The journey of growing avocados doesn’t end when your avocados plant grows up or fruits. Mature avocado tree needs maintenance from watering, mulching, pruning, and many other activities.
Maintaining your mature avocado tree keeps it productive and improves yield. And in this article, we’ll guide you on maintaining a healthy mature avocado tree.
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Here are some tips on keeping the avocado tree healthy and in good condition:
Number 1: Soil and drainage
Avocado trees thrive in well-draining soil that’s slightly acidic or alkaline. The soil pH can be anything between 6 and 8. However, the soil shouldn’t have high pH and bicarbonate presence as they build up and negatively affect avocado plants. For example, high salinity (sodium and chlorides) results in moisture stress and low yields.
In addition, avocado growers should ensure that the soil around the tree is loose, well-aerated, and has good drainage. This is especially important for young avocado trees as they mature into trees. It’s always important to test the soil in the lab to be sure about the content distribution. The clay soil distribution should be about 20 – 40%. When there’s low clay distribution, the soil’s water-holding capacity is low hence more frequent watering.
High clay distribution in the soil increases water retention. Therefore, the soil becomes oversaturated with heavy rainfall or irrigation. Water clogging at the bottom of the mature avocado tree leads to root rot. Growers must regularly check the soil moisture and adjust watering.
Soil structure and nutrient retention play a crucial role in avocado yielding by influencing root health and penetration. Ensuring it meets the bare minimum in proper drainage and pH levels is important. In addition, you should consult experts for more informed feedback. Doing your due diligence guarantees you a higher return on investment.
Number 2: Watering
You must also regulate your watering to maintain a healthy mature avocado tree. Once you ascertain that the soil structure is ideal, you need enough rainfall, or if you have an avocado irrigation schedule, keep it reasonable.
While avoiding over-watering is important, avocado trees still need regular irrigation. Without enough water, your mature avocado tree can’t absorb the soil nutrients.
Avocado trees need 1000mm of rainfall spread out throughout the year. If you’re watering them, it’s about 25mm per week. Enough watering or rainfall deeply and infrequently allows the soil to dry out slightly between watering sessions. Your frequency of watering the mature avocado tree will depend on the climate, but aim for around once or twice a week.
The best way to water your mature avocado tree long-term is by using a drip or a micro sprinkler. These two irrigation methods help you evenly distribute the water to the roots without being wasteful. We advise you to monitor the moisture levels as that determines your root health, longevity, and production.
Number 3: Mulching
Another maintenance hack for mature avocado trees is mulching them. But you need to understand how, where, and how to apply it, how thick the mulching should be, and when it should be applied. All these factors are important because some issues may often result from your mulching practices, such as pests and diseases.
We recommend applying a layer of organic mulch around the tree’s base, leaving a few inches of space for the trunk and the dripping line. Reports show that applying mulch past the water drip line increases feeder root mass and tree productivity. Consult an expert on how much space to leave, but 6 to 10 inches should be enough.
The mulching should contain bark, leaves, maize stacks, etc. You can use green waste material as mulches, which decompose to mature afterward. Mulching benefits young and mature avocado trees, but the best time to apply it is during low rainfall seasons. It helps retain soil moisture, moderates soil temperature, and suppresses weed growth during this period.
You can make the mulching as thick as possible, but essentially, you want a covering that won’t prevent water from going through into the soil. Light mulching is crucial for young avocado trees because their roots aren’t yet well developed. Therefore, they need moisture as close to the trunk as possible.
According to research, applying mulching and other maintenance tips increases the root mass of the avocado tree. As a result, it improves how the mature avocado tree reaches minerals; water is another component. Mulching also increases soil moisture retention around the avocado tree.
Number 4: Fertilization
Avocado trees need fertilization, especially the nitrogen component. The tree also needs nutrients besides nitrogen, including zinc and other micronutrients, in the soil. An avocado tree is a heavy feeder, and how you fertilize them depends on its soil composition. You fertilize for what is lacking in your soil composition.
We advise our farmers to apply organic fertilizers just before the rainfall season. This improves how well the fertilizers infiltrate the soils. The fertilizer can dissolve in the soil moisture and be absorbed by the avocado tree roots.
As the tree matures, the need for fertilizer application reduces. However, if your soil is highly alkaline, you may need to apply acidic components and reduce the pH levels. In addition, if your soil has iron deficiency, you may need a chelated iron supplement. Also, ensuring your fertilizer has zinc is crucial to protecting it from deficiency diseases.
Number 5: Pruning
You must prune your avocado tree to keep it in shape, remove dead or diseased branches, and improve air circulation. When you prune your tree, you keep it in shape, reduce its size, and maximize fruit production. You should do your pruning when the plant’s growth is dormant. However, you can do minor pruning throughout the year.
Pruning during the summer season is a bad idea, mainly because, at this time, the mature avocado tree is ready for flowering season.
Number 6: Pest control
Like all other plants, mature avocado trees are susceptible to pests. Therefore, you must watch for common avocado pests such as aphids, mites, and scales. Ensure that you remove any pest-infected plants that could lead to mature avocado tree infection.
We advise our farmers to use sustainable farming practices to eliminate pests. A pest infestation can damage the overall fruits, especially during the flowering season. One of the causes of pest infestation is mulching mature avocado trees too high. At times, the mulching vegetation could be housing pests that could later attack your young avocado plants.
It is important to note not all pests are harmful to the mature avocado tree. For example, the ladybird, dragonfly, butterfly, and hoverfly are essential in pollinating and eliminating other harmful pests like aphids.
A mature avocado tree needs a lot of maintenance to continue yielding. The above tips are general guidelines and specific care requirements. Your needs may vary depending on your climate, avocado variety, and local conditions. We’d advise that you consult with local gardening experts or agricultural extension services for your specific location.
Suppose you’re a retailer who would love to order avocados in bulk from a Hass exporter from Kenya. Contact us at FrutPlanet via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +25498799211. We are a reliable exporter of avocados and have global network distribution. We advise our customers to practice sustainable farming practices to produce organically farmed avocados.