Growing mango requires a tropical or subtropical climate, echoing their original cultivation in India four thousand years ago.
As long as you have the right climate and start with a nursery-bought tree, mango trees are relatively simple to grow and care for. They’ll provide a beautiful evergreen addition to your yard and delicious, juicy fruits for your table.
Before you continue reading below, check out the following overview pages if you haven't done so already. They contain important general instructions that apply to most types of fruit trees...
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Mangoes are usually grown from a healthy 2 to 4 foot tall (.6 to 1.2 m) nursery tree. Buy a tree that has no sign of wounds or other damage to the trunk, particularly where the trunk meets the soil.
Choose an area of land that doesn’t bake in full sun. The tree will become very large if not pruned, so make sure it will have enough room if you plan to allow it to grow to its natural size.
You’ll need to dig a large hole that is 4 times the width and 3 times the depth of the mango tree’s container. Place the tree in the ground and use the original soil to fill the space around the roots and base of the tree. Firm the tree in with your foot to remove any air pockets and then water it well.
Unless your tree will be exposed to strong winds, there shouldn’t be a need to stake it.
You’ll need to water two times a week for the first few months of growth.
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Your mango tree will need weekly watering during its first three years of growth. After this you’ll only need to water it during extended periods of drought. It’s not necessary to water during fall or winter.
In the early years of growth you can create a framework of lateral branches by pruning. Do this after harvesting the mangoes to increase the amount of fruit your tree produces.
When pruning, choose a few of the upper branches each year and use loppers to remove them back to their original join point (crotch). It is better to keep your tree to a maximum of 15 feet (4.5m)… left to its own devices it may grow up to 30 feet.
You can fertilize your mango tree with a liquid organic seaweed fertilizer as the fruit begins to form on the tree and again as the fruit matures.
Different mango varieties ripen at different times over summer and fall. It usually takes three to five months from flowering for the fruit to grow.
Your mangoes should be picked before they’re fully ripe as they will begin to drop if left on the tree. Begin picking them when the fruits’ skins’ green color has begun to turn red, orange or yellow.
A sharp pair of clippers is needed to pick the fruit. They then need carefully placing in single layers. Be gentle to avoid bruising the fruit.
Mangoes need to ripen at room temperature (around 70F/21C). They can only be refrigerated after ripening as they’ll suffer a chilling injury if refrigerated earlier. They will take around a week to ripen.
Refrigerator-stored mango should last about a week. You can also freeze your ripe juicy mangoes by slicing the fruit and packing it into airtight containers.
Watch for powdery mildew attacking mangoes in springs that are cool and dry. It is likely to result in no fruit crop that year if it takes a grip in spring. Pay special attention to young fruit and leaves to check for the powdery growth. Remove and destroy any affected areas.
The following pests and diseases have been known to affect the success of growing mangoes. For more information about preventing and controlling them, see Organic Garden Pest Control.
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