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It's Avocado Month At The Nursery

Avocado Health

Avocados To Delight Any Palate

It seems that everybody has their favourite recipe to enjoy their avocado. For some it's plain avocado on toast with marmite (or vegemite). Smashed avocado is the in thing for now. Or it's guacamole and the list goes on. 

The Heart Foundation recommends them. Nutritionists recommend them. We enjoy eating  them.

Avocados originated in Mexico going back thousands of years but they have only become popular in Australia in relatively recent times. 

We now have a number of varieties available in Australia that have been developed to suit our varied climate conditions.

It's not just that avocados taste good they are also highly prized for their nutrition. They are often called a super-food and are loaded with healthy fats, fiber and various important nutrients.

Some Health Benefits Of Avocados

Our thanks to Healthline on the web for this nutritional overview of the avocado fruit.

Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving:

Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value (DV)
Folate: 20% of the DV
Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
Potassium: 14% of the DV
Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
Vitamin E: 10% of the DV

It also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).

This is coming with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber, so there are only 2 "net" carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food.

Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat. This is why they are favored by some experts who believe these substances are harmful, which is a debated topic, however.
Avocado trees
Some of the Avocado stock available at The Garden Shed Nursery
Avocado HealthThe Garden Shed Nursery Avocado

Growing Your Own Avocados

Some Tips On Growing Your Avocado Tree

Reed and Hass are two popular varieties on the Sunshine Coast. The Garden Shed Nursery carries a stock of varieties well suited to the Sunshine Coast and Dave is always ready to answer your questions at the nursery.

1. September/October is an ideal time to plant avocados before the hot summer sets in. In frost-free areas, April/May is also a good time to plant new trees so they can become established during the cooler months.

2. Avocado trees do well in the sub-tropical climate of the Sunshine Coast. Mature trees will survive some frost in winter and the heat of our summer months. A period of cool weather for about 4 weeks in autumn/winter is needed for the flowers to set. 

3. Where possible try to plant in an area protected from the strong prevailing winds. This will help protect against branches breaking off and fruit being damaged. 

4. Soil and drainage is a key factor for success with avocados. Root rot is a major problem in poorly drained soils. In high rainfall areas avocados require at least 1.5 metres of well-drained soil. In areas of lower rainfall at least 1 metre of well-drained soil is recommended. 

5. A gentle slope helps provide good drainage for avocado trees. On flat land where drainage could be a problem, planting in a low mound can help drain excess water away from the root area.

6. Here are some notes on fertilising avocado trees from the Queensland Agriculture department.

"You should pay particular attention to levels of:

nitrogen
boron
calcium
zinc
soil pH.

Nitrogen encourages tree growth and canopy health. Boron is important to add before and during flowering for fruit set, calcium is important for fruit quality and zinc is an important trace element that is often deficient or unavailable in Queensland soils. Soil pH (measured in water) of about 5.5 is considered best but this level is impractical to reach in calcareous soils. Trees can grow successfully in pHs of up to about 7.5, although iron chlorosis can be an issue."

7. Avoid planting new trees into fresh manures or fertilisers to prevent damage to the roots at this early stage. The Garden Shed Nursery has a range of organic fertilisers and composts that are suited to successfully establishing and growing your avocado trees.
Hass Avocado Tree
A Bountiful Crop of Hass Avocados
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The Garden Shed Nursery

PO Box 321
3 Main Street
Palmwoods QLD 4555
0401 541 962
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