To start, I know the purple bubble is funny…but I’m playing with a new app on my tablet
That being said, we have avocado growth! I noticed the pit splitting, which is supposed to be indicative of a root or sprout…so I got curious and lifted it up. There it was, not fully emerged yet, but a completely visible tap root.
Oh the avocado! Now…I realize that this must become a big tree and needs lots of light to fruit. Which means this probably won’t in the PNW, but just to have one growing has huge potential for out of season, local avocados.
I use them in salads, guac, soups, dressings, sandwiches or just sliced with other veggies. So delicious and soooooo good for you. Let’s take a look at what the internet has to offer on deeper info…
I do love wikipedia…
The avocado (Persea americana) is a tree native to Central Mexico, classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. Avocado or alligator pear also refers to the fruit (botanically a large berry that contains a single seed) of the tree. Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical, and ripens after harvesting. Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.
Facts I love – they are technically a berry and are self pollinating
The tree grows to 20 m (66 ft) 66 ft!? I’m going to need a bigger room, tank, fish….., with alternately arranged leaves 12 centimetres (4.7 in) – 25 centimetres (9.8 in) long. The flowers are inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, 5 millimetres (0.2 in) – 10 millimetres (0.4 in) wide. The pear-shaped fruit is 7 centimetres (2.8 in) – 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long, weighs between 100 grams (3.5 oz) – 1,000 grams (35 oz), and has a large central seed, 5 centimetres (2.0 in) – 6.4 centimetres (2.5 in) long. 
The subtropical species needs a climate without frost and with little wind. High winds reduce the humidity, dehydrate the flowers, and affect pollination. When even a mild frost occurs, premature fruit drop may occur, although the Hass cultivar can tolerate temperatures down to −1°C. The trees also need well-aerated soils, ideally more than 1 m deep. Yield is reduced when the irrigation water is highly saline.
Some quick nutritional facts about avocados from WebMD… Avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C,K, folate, and B6. Half an avocado has 160 calories, 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and only 2 grams saturated fat. One globe contains more than one-third daily value of vitamin C, and more than half the day’s requirements of vitamin K.
Despite the lack of potential for fruiting, I adore the potential for a plant that can suck up nitrates during the off months.
Onto a not so pleasant topic, APHIDS!
Nasty little guys. Well, needed in the circle of life outdoors…absolutely! Ants farm them, lady bugs eat them and certain wasps need them to breed their parasitic young. Inside however…nightmare.
This was a filter I built for my friend Frankie a year ago. Lava rocks and plants. He had it in a 20 gallon AP tank. This past spring he transferred it to an outdoor water feature growing the buttercup on top and some water lilies floating in the pond part. There were also goldfish and snails happening and it was a gorgeous, natural pond. Winter is coming and Frankie doesn’t want the water feature next year…so he gave me back the filter and a free 20 gallon with all the parts I needed. In a previous post I mentioned using all these to set up a tank that would become a tank to grow duckweed, least duckweed, azolla & shrimp to feed my other tanks.
A couple days into setting it up I noticed small…very small…creatures crawling on the glass globe. I expected some foreign critters having gotten a filter from outside. I thought they were tiny spiders, which I was OK with. Then I noticed some bigger ones and reaked out! There were aphids in my garden room!
The castle could be under attack! LOL….it wasn’t that dramatic, but I was worried about migration to the rest of the room. I couldn’t release lady bugs…that would just be a different infestation. I can’t spray…that could throw off the eco system. So it was going to be drowning and protective planting. The closest migratory spot they might like is the big tank against the window…I got some sage planted in there, which they apparently don’t like. I’m also going to get some garlic in there soon.
Drowning. Aphids can’t live in water, and tons of rain slows there movement. Luckily there had been a glass globe with wet sides and a moat of water between them and other plants the whole time. I removed the whole filter and dunked it in a container of dechlorinated water deep enough to cover everything. You wouldn’t believe the amount of unseen aphids that came floating to the top! The surface of the water was COVERED. Thank goodness they float! Down the drain they went. Refill the container & a second drowning was underway. I left a lid on the container, did the same process to the other floating plants in the tank and went to work.
Home that night to find the last of the drowned aphids. I also decided it was a good time to remove the plants, rinse thoroughly, and repot in hydroton.
The tank now looks like this. No aphids and clearer water…found the cause when repotting. The plant was in a mud/silt center…so I rinsed most of that away. The tank is clearer, bacteria are proliferating & I’m on the constant watch for stragglers. I have only seen two so far and they have been eradicated immediately.
My shipment of floating plants are on the way, snails are propagating, and soon I’ll get some shrimp in there to start breeding. Can’t wait to see how the other fish take to fresh food!