"We planted the first 15 hectares of Hass and Ettinger avocados (the latter also acts as a pollinator). By the end of the season, we will have a 40 hectare orchard with 5 different varieties, so avocados will be available between November and May. We are currently preparing the soil as, over the next few months, we will plant another 25 hectares," explains Davide De Lisi, production manager at Masseria Fruttirossi, the leading Italian pomegranate producer.
Hass is the most cultivated variety in the world and it is very popular with consumers. It has a black peel and pale yellow flesh and yields reach 25 tons/ha from the fifth year of production. Ettinger produces avocados with a green peel and a sweet flavor between November and December.
"We will start harvesting the first fruits between the second and third year. Plants will be kept at a maximum height of 3.5 m. The fruitlets that may grow in the next few months will be eliminated to facilitate and hasten the growth of plants. The layout is 6x2 m for 800 plants per hectare in total."
"Over the next few months, we will also plant the Pinkerton, Red and B.L. varieties, though Hass will remain the leading cultivar with over 60% of the total surface. The soil and weather conditions of the area are excellent, especially in spring-summer. The only thing we have to worry about is the blossoming or setting phases in winter, but we will install some anti-frost sprinklers that will activate as soon as the temperature drops to 1-3°C."
"It is an important project that will enable us, over the next few years, to commercialize considerable quantities of Italian avocados grown in a generous land such as Puglia and by a company that guarantees a very short chain."