is heavy, definitely do want to plant on a rise, so water does not collect and stagnate under it and cause root rot.
Best to leaves its leaves under it, plus add some mulch. They are surface feeders, most most of their roots are within 8 inches ors o of the surface. Large mature trees seems to have deeper roots and don't mind so much the absence of mulch on the ground, but in small young plants it can be really vital in some soils. My tree would not grow until I left the leaves and put mulch under my young tree.
Also a citrus/avocado fertilizer is a must, like citrus they do have some specific needs, that other plants do not. I prefer a manure more natural based Citrus/Avocado fertilizer like from Lilley Miller, which I get at OSH, but to each their own choice and preference. More natural, less chance of burning sensitive roots.
The above followup was added by David Johnson, Waterford CA, zone 14 on February 27, 2010 at 11:25 am PST.
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