Saturday, December 26, 2009

Meet Ricardo!

I've wanted to do this for a long time. Finally, while cleaning out the crisper in the fridge, I came across a neglected avocado. The time was now. I've wanted to try and grow an Avocado tree from seed. It's a useless pursuit as it takes an Avocado tree a good decade to produce fruit. But, if everything we did was practical, we'd live a pretty boring life.

I've named my avocado pit, Ricardo. Why? I can picture Ricardo Montalban saying the word 'avocado' in a way no one else can with that little smirk on his lips and his little friend Tattoo at his side. I'm a little concerned about Ricardo. The fridge is acting up a bit and the outside rind of the avocado was slightly frozen. The flesh was still soft so I'm hoping Ricardo will develop like a normal young avocado. Word is, if there's no action after two weeks, toss out your young and start over again.

In saying that, I've also read that it can take up to six weeks for a sprout and roots to appear. Time is on my side, I'm not banking on the success of my avocado farm - especially in wintery Ontario, Canada.

I've taken the classic method and stuck Ricardo with three toothpicks and then hung him from the top of a small mason jar with his bottom submerged. Avocado pits are directional and the pointy end needs to be up while the bigger, flatter end needs to be in the water.

I need to change the water every week so that it remains oxygenated. I've read that this can wait until a bi-weekly frequency but, I figure, only the best for my Ricardo. Besides, in winter time, the house is so dry that the water will probably evaporate fast enough to need re-filling more than once per week.

Once Ricardo sprouts, he will need to be transplanted to a pot filled with rich soil around the time his roots reach 5-6 inches in length. However, that is a step I'll worry about when the time comes. For now, I just want to get Ricardo out of the incubation stage. Look for updates on Ricardo's progress.

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