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Growing Avocado trees in half wine barrels

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Karen starts with ...
Hi,

I am interested in growing a Lamb Hass Avocado tree in a half wine barrel.

After doing some reading and learning about the A and B group flowering trees I am now feeling a little hesitant.

The reason being is that I don’t have the room for a B flowering Avocado tree that is unless they can also grow in a half wine barrel.

My main question is, can a Sheppard or Bacon avocado tree grow in a half wine barrel ? and are you guaranteed to get if you only have the one tree given that the flowers don’t behave the same way as a normal self pollinating tree.

Kind regards,
Karen Taylor
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Karen
Cranbourne West
31st January 2018 5:21pm
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MyrtleTurtle says...
The need for cross-pollination is totally exaggerated for avocadoes. That really only applies to tropical climates. You are fine with just one Lamb Hass. Though your main issue is likely to be root problems. A lot never recover from being rootbound in the pot - they are vulnerable to that.
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MyrtleTurtle
Eastern Seaboard
1st February 2018 12:42am
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Fruitylicious1 says...
Have you also read that in cooler climate like Melbourne avocados can become self pollinating? You don't need another avo to pollinate your hass for it to bear fruit. I had a hass avo in my previous property in Melbourne that bore fruit without any type B pollinator not even any of my neighbors have any avo at all. So one avo can do in Melbourne for you.
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Fruitylicious1
TAMWORTH,2340,NSW
1st February 2018 6:32am
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Atif says...
You will still get some fruit, A & B is just beneficial for pollination. Research indicates that having an a & b increases yield by about 5-20%, so not ultra critical if your lacking space.

You could always graft a B section to your single tree later, to get both A&B on the same tree.

There are several videos of these on Youtube
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Atif
GLENFIELD
1st February 2018 10:18am
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David says...
Hi Karen,
Lamb Hass (A) and Pinkerton (A) are suitable to grow in pot and you can keep them below 3m. I have both grow happily in 90l pot. As I understand in cold weather like Melbourne you don’t need type B as there is a time overlap between the Male and Female phases, thus you still get around 60%-80% of fruits if you don't have type B, which is more than enough.

There is one very good article to read as below:
http://www.petethepermie.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Avocado-so-easy-to-grow-in-Melbourne.pdf
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David01
Melbourne
1st February 2018 12:17pm
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Original Post was last edited: 1st February 2018 3:37pm
Danny333 says...
Hi Karen,

Lamb Hass will fruit just fine on its own. A “B” group pollinator will give you increased fruit set but isn’t necessary as you should get more than enough fruit without one.

Lamb Hass grows in a conical upright shape and the central leader will need to be pruned when it reaches the desired height.

I have a Lamb Hass in a 52 litre pot and it has grown from 2.5’ to 8’ in 9 months! They grow quick. I think something a little bigger than a half wine barrel will be needed eventually unless you prune your tree aggressively. I am planning on putting mine in a 160 litre plastic pot next year.
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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Danny333
Perth
2nd February 2018 3:23am
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Markmelb says...
Ive been growing Avos in 100lt bags for a few years and they now dont like it as roots want more room - they have lost lower branches and just have a canopy on top - probably the best way to grow is in a root pruning Geopot - most hydroponic supplies have them - heres a pic of a grafted Avo in a 45 gallon Geopot as ive found low and wide they like - happy Avo growing - PS - theres a Lamb Hass in the ground to its left topped out at 3mt
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
3rd February 2018 6:35pm
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Original Post was last edited: 3rd February 2018 6:39pm
David says...
Hi Danny333,

If you plan to go to bigger pot then it is better to use the fabric pot especially for Avocado to avoid root bound and root rot. Many reports said a 90l fabric pot will work better than 180l plastic pot.
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David01
Melbourne
4th February 2018 8:57am
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Original Post was last edited: 4th February 2018 9:00am
Danny333 says...
G’day Mark & David,

I would like to try a root pruning pot but haven’t been able to track any down in Perth ( it’s like we’re living 20 years in the past here! )

The other option would be to try a copper based root pruning paint like Microkote inside a plastic pot but I’m not sure if all that copper will end up in the fruit.

I know it’s kind of a taboo subject but has anyone actually tried physically pruning the roots of an avocado and had any success?
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Danny333
Perth
7th February 2018 4:00pm
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David says...
Hi Danny333
I think you are a bit confused about the root pruning subject. I just explain it in a simple way: Tree growth healthy based on the big root system. There are 4 basic types of pots: plastic, ceramic, air prune, and fabric. The plastic is worst because it hold the water and block air at the walls causing root bound and having weak root system. In contrast the air prune plastic or fabric pot can breath air and keep it dry out so the root when hit the wall it will stop growth further (prune by air and light hence the term air prune is used) instead the root begins to shoot out new feeder roots, thus increase the root mass or more areas of root matter. Ceramic pot is sitting in the middle. So the fabric pot 90l has a better root system than the plastic pot 180l in that manner.
When the tree needs to be re-potted usually a lot of root bounds need to be pruned/trim if it grown in the plastic pot, but it is not necessary if it grown in the fabric pot.
As you need to change pot every few years when the plant is young, use the cheap one , i.e shopping bag from Woolworth or Bunnings and it works just fine. Use more expensive pot when tree has established and you want to keep it for more than 5-10 years. However, trees never grow happily in the same pot after 5-10 years regardless what types of pots as it always demand more room. For a very big tree it is not easy to re-pot or you can't increase the pot size, in that case to overcome the problem by cutting/removing the bottom of the pot and let the root grow out to the ground below. This technique I found it works very well especially with Avocado (minimize roots rot).
In the market the fabric pots come with different size and names (marketing) I.e. Smart pot, Geopot, fabric pot etc. with material such as Fabric, poly, none woven etc. but they all function the same just difference in quality hence costs. Hope this will help you to work out what you need.

Go to Ebay search for FABRIC POT it will come up with the whole lists. I also send you the website of Geopot in Melbourne for your reference. Cheers
https://www.eppinghydroponics.com.au/geopots.html?page=all
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David01
Melbourne
9th February 2018 9:48am
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Original Post was last edited: 10th February 2018 11:11am
Danny333 says...
Hi Dave,

I’m not a big fan of the fabric pots as the roots can grow out the bottom.

I have pruned the roots of other fruit trees when repotting if they are root bound and had good success but most of what I have read says not to do it with avocados - although this seems to never be backed up by any evidence.

I found another product on the net called “Rocket pots”, they seem to be a carbon copy of the American “Root builder” pots, but are Australian owned. They are the 3D styled plastic pots with all the holes in them. I’m not sure how well they would work in Perth’s hot dry climate Has anyone tried this style of pot? https://www.rocketpot.com.au/rocketpot
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Danny333
Perth
17th February 2018 8:36pm
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David says...
Hi Danny333,
roots never grow out of the bottom of the fabric pot unless you cut it off. The rocket pots or air prune pots are the same type of pots. As they are a plastic (or similar material) pot with many small holes on the walls and slots at the bottom. So yes, rocket pot can have roots grow out at the bottom but not with the fabric pot. Cheers.
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David01
Melbourne
18th February 2018 9:39pm
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Original Post was last edited: 19th February 2018 7:12am
Markmelb says...
Danny333 - I did notice my Peanut butter fruit in a 15gl geopot was trying to send roots from below but they were really fine compared to a tap type root - moving obviously trimmed that growth so will raise it up asap - plant is looking great but not setting fruit as yet?
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
18th February 2018 9:47pm
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David says...
Hi Danny333,
The fabric pots material varying from less density to high density. If you use the less density like Geopot, you may have a very fine root found at the bottom as Mark explained. However, it will be trimmed by itself when you moved or twist/slide the pot. If you are still concerned about that issue I suggest you put the weed mat at the bottom of the pot before filling the potting mixed. Fabric pots and Air prune pots quite new in Australia so you need to play around and get used to it. No rust. Cheers
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David01
Melbourne
19th February 2018 11:53am
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Original Post was last edited: 19th February 2018 2:58pm
Bangkokii says...
My peanutbutter bloomed like crazy nonstop but never set fruit.

So i cut all blooms for some weeks and when the tree grew it suddenly has many fruits.

My pots are insulated with styrofoam or plastic foam with alumiumfoil on one side and the other side is glue for sticking to windows.
The roots grow trhough everything, can't stop them. And behind that material is a layer of latex/copper to prune roots, they also don't care for that.

I also grew several avocado's in pots, works well but they never bloomed since my climate is too warm for them. They're all gone now.
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Bangkokii
nonthaburi
19th February 2018 6:51pm
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Danny333 says...
Well, I ended up buying a big ol’ ugly plastic pot with the intention of using a copper hydroxide paint inside it, only to find that getting a relatively pure form of copper hydroxide to make the paint is near impossible.

The reason for going with plastic is that the evaporation rates from the other pots would be too high in Perth’s climate and would require watering multiple times a day.

I grafted 6 more avo’s on the weekend, so if the one in the big pot declines I’ll have replacements 🙂
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Danny333
Perth
20th February 2018 3:51pm
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Markmelb says...
Copper painting doesn't work as Bangkok wrote about his failures above - Fabric doesn't dry as much as you may think but i do water once a day the 45gl or twice on a 40c day if i see it wilting, maybe use copper insect wire if you can find? Rocket pots dry out pretty badly as holes are huge or you use alot of Coir?
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
21st February 2018 10:34pm
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Danny333 says...
I would have probably tried the fabric pot if I knew that copper hydroxide would be impossible to get, but too late now. I now need to build a platform on wheels so I can move this monster if necessary.
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Danny333
Perth
25th February 2018 1:56am
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Danny333 says...
I planted the Lamb Hass in it’s new pot last week, so far so good.
It has plenty of new growth coming through that is weighing the branches down. I will try and prop the branches up with something to maintain a clean shape to the tree.
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Danny333
Perth
18th March 2018 1:35pm
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David01 says...
Hi Danny333,

Looking good. If I was you I will trim the central leader a bit shorter to keep it balance. Cheers.
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David01
CRAIGIEBURN,3064,VIC
19th March 2018 11:54am
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Original Post was last edited: 19th March 2018 11:57am
Danny333 says...
Hi David,

I’m just waiting for some cooler weather then that central leader will become grafting material.

I had some 38 degree days fry most of my last batch of grafts because I forgot to bring them inside!
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Danny333
Perth
20th March 2018 3:33pm
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Original Post was last edited: 20th March 2018 3:34pm
Markmelb says...
Danny - i found changing branch position by strings or weighing down is something avos dont like and they ark up by losing those branches - i did to save space - your better to tip them :)
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
21st March 2018 7:22am
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Danny333 says...
Mark,

You must have read my mind! I’ve already used string to tie the branches to the supporting stake.

The bottom half of the tree is shaded for half the day now that summer is over so sunburnt branches shouldn’t be an issue but if I see the branches start to defoliate I’ll cut the strings, thanks for the heads up.
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Danny333
Perth
21st March 2018 3:35pm
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Danny333 says...
Hi all,

I thought I’d post an update of my Lamb Hass that’s growing in a 160L plastic pot.

The the tree is growing very well and has shown an amazing fruit set so far. The fruit are currently between pea and grape size.
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1

Picture: 2

Picture: 3

Picture: 4
  
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Danny333
RIVERTON,6148,WA
29th October 2018 2:37pm
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David01 says...
Hi Danny333,

Your photos fruits set are impressive. Mine may be next month when the weather gets warmer. Cheers
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David01
CRAIGIEBURN,3064,VIC
30th October 2018 1:27pm
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Original Post was last edited: 30th October 2018 1:27pm
Danny333 says...
Hi David01,

I expect a large percentage of the fruit will drop, especially during our summer heatwaves but if only 10% make it to maturity I’ll be a happy man.

I’m still impressed by the amount of fruit that set, Lamb Hass is a very impressive tree.
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Danny333
RIVERTON,6148,WA
2nd November 2018 2:58pm
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David01 says...
Hi Danny333,

I agreed with you, it's easy to outperform other Avocados in term of fruit set. My Lamb Hass finally formed more than 50 fruits (without B type present) about the pea size as the weather warms up. While the Pinkerton and Hass have less than a dozen. See how they go/taste like in the next 12 months. Cheers.
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David01
CRAIGIEBURN,3064,VIC
19th November 2018 12:27pm
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Original Post was last edited: 19th November 2018 12:47pm
Danny333 says...
Hi David01,

My Lamb Hass is going great, the fruit are around the size of a 20c coin. The tree has dropped a few of the smaller pea sized fruit, but not many.

As far as the taste goes Lamb Hass is pretty good, the ones I’ve eaten have been a little softer than regular Hass but the flavour is very similar with a rich creamy/nutty flavour and with the added benefits of a more compact tree and better productivity it is definitely a winner as a backyard tree.

I’m even happier that it is doing so well in a pot. I grafted a bunch of replacements last April as backup in case the main tree failed in a pot but everything has been going well. My family have taken most of my grafts but I’ve still kept a couple that I might plant in the ground.
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Danny333
RIVERTON,6148,WA
25th November 2018 2:58pm
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