Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Testing and breeding avocados for the PNW


I’ve talked about this in different threads however determined to lastly really begin one particularly in regards to the challenge I am organizing to breed avocados for our bioregion. I’ve additionally posted about it on another boards, so it is potential a few of you have got seen these threads already.

The gist of the challenge is I have been accumulating scionwood and seeds of allegedly cold-hardy avocados for a number of years now, and every spring I distribute bushes to challenge members on this space. In return, members conform to put up updates on the challenge web site for his or her bushes, and to let me accumulate cuttings from any that appear hardy sufficient to at the least survive even our worst freezes. To this point nothing examined appears to suit the invoice, however I additionally have not examined all of the collected varieties outdoor but.

I’ve bought a 320 sq ft greenhouse with 5 multi-graft bushes planted within the floor inside, the oldest of these being about 3 years since first grafting, however many sorts have been grafted extra not too long ago. I even have began lots of of seeds over the previous few years, planting over 100 bushes in my very own yard, most of that are now not with us. The seeds have principally been donated by a grower in Gainesville, FL, however some have been additionally bought from varied sources, together with some members on right here.

I didn’t get any fruit to set final yr, however the bushes are about twice as giant now (9+ ft tall, 6+ ft large), with at the least 10x extra flower buds in whole, so I am hoping for first fruit within the challenge this coming fall or winter. I have been out hand pollinating 2-3x every day for the final week or so, however issues are simply getting began in there. From right now, that is Walter Gap:

In the intervening time the challenge has practically 100 members who’ve confirmed their electronic mail tackle and given a ZIP code, 34 of whom have already picked up a mixed 93 bushes within the first two distributions.

Subsequent yr I will have over 150 bushes to distribute, however that also is probably not as many because the members are keen to plant. A couple of members have important acreage and appear keen to plant many dozens of bushes apiece.

I am joyful to reply any questions. The challenge is presently restricted to “anybody in USDA rising zone 8b or greater within the lowlands across the Salish Sea or alongside the oceanside coast of the Olympic Peninsula,” however there’s some wiggle room. If you wish to be part of, begin that course of right here.

Here is the record of all of the varieties which have contributed both seeds or scions to the challenge, and you’ll click on on every one to see a profile that features pictures and lists of bushes related to the variability within the assortment (seedlings of it, bushes grafted with it, or own-root clones of it).

Sorry for the lengthy put up! To complete, right here is a photograph of virtually half of the brand new infants, aka subsequent yr’s distribution:

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