Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Earth Day 2013 + how to grow an avocado tree

There is a great need for the introduction of new values in our society, where bigger is not necessarily better, where slower can be faster, and where less can be more.
-Gaylord Nelson


Yesterday I ignored the pile of dishes in the sink and headed outside with Jack.

Earth Day was the push I needed to plant our avocado tree (we grew from just a pit) and seeds I ordered from ebay.  

All of the projects we did yesterday cost me just a little over $6.
$2 on seeds
$3 on organic soil
$1 avocado (which we ate and then kept the pit) 
  • I saved four paper egg cartons for the germination process and cut off the top and sides.  
  • Then I used an exacto knife and made an "x" on the bottom of each cell to allow any roots to grow longer if they needed to.  Be sure and watch any littles... Jack actually ran off with my knife. 
  • I filled the cartons with dirt and then watered the soil.  I read somewhere that watering after you place your seeds can "disturb" them.  
  • Grab your seeds and follow the direction on how deep to sow them.
  • I used two seeds per cell so the odds are in my favor. 



I wanted to plant something fun for the boys, so I bought "tickle me" (mimosa pudica) seeds.  It's this sensitive plant that when you touch it- it's branch will close up.  Kids love these plants, so instead of paying the $20 for a "tickle me" plant, I found the seeds on ebay for a little over $2 (with shipping). 

While I did all this I really expected Jack to be more involved, but he was too busy exploring, playing with tree branches sticks and making ants into pets... which was fine- he was out in nature which is all I wanted. 


Next I planted our avocado tree.

I found out on how to grow an avocado tree by accident while googling.  It's super easy, but takes some patience. 
  • Wash pit under luke warm water.
  • Place three toothpicks in the sides at an angle to help suspend the pit in water while placed in a jar. 
  • You should place them so the top of the avocado seed is just above water while the rest is submerged.
  • Place in window.
  • Change water every so often and be sure to add water as needed. 
  • When the pit cracks, that's good!  It means it's starting to germinate. 
  • Soon a bud will grow in the middle, roots will sprout into the water and a small stem will emerge up the center.
  • When you get a few roots and they're a good length, it's time to plant your pit (around two months later, times many vary). 

I called Jack back over, because throwing dirt in a pot is easy.  He helped me fill the flower pot that I snagged from the curb for free.   I watered the soil, then planted the tree with the roots buried deep and half of the pit. 


Since we live in Ohio, our avocado tree will be an inside plant and it will probably never produce fruit. If you lived in the South, you could plant it outside (after it's strong enough), but it will probably take several years for fruit. 


Then I took my egg cartons and avocado tree into our sun room, which stays very warm and has a lot of sunlight.  I'll post a photo of our growing plants soon!  


And what's cuter than planting on Earth Day?  Jude in a cloth diaper!


What did you do for Earth Day?


  1. i love all that you teach your boys! they are so lucky!
    and an avocado tree - what an amazing idea - now i want guacamole! the photos are so sweet, olivia! xoxox


"Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime." -Dale Carnegie

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