10th November 2014
A month later and its loaded with fruit.
Yesterday my friend who we bought the house off visited us. She loved the garden and the blog. Most of all she loved the mango tree which had been a gift to see it thriving blessed her immensely. We thought it was a Bowen Mango and Val confirmed this. Wow I’m really looking forward to seeing the fruit grow and ripen.
It was wonderful to see her and talk with her again. For me she was one of those people who as soon as we met we knew and liked one another. She knew from the moment she met us that her house was right for us. I always knew I loved her house. So when it was time for her to leave we bought the house and I just love living here.
4th October 2014
The mango tree is absolutely bursting with blossom. If you could only photo smells and sound. When your next to the tree. The smell is so rich and beautiful, the sun is warm and the bees are humming.
Bags Not Nets
This year instead of netting the tree we have placed bags over the fruit.
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.
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 don’t have a wood fire anymore so no potash.
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.
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.
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.
So as long as we can keep the bats and fruit fly at bay, this summer we will be enjoying mangoes.