Answer: The toothpick method is pretty reliable, assuming the seed is actually viable. Remember that you only want to suspend the seed about a third to a half of the way into the water, enough to keep the base consistently wet but not deep enough to drown it. Make sure it is staying wet because if it dries out before it sprouts, it will die. I like to keep mine in the kitchen where I will see it every day and be reminded to keep the water topped up. Also, keep it in a bright sunny location so that there will be ample light as soon as it starts to grow.
If you are having trouble, you might want to try using a seed from a different kind of avocado; also make sure it is really ripe so the seed has had the opportunity to mature. Another problem can be that the room temperature is too cool, causing the seed to rot. Yet another problem can be impatience, it does take a while before you see any "action" sometimes. I hope this helps you trouble shoot and good luck!
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