There are many reasons to start a garden, big or small. First, with the current economy, growing your own food can save a few dollars. Within the bigger picture, it helps the environment. About twenty percent of America's fossil fuels are used to grow and then transport the nation's food supply. Growing your own food, along with shopping at local farmer's markets, will help decrease our dependence on oil. Last, it is very satisfying to do physical work in the garden and then go and pick some of the freshest, best tasting food you will ever have.
One of the most tasty foods that can be grown in a garden is an avocado tree. Avocados can be eaten alone, added to a salad, or made into a wonderful guacamole. There are two choices for starting a tree. For the first time tree planters, it is recommended that you visit a home and garden store or nursery to purchase a small avocado tree. An experienced nursery can give recommendations on where to plant the tree and which geographic areas would be more beneficial for the tree.
For the more adventurous, an avocado tree can be started from a pit of an existing avocado. It is important to make sure you are starting with a non-genetically altered avocado. Many fruits and vegetables from big box stores and large chain grocery stores will be, and those pits will not be able to produce a tree.
Once you have a pit with an intact seed cover, the pit should be half submerged in water. This is most easily done by sticking four toothpicks around the diameter of the pit, so that the toothpicks will rest on the outside of the small water dish to keep half of the avocado pit out of the water. After several weeks, you should be in possession of the start of an avocado tree, a pit with a root coming out of the bottom. After another few weeks, there should be a sprout coming from the top. The new tree should be planted now.
It is recommended that a large pot be used, at least ten inches in diameter. Water daily, making sure not to over water. Avocado trees love sun, so a sunny windowpane in the big city or a back porch in the country are a great choice.
In three to ten years, depending on the climate, you will have plenty of fresh avocados right at your fingertips.