Friday, August 9, 2013

The earth is the largest pot . . .

Marash Girl has taken to growing avocado trees from seed . . . an effort popular in the 1970's but not so common in the 21st century. . . Everyone she knew in the day had a home grown avocado tree which measured anywhere from 3 to 6 feet, an avocado tree grown from pit, a tree reaching to the ceiling of their apartments, leaning towards the light (if the owner had forgotten to turn the tree on a regular basis). Whether the avocados are different today, or the pits are different, is a question regularly discussed (more generically) on public radio.

For those of you who'd like to try your hand at the skill, there's a whole book on growing avocado trees from seed, a book available at  The Avocado Pit Grower's Indoor How-to Book written by Hazel Perper in the 1960's, was a popular guide for those who would have a tree in their home for the price of a rotten avocado.  And it is true in Marash Girl's experience that in order to grow such a tree, one must begin with a rotten (or extremely overripe) avocado, the pit of which has already split, and hopefully has already begun to sprout root while still in the womb of the unopened avocado.  (The whole effort of growing avocados in living rooms was occurring on the east coast, while on the west coast, with no effort whatsoever, folks were growing avocado trees in their back yards which yearly were loaded with the most delicious avocados!)

Fast forward to 2013.  Marash Girl had successfully grown an avocado tree of 12 inches, and potted it in a very large decorative pot, a pot large enough to accommodate the tree when it was full grown, large enough so that the new owner would never have to repot as the plant grew. Marash Girl was so pleased with the tree, the potting, the pot . . . and so was the recipient, her daughter.  Placing the soon to be tree (though still small "pitling") next to the window, Marash Girl and her daughter gazed at the avocado "treeling" lovingly, but it wasn't long before a close relative, long-time gardener came into the room and proclaimed, "Why ever did you plant such a small thing in such a large pot?  That little plant needs to be slowly weaned from a small pot, to a larger pot, to a yet larger pot, as it grows . . . "  Marash Girl tried to explain that the reason for the large pot was to avoid all the transplantings, but she explained to no avail.  "Your little plant will not be able to grow in such a large pot; it needs that gradual transition from pot to pot to pot!"  A bit concerned, but unwilling to repot the avocado seedling, Marash Girl was telling the story to a friend, who commented, "Plantlings have no problem with large pots . . .  after all, the earth is the largest pot!"


Post a Comment