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READERS of a certain age may well remember the slightly odd 1970’s trend for growing your own avocadoes, generally using toothpicks and a jam jar full of water. The fruit was seen as extremely exotic back then and thanks to the likes of Nigella Lawson and her infamous avocado toast recipe, not to mention their “superfood” status, they are more popular than ever these days, both in Spain and the UK. As the Grow your Own trend is also at height, many shops are selling avocado seedlings, usually at a premium. However, they are easy to grow at home, using the seed (or stone) from an ordinary avocado – although the toothpick method is apparently not the best. Piercing the stone increases the chances of bacteria and fungal infections which may explain the high failure rate of the 70s jam jar method, however, cool it looked when it actually worked.
Botanists say that the best method is to half bury the stone in a pot of seed compost, mixed with small stones and with the pointed end facing upwards. Water this well, cover with a plastic bag and leave in a warm place outside or on a sunny windowsill. Germination should take two to four weeks when you remove the plastic and you will soon have a seedling. As the weather here in Spain is better for growing the trendy fruit, you may find your success rate is better than in the often gloomy UK.
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