The avocado tree (Persea Americana) comes from Central America, particularly Mexico. It is an exotic tree that grows in subtropical regions and cannot withstand temperatures below 4°C. Avocado is a fruit rich in fiber, therefore, promotes digestion and is an excellent appetite suppressant. It contains phytosterols, which help lower bad cholesterol, and is rich in various Vitamins like C, E, and K.
1. Preparation of the plots
The preparation of the plots starts with the clearing of stumps and roots as well as rough stones. The next step is to establish an effective drainage network and then plant windbreaks if necessary.
2. Land preparation
Land preparation should be done during dry seasons; its purpose is to facilitate the establishment of roots and promotion of plant development. The soil should be well-drained and the pH acidic.
Avocado trees are grown on ridges with an average height of 70 cm and a base diameter of 1m and can be enriched with a mixture of organic matter (Italpollina or Guanamus 200 Kg / dunum) and mineral matter (Yara Mila Complex 12.11.18 100 Kg /dunum).
Planting on ridges promotes good drainage and avoids fungal soil diseases.
3. Varieties of avocado
Although a wide range of varieties is cultivated, below are the most cultivated varieties in Lebanon.
4. Planting density
The planting density varies according to the varieties and type of culture (ordinary or intensive)
In the new orchards, intensive agriculture is applied using grafted trees and adequate rootstocks such as Duke 7 (which increases the production of Hass), Topa Topa (with cold tolerance), or Mexicola (tolerates cold and is used for Fuerte variety).
Cross-pollination is preferred to ensure good pollination. It is advised to plant type A and B trees by interspersing the rows.
In Lebanon, planting is done as follows: 25% of type B trees and 75% of type A trees.
Trees flower following “synchronous dichogamy”, meaning that the flowering times of female and male flowers are distinct.
Type A female flowers are receptive to pollen in the morning while male flowers release pollen in the afternoon. Type B flowers are receptive to pollen in the afternoon and male flowers release pollen in the morning.
This means that yield is greatest when cross-pollination happens between type A and type B avocados.
by Eng. Mounir Abi Fadel