Avocado is a beloved fruit that is known for its creamy texture and nutritious qualities. It is widely consumed around the world and is a popular ingredient in many dishes. However, growing avocado trees is not an easy task, as it requires specific techniques and knowledge. This is why commercial avocado growers often rely on professional nurseries to supply them with avocado trees. In this blog post, we will take you on a journey through a nursery that grows hundreds of thousands of avocado trees destined for commercial farms in South Africa and Kenya. We will explain the basic grafting technique used by professional avocado growers and give you a tour of the nursery.
Basic Grafting Technique
Avocado trees are propagated using the Frolic method, a double graft technique used by professional avocado growers to produce high-quality trees. The process starts with germinating an avocado seed. Once the seedling reaches a suitable size, the first graft occurs. A rootstock cultivar is grafted onto the seedling. These rootstock cultivars have desirable characteristics, including tolerance for certain diseases. After this graft, the plant is kept in a dark room. The absence of light causes the plant to attiliate or stretch, and it also bleaches the stems. Bleaching the stems is the most important factor because green stems contain chlorophyll, which inhibits root development. At this time, routine medium and hormones are applied to the bleached rootstock stem to promote root growth.
After roots develop, a second grafting takes place where a Scion cultivar is grafted onto the rootstock. This Scion will grow the fruit the farmer harvests and includes popular varieties like Hess and Fuerte. As the tree grows, the original seedling will die.
The Nursery Tour
Now that we have covered the basics of avocado propagation, let’s take a look at the nursery. The plants have undergone their first graft and are ready to progress to the next stage. The seeds are germinated in a Koya-based medium, and blonde plastic bags are used. The bags will be unrolled as the propagation stages progress so roots can develop later down the line.
Sterilization of tools is essential before grafting. It is important to make sure your seedling and rootstock stem are the same size in terms of thickness. Wrap the future rootstock stem with parafilm grafting tape, which is airtight. Cut the base of the rootstock stem into a wedge shape, then make a vertical cut into the stem of the seedling and insert your rootstock. Make sure both stems are in firm contact with one another and wrap the tape so it is airtight.
An interesting thing to note in the commercial Avo Nursery is the pinkish tinge in the Yan shoots of the rootstocks. We were told that this pink tint is a good sign that these stems will grow roots later in the propagation phase. If there is no pink in the shoots, the rootstock will likely not develop roots. White bags can be used to increase humidity around the graft area on the plant, which helps guarantee chances of grafting success.
In this greenhouse, a wood wall and fan system are used to maintain optimum humidity and temperature. The weight wall is found on one side of the greenhouse, and the fans are on the other so they can draw cool air across the avocado plants. After the first graft, the plants are transferred to a dark room for attiliation.
These plants at the back have spent a few weeks in the dark room, and you can see how long and pale they are. At this point, the stems are scarified, rooting hormone is applied, bags are rolled up, and more koias are added so roots can start to
Once the second graft has taken place, the young trees are ready to grow and mature in the nursery. The nursery workers carefully tend to the trees, monitoring their growth and ensuring they are healthy and strong. The trees will eventually be sold to commercial farms in South Africa and Kenya, where they will continue to grow and produce fruit for consumers around the world.
It’s fascinating to see the various stages of avocado propagation and how professional growers use grafting techniques to produce high-quality trees. The process requires patience, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of how plants grow and develop.
Using the right tools and techniques, anyone can try their hand at grafting avocado trees. It’s a rewarding experience that allows you to create your own unique avocado trees with desirable characteristics.
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avocado propagation is an important process that allows us to grow high-quality avocado trees for commercial farms around the world. The Frolic method of double grafting is a popular technique used by professional avocado growers, and with the right tools and techniques, anyone can try their hand at grafting their own avocado trees.
Always remember to sterilize your tools, match the thickness of the seedling and rootstock stems, wrap the stem with parafilm grafting tape, and ensure both stems are in firm contact with one another.