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Growing Avocado in Switzerland

my avocado plant
Switzerland is definitely not a tropical or subtropical country. The snow cowered mountains and beautiful valleys with rivers and lakes do simply not allow tropical plants to grow outside. Even in summer, weather doesn't stay warm long enough for anything tropical to grow. It's a real pity. A mango tree or a papaya tree sure would be a nice addition to any Swiss garden. For now, we'll have to make do with berries, apples and pears...

In general, I try to remain local at the supermarket. That means, I try to buy locally produced goods. Especially with fruit and vegetables I pay attention to the origin. That doesn't mean I never buy tropical fruit. I love mango and passion fruit. And I love avocado. It's been a love story from the first bite. Simply cut it open, squish it on some fresh crunchy bread, add a bit of salt and then up into my mouth. Delicious!

Did you know that a cut open avocado stay fresh longer if you leave the pit inside? Or that you can make the avocado a bit softer with some salt and lemon juice (helps when you have to use it even if its not 100% ripe yet)? And did you know that you can grow an avocado tree from the pit quite easily? From experience I know the first two are true. But will the avocado shoot survive and really grow into a tree? My avocado growing experiments so far have produced several plantlets but never actually grew into anything as big as a tree (not that I ever had a place to plant it really).

However, a few months ago I decided to give it another try.
the avocado pit
I stabbed an avocado pit with 3 toothpicks and let it sit in water for several weeks. Nothing happened. Only the color of the pit started to remind me of mold. And I must admit I forgot to water it once or twice. Amazingly, the sturdy fellow survived and started to grow a few weeks ago. The pit split and roots started growing. About 3 weeks ago the actual plant started growing and the first leaves appeared. Time to move the plantlet from the water dish to a small pot. I love it. I know it's never gonna produce fruit in this climate (even if kept inside) but my hope is that it will grow into a nice little tree. May it survive despite my occasional neglect! :)





© 2012 IRENE WYRSCH "A HUMOROUS GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND" ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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