This is going to be a shorter column as I wanted to focus on the single topic of compost and mulch.
I’ll start by saying growing avocados really is a straight forward process. It’s not too scientific or highly technical, and it’s quite practical.
Growing avocados is all about trying to keep it like that – simple.
It’s about keeping the fruit growing for the time the fruit is on the tree. The faster the growth rate, the better and bigger the fruit.
The key is to keep your eye on the detail of growing. Ok, and a bit of the technical stuff, science weather, nutrients…
We quite often forget about the small things, like controlling the weeds that invade and compete with avocado tree roots, and protecting and enhancing the root zone.
Mulch has been widely used as a tool in root zone management. In my view, it is both an expensive item and also an inexpensive tool for its job.
There is no doubt that avocado trees respond to mulch and compost. It adds organic matter to the soil and root zone, helps beak soils down and provides a range of nutrients that enhance soil fertility.
With constant use, it’s very beneficial and helps to control weed growth through suppression.
Now’s the time
When applying bark chip mulch, consider applying slightly more nitrogen fertiliser as decaying mulch binds up nitrogen and releases it over a later time.
Now is a good time to apply compost to support trees’ root zones, as the temperatures are decreasing and the trees are growing.
It enhances the soil pre-winter and helps get the roots in better condition.
I use a Revital compost and vermicast mix banded around the root zone – and the worms spread it for me.
It’s self-contained, quick and timely. You can also add a vermicast and seaweed mix, which adds even more nutrients and biodynamic benefits.
I recommend integrating this into you annual nutrient programme as either an autumn or a spring timing.
It also needs to fit into your budget rather than an ad hoc item, and have a purpose that fits your programme.
I’ll note that adding compost and mulch to avocados when times are tough is an expensive use of the budget.
You don’t always need to add it into you activity, but it is beneficial.
If your budget is constrained, do less area but to a better standard.
I started by saying growing is simple. You need to keep it simple otherwise it can become a minefield of issues.
Having a plan, setting some targets and focusing on just keeping your tree and fruit growing makes it so.
Getting jobs and resources correct for your property at the correct time is key, so they don’t become bigger than they need to be.
Mulch and compost can be part of that but use the best resources and the product that suits your budget.
Happy growing this autumn season.