Fall Is the Perfect Time to Start an Avocado Tree
Did you know that you can grow your very own avocados from the pit of the one you just turned into guac? Yup, you can bring a little bit of summer with you into the fall (and sneak in some STEM learning while you’re at it!) by planting your avocado pit. It’ll give you something scienc-y to do at home this fall – and it’s fun. Here’s how!
- Use a spoon to gently remove the pit from a fully grown avocado. Wash it clean and dry it carefully. Find the flatter end of your pit – this is the bottom. With the bottom pointed down, insert three toothpicks into the sides of the pit.
- Fill a small cup or jar (clear is better so you can see what’s happening!) with water and insert your pit so that the toothpicks are supporting it on the sides of the jar. The bottom half of your pit should be submersed in water. Place your pit on a sunny shelf and check on it every few days. Change the water about once a week.
- After several (could be up to eight!) weeks, your pit will dry out and crack and a tiny taproot will become visible through the crack.
- Keep your pit partially submerged in water, and you will see the tap root grow and branch. It may even sprout leaves!
- Now, plant your pit. In a pot filled with nutrient-rich soil, dig a hole large enough for the roots and bottom half of the pit to sit nicely underground. Make sure the top half of the pit is poking out of the dirt. Place your potted plant in a bright and sunny windowsill. Keep the soil in your pot damp with regular waterings and an occasional soaking.
- Once the weather begins to warm, consider moving your pot outside, repotting in a bigger pot if necessary, or planting in the ground. Spring and early summer are the best time to plant a young avocado tree.
- Now, wait. It can take as few as five (and as many as 13) years for an avocado tree grown from a pit to bear fruit. But boy is it worth the wait!
While you’re waiting, you can work on color learning, fine motor skills, and social emotional skills with your little ones using Learning Resources’ Learn-a-Lot Avocados! Each avocado in this set of four features a different-colored inside and a double-sided, spinnable pit depicting two different emotions, perfect for fun and learning with your toddler or preschooler.
Start by opening the avocados, spinning one of the pits, and telling your child the name of the emotion depicted on the pit that lands face up. Tell them what makes you feel that emotion and share a story about that feeling. Then have your child spin and see if they can identify the emotion shown on the pit facing up. Can they make a face that goes with that emotion? Can they tell you something that makes them feel that way?
When you’re ready for a break from social emotional learning, use the Learn-a-Lot Avocados to practice color names and matching! Open each of the four avocados and naming each color as you go. Then call out a color and see if your child remembers which avocado is that color. Open the avocados up, shuffle the tops around, and see if your child can match the colored tops to the bottoms. Or call out a color and see if your little one can find that avocado half. If they can, and their success makes them happy, see if they can find the happy avocado face!