Find out the best time to grow avocados in Kenya and have a better chance of succeeding. Follow this guide to get the most value from your avocado investment.
Best time to plant avocados
Quick answer: Best time to plant avocado seedlings is when the weather is highly favorable. This will give them enough time to establish their roots and recover from any transplanting shock.
Hass avocado trees grow well when the ground is moist and warm. This is generally between April to June. This is the time most parts of Kenya experience a lot of rain. All plants love rain. Young avocados need a lot of water during the first three months to help establish their roots.
Transplanting avocados during the dry season is not usually a good idea. The roots of young seedlings cannot extract water effectively. The soil dries typically up quite fast and your avocados will suffer from the stress. It is however not an impossible task and those who have to transplant during the dry season can take the following precautions;
- Provide deep watering of the avocado plants: You can do this by installing a drip irrigation system on your farm.
- Whitewashing the avocado seedling stem with white paint: Will help protect it from sunburns.
How long does it take for a Hass avocado tree to start bearing fruits?
Hass avocadoes are currently the most popular avocado fruit on the market. It is an evergreen tree that produces a delicious green fruit many countries love.
It normally takes between 2-3 years for young avocado trees to start producing fruits. There is nothing satisfying like seeing avocado fruits growing. It takes a lot of patience to grow avocado trees; the fruits are your reward for waiting.
These fruits will fetch a good amount of money once they are ready for harvesting. Avocado is a cash crop and their market is readily available.
You will never have a problem selling your avocados once they are ready on the farm. Make sure you fertilize your trees every three months with manure to improve fruit quality and overall tree health.
How to plant avocado seedlings
Avocados are easy to plant, but the process of planting is one thing most people overlook or are not conversant with.
Avocados need to be planted in holes that are 2FT Wide x 2FT Deep (60cm x 60cm). This is the recommended hole size recommended by experts.
You then need to remove the topsoil (This is the soil you get after digging around 1 foot)and put it on the left side of the hole. As you go deeper you will find the sub-soil which you will remove and put on the right side.
The topsoil is the soil you will use to mix with 1 debe of manure (20kg). The subsoil will not be used so you can repurpose it for your farm activities.
Now, avocados love deep soils. This is important. So if you have murram or hard soil in your area then I would recommend you dig bigger holes of 3FT x 3Ft and put soil from another site to fill it up.
Another solution is to create raised bed formations like those of potatoes with a base width of 2.4m, 0.9m wide at the top, and a height of 0.5m. This can either be done manually with hoes or with a backhoe machine. A farm in Eldoret called Sololo has this method working great.
Avocado roots don’t like to find barriers while growing. This will lead to stunted growth, non-performance, or even death of the tree.
Once you have dug the holes, insert your avocado seedlings into the hole and fill up the soil at the same level it was in while it was in its polythene bag.