Caring for your Mango Tree

Its still November  Bags Not Nets

This year instead of netting the tree we have placed bags over the fruit.

2 reasons.

The first is bats won’t get caught. We did have one last year that we were able to release. This year there will be nothing to catch them in.

The 2nd is fruit fly. For the first time this year we have had a bit of fruitfly in some of the tomatoes. I want to protect the mangos but I am concerned I’ve left it a bit late. There is nothing to do now, but feed the tree and wait.

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November 2013

The fruit is growing nicely on the Mango Tree. It doesn’t look as if we are having any fungal problems at all.  I decided rather than spray with Mancozed I would spray with a food. I used a sea mineral spray that I was given. Normally I would use seasol or thrive whatever I had.

We have had plenty of rain lately so the tree doesn’t need water.

It’s interesting where the fruit is growing on the tree. The mangos are all on the old growth, not the new growth. The tree is a good size now.  Mango trees grow about 1/2 metre a year.  I think one more year then it will be time to start pruning the tree to keep it a manageable size.

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It is now 2013.

The tree is flourishing, we are looking forward to another year of mangos. We have had fruit fly in tomatoes so we need to bag the mango fruit and protect it. I’ve started spraying the tree with Mancozeb.  The new growth is now completely green. Next year I’ll prune the tree for the first time.  I can see how to do it to keep the height down and grow out strongly at the side.

The tree full of flowers

Mango trees grow around 1/2metre per year. They are beautiful evergreen trees.  The new foliage is pink tinged and gradually changes to a deep green colour.  Then the tiny fragrant flowers appear.  The first year here the mango fruit fell off the tree immediately it formed, most fruit didn’t reach 1cm.

The problem was a fungus disease probably anthracnose.  By the time we realized this it was too late for that years crop.

I started the following year prepared. Mancozeb a fungicide was purchased ready for this season. As soon as the flowers appeared I began to spray every 10 or so days.  After the 3rd spray I had a gap of around 2 months. I was just to busy. This weekend I sprayed again unfortunately in the evening heavy rain washed it all away so I need to do it again. I have read a copper based spray will also work, but not to spray the flower buds as you will lose them.

Kelp spray at flower bud can apparently help as well, though I didn’t try this.

The tree is looking very healthy it has plenty of fruit on it some are around 5cm.  I am looking forward to picking the fruit.

Care needs to be taken when picking the fruit as the sap contains a substance that can cause skin problems.

The other thing I did was dig potash around it.  In Winter we light a wood stove every night and the ash from that was collected some went on the compost heap but most  was dug in around the mango tree. The potash strengthens and heals the tree making it less susceptible to anthracnose.  Wood ash contains calcium, potassium and magnesium it is an alkali .  The Potassium  improves water retention, yield, nutrient value, taste, colour, texture and disease resistance. However it doesn’t contain nitrogen so  the tree still needs feeding.  The wood we use is all natural no briquettes or anything like that nothing to poison the tree.

Plants have three major nutrient sources. Potassium, Nitrogen and Phosphorus.

I also cut down a couple of shrubs and there is a big palm which will go within a few weeks.  So there is no competition for the mango.  Compost and Mulch was spread under the tree.

Everything I have done is working and I feel that even if we lose the fruit now we have still made great progress in the health of the tree.

Today I discovered what my problem will be soon.  BATS.  Showing off the photos of my prized mangoes at work one of my co-workers said “as soon as the scent of the fruit gets into the air the bats will be there and will eat and damage the whole tree full of fruit”  Reading about bats in mango tree’s I realized that it is bats that have been attacking my paw paw. It appears as if nets are the only solution.

Another potential problem is fruit fly.

California Rare Fruit Growers have a mass of information about Mango trees.

http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/mango.htm

So as long as we can keep the bats and fruit fly at bay, this summer we will be enjoying mangoes.

 


 

11 responses to “Caring for your Mango Tree

  1. That year we had 12 mangoes, this year we have had 34, a couple fell off and were half eaten. The rest were big beautiful and sweet

    • goldcoastlocal

      I’m not a horticulturalist but I used seasol. We had a wood fire last year so I took all the potash and put that around the tree as well. I don’t have that anymore as we have taken the fire out.

      I did the seasol fortnightly. Fruit fly isn’t a problem here. We had it in one mango that was all. But I’m going to try the individual bags next year to keep the bats off. They also work for fruit fly. With a 5m tree though that might be a bit many to bag.

      It is really worth looking after the tree we have so enjoyed the fruit and loved that it came out of our garden

  2. I have a mango tree here in Kings Park, Sydney. We bought the house about 18 months ago. The mango was about 5m tall and fairly bushy when we moved in but the bark on the ‘old’ wood was all cracking, like you see mud in a drought. Do you know if this is normal or if the tree was fretting? It is planted in a vey clay soil and doesn’t look like it had been cared for. I have since cut the main trunk off leaving a fresh looking (big) branch with smooth bark. I am also going to add potash this Winter, as you suggested. I have looked at other gardening forums and they recommend potash also. It’s supposed to help with flower retention. I also plan to water it regularly with Seasol (seaweed). What do I fertilize it with and how often? How do you manage the fruit fly? Thanks, Rob.

  3. Sorry, not 5m tall, probably more like 2m tall.

  4. Bats will take or damage mangos but a good sized healthy tree should have enough for everyone. If you have only a few fruit, the easiest way to protect them is to bag each fruit before it gets close to ripe. If you must net, use a white one with small mesh (1cm) so as not to wake up to strangled mother and baby bats in your tree.

    • goldcoastlocal

      I’ll try the bags. Our tree isn’t big so there isn’t enough for the bats and us. We did have on caught in a net but we were able to release it.

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  6. goldcoastlocal

    Im so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for visiting. last summer we had 30 mangos

  7. I had a problem with something eating my mangoes. The green mango was eaten down to the seed on one side, and then the other side, until there was only a seed left hanging from the tree. Not sure what / who the culprit was. Rats, possums, ??. I fixed the problem by lightly tying plastic bags that your get yr groceries in at the supermarket, over the fruit. I also put a small hole in the bottom to allow any water to drain out. Keep the top open as much as possible to allow heat to escape. NO more fruit were touched after I did this

    • Bound to be fruit bats,here in Mauritius they all fly out from their mountain hideaways in caves.People put nets over the trees if they are a manageable size.Good luck

  8. Stephen Kennedy

    Someone told me, our mango tree needs “barking” Don’t know what that means! But interested. Last year I pruned that tree, it was to high! No fruit of course, but this year looks very good.

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