Avocado

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Contents

Introduction

Avocado is an ever green flowering plant from the family lauracea and genus persea. It bears fruits that ripen to various colors including, maroon and green. It is not a vegetable despite its high fat content but rather a fruit. It is mostly eaten ripe and its oil is used in the cosmetics industry to make creams and lotions.

Local Names

Climate

Avocado can do well in most parts of Uganda. It does best in areas with an annual rainfall of 1200 – 1600 mm with a short dry season of about two months.

Soil

Avocado trees do well in loose, deep well drained soils with a sandy or sandy loam texture. They will not survive in locations with poor drainage. They are tolerant to acid or alkaline soil.

Food Value

It is a source of energy, minerals and proteins. Avocado is rich in vitamins A and B2 and moderately rich in vitamins D and E. It also contains appreciable amounts of vitamins K and H. The fat soluble vitamins K, A, D, E and K are of particular value since other fruits contain only negligible amounts of them.

Avocado is also a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate and copper.

Varieties In Uganda

Major avocado varieties grown in Uganda include, Hass, Semil, fuete, and dorsom.

Site Location

It is advisable to plant the trees on slopes of hillsides .Where they are too steep, terracing should be done.Avoid planting in swampy areas and water beds because avocado does not do well in water logged areas. Avocado trees can be grown in cooler areas and between buildings so long as they receive full sun for production.

Seed Preparation

To prepare avocado seeds for planting, select seeds from mature disease free fruits, dry them for about 2 weeks and plant at the onset of the rains. It is not advisable to use seeds from fruits that have fallen to the ground because this increases the risk of phytopthora infection. It is best to propagate it vegetatively through cuttings, grafts. Grafting is the most used method though it is more costly than use of seeds fro the eaten fruit.

Garden Preparation

To prepare a garden for avocados, clear bushes, deep plough to about 30cm and dig planting holes one month early. Get fertilizers and add to the planting hole at least 7 days before planting to allow cooling of the soil.

Fertilizer Application

Fertilizers, like nitrogen and potassium, are needed in avocado growing. Preferably fertilizers should be applied four times a year to a radius roughly the size of the canopy. Start feeding of young trees after one year from the time of planting, using a balanced organic fertilizer. Fertilizers should be applied around the tree not on the real plant. This is because they may have a burning effect.

Planting and Spacing

To plant avocados, dig holes of 60cm x 60cm by 60cm deep at a spacing of 900cm x 900cm avocadoes for each plant. Plant seedlings early morning or in the evening in case of transplants to encourage proper root establishment

Weeding

Weeds always compete with avocado for light, food etc. Always ensure that weeds are removed before flowering. Once the crop has grown, its advisable to ring around the plant, the rest of the field can be slashed.

Common Diseases: Prevention & Management

Disease 1: Anthrocnose

Causes

Fungal

Symptoms

Prevention

Treatment

Get a hand full of marigold (Runyakore mukazimurofa) leaves, crush and mix with a cup of ash. Add 2mls of paraffin, ferment in 5littres of water for 24hrs, add I spoon of powdered soap. Sieve and spray after every 7 days.

Disease 2: leaf rust

Causes

Fungal

Symptoms

Prevention

Treatment

Disease 3: root rot

Causes

Fungal

Symptoms

Prevention

Use disease-free plants for propagation


Treatment

Disease 4 Viral

Causes

Symptoms

Prevention

Control is primarily through prevention as there is no cure. Use clean rootstocks or scions


Treatment

No treatment

Tips for Pests and Disease Control

Common Pests: Prevention and Management

Pest 1: fruit flies

Fruit flies are bee like insects, smaller in size which suck sap from the fruit and lay eggs on them.

Symptoms

The fruit is damaged and ends up rotting.

Prevention and Control

Proper pruning of the crop reduces the spread

Treatment

Get four or five chilli peppers, crush and mix with 4 litres of water and spray. It is more

Effective, when left to age for a day or 2 before it’s applied on the crops

Pest 2: white flies

White flies suck plant juices weakening them. They produce a sticky liquid which reduces a plant's ability to make food. They also spread diseases.

Symptoms

Affected plants may wilt and become yellow or die in case of heavy attacks.

Prevention and Control

Inter crop with other spices to reduce the spread..

Treatment

Grind 50 grams of ginger, mix with 3 liters of water, add 12 ml of liquid soap, stir, sieve and spray on the infected plants.

Pest 3: Thrips

Thrips are pests that attack plants, fruits and flowers sucking plant juices.They leave white, silver marks on plants.

Symptoms

Leaves are distorted

Prevention & Control

Regularly weed and clean under the avocado tree.

Treatment

Add 2 - 4 table spoons full of wheat or potato baking flour into 4 cups of warm water and stir well. Add 1 tablespoon of liquid soap, filter and apply the solution to infected plants.

Mix 50gm of tephrosia, 3 cloves of garlic, 50 grams of tobacco and 1 handful of ash, 5 litres of water ferment for 24hours then add 2 parts of water. Sieve and spray on the crop every after 7 days until they reduce..

Pest 4: scales

Symptoms

Prevention & Control

Treatment

Apply wood ash on the affected crops every morning and evening until no more signs are recognized.

Pest 5: Rats

These mainly attack stored fruits. They feed and damage fruits which may result into rotting.

Symptoms

Prevention & Control

Put avocado on store shelves with rat guards.

Treatment

Tips For Pest & Disease Control

Harvesting

It is best to just cut the fruit stem about 1cm above the fruit using a pair of secateurs. Mature avocado fruits will not ripen while still attached to the tree. Maturity indications are when the fruits start dropping off. Or you many hand twist fruits after 90 -120 days from fruiting time. Take care not to drop fruits and cause damage which leads to rotting. Grafted avocados mature after three - four while the seeded after 5 - 8 years and begin to fall off the tree with some seeds shaking inside the fruit

Post Harvest

It is recommended to keep avocado in a cool place or ventilated room away from the sun. Avoid heaping them together as this increases heat that leads to rotting. They should be cleaned, trimmed, sorted, and packaged or heaped in small graded sizes

For domestic consumption

Sort and grade them according to size and damage. Keep them separately in a cool dry place until they ripen. Cut into pieces, remove the cover and serve along side meals. One can also make a puree out the mashed fruit, add salt and enjoy. Some add sugar and serve as a dessert.

Some people make ice cream out of avocado.

For sale

Sort fruits according to the size, raw or ripe fruits into separate sacks or boxes and transport to the market. Sell ripe ones 1st before the raw to avoid losses as a result of rotting. In case of large production invest in handling boxes which will prevent damage and facilitate handling.

Local Names

Below is a list of names for this crop in different languages. If you want to add a name, open the editor and edit the "Local Names" section.

Varieties

Below is a list of different varieties for this crop. If you want to add a variety, open the editor and edit the "Varieties" section.

Seed Preparation

Below is a list of different seed preparation techniques for this crop. If you want to add a technique, open the editor and edit the "Seed Preparation" section.

Garden Preparation

Below is a list of different garden preparation techniques. If you want to add a technique, open the editor and edit the "Garden Preparation" section.

Fertilizer Application

Below is a list of different methods for applying fertilizer to this crop. If you want to add a method, open the editor and edit the "Fertilizer Application" section.

Technique:

Poor farming practices result to failure to have fruits on the avocado trees. When the trees grow till/dig around it and add a mixture of rotten goat dung with ash as a fertilizer.

Mulching

Below is a list of different mulching techniques for this crop. If you want to add a technique, open the editor and edit the "Mulching" section.

Technique:

Mulching helps the plant get more flowers and in return,more fruits.

Planting and Spacing

Below is a list of different planting and spacing techniques for this crop. If you want to add a technique, open the editor and edit the "Planting and Spacing" section.

Weeding

Below is a list of different weeding techniques for this crop. If you want to add a technique, open the editor and edit the "Weeding" section.

Harvesting

Below is a list of different harvesting techniques for this crop. If you want to add a technique, open the editor and edit the "Harvesting" section.

Post Harvest

Below is a list of different techniques of post harvest treatment for this crop. If you want to add a technique, open the editor and edit the "Post Harvest" section.

Technique:

Instead of throwing away the seeds, one can make powder out of it and add on hot water to make tea for drinking. This is good for our health.

Technique:

Get 1 kg of avocado leaves,add 2 tumpeco of water and cook for 15 minutes.Drink 3 times per day. This helps patients with high blood pressure.This is also helpfull for people who are anaemic.

Common Diseases

Below is a list of different techniques for prevention and management of diseases that commonly affect this crop. If you want to add a technique, open the editor and edit the "Diseases" section.

Common Pests

Below is a list of different techniques for prevention and management of pests that commonly affect this crop. If you want to add a technique, open the editor and edit the "Pests" section.

Credits

Below is a list of authors who contributed content to this page. If you want to add an author, open the editor and edit the "Credits" section at the bottom of the form.


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