Mango Cultivation Guide

Cultivars: Amarpali, Alponoso, Bhonth (Fajli), Kalkatiya Krishnabhog, Bombay, Malika, Neelam, Sipiya, Bombay-green, Dasahari, Dhaulya, Langda

Selection of planting material: Select seedlings that are healthy and big enough for planting as they have a higher chance of survival. Generally grafted plant is used for quality fruits and high yields.

Field preparation: Planting holes should be dug before the onset of a rainy season where possible for water to collect in it to enhance the survival of the seedling planted. The holes should be dug to a depth of 1 meter, width of 1 meter and length of 1 meter (1m x 1m x 1m).

Spacing: Spacing between mango trees varies from variety to variety and growing environment (dry and wet zone). In dry zone the spacing varies from 10 m x 10 m, because the vegetative growth is limited, while in wet and rich soils the preferred spacing is12 m x 12 m, because of abundant vegetative growth.

Environmental factors: An ideal climate for mango trees ranges from the humid tropical to the semi-arid sub-tropical, wherever a dry period exists of at least 3 to 4 months and that have sufficient light to induce flowering.

Climate: Mango trees can tolerate a wide range of climatic conditions. In the tropical and subtropical regions, mangoes grow well at altitudes ranging from sea level to 1200 masl. However, production decreases at higher altitudes.

Temperature: For optimum growth and production, the average maximum temperature should be between 27 and 36 °C.

Soil: The ideal soil texture for mango cultivation under irrigation is a sandy loam or loam (with a clay content of 15 to 25 %), but soils with a clay content of up to 50 % are also suitable.

pH: Mango trees grow best in soils with pH values of 6 to 7,2. If the soil-exchangeable aluminum (Al) is not more than 30 ppm, soils with a pH of 5,5 or higher may be used. At pH values lower or higher than 6 to 7,2 the trees may suffer trace-element deficiencies, especially phosphate and potassium.

Flowering/Alternate bearing: Irregular bearing in mango is due to imbalance in nutrient status of the plant. Balanced manuring and fertilizer application and irrigation will keep the tree healthy and vigorous and prevent the irregular bearing. Pruning of weak, dead criss-cross shoots to open the canopy of the tree is suggested to regulate the bearing in old trees.

Manuring: To improve the texture of soils, add adequate tank silt and FYM. Sowing of the green manure crop (20 kg sun hemp/10 kg diancha/acre) with the onset of monsoon Fertilizer and incorporating 45 days after sowing. The fertilizers schedule for mango for different ages is as follows

Age of the tree       Nitrogen(gm/plant)       Phosphorus(gm/plant)          Potash (gm/plant)

First year                                 100                              100                                          100

Second Year                            200                              200                                          200

Third Year                              300                              300                                          300

Forth Year                               400                              400                                          400

Fifth Year                                500                              500                                          500

Sixth Year                               600                              600                                          600

Seventh Year                          700                              700                                          700

Eight Year                               800                              800                                          800

Ninth Year                              900                              900                                          900

Tenth Year                              1000                            1000                                        1000

Pruning: Pruning to remove criss-cross branches may be done so that center of the tree is opened out and inner branches are exposed to sunlight. Pruning of the dried twigs and branches should be done with pruning saw during June-July. Pruning in mango encourages production of new shoots.

Irrigation: Mango responds well to irrigation, particularly at fruit set and developmental phases. The young plants at bearing stage should be irrigated frequently. In bearing trees, for obtaining good flowering, irrigation must be stopped at least 2 months before flowering period. Stopping of irrigation creates stress and encourages flower bud formation. Irrigation should be given fruit set and thereafter at regular intervals during fruit development period, beginning from fruit set stage to full development stage. For better quality irrigation should be stopped 20-30 days before maturity/harvesting the crop.

Fruit Drop: Fruit drop in mango occurs when the fruits are at pea stage of development. Moisture deficiency, nutrient deficiency and hormonal imbalance are the causes for the mango fruit drop. Fruit drop can be controlled by spraying 2,4 – D at 10 ppm or Naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) at 20 ppm twice at an interval of 15 days during the early stage (peanut stage) of fruit development.

Disease: Fruit fly is the most common pests for mangoes and other fruits usually causing a lot of damage to and high losses of these fruits. The use of fruit fly traps is popular method of controlling fruit fly among other ways. Other pests include gall midges and scales insects. Powdery mildew and anthracnose are the most common mango diseases mainly affecting the flowers, tender leaves and leading to development of black lesions on mango fruits. Powdery mildew can be controlled by spraying using Sulphur or Bayleton, while anthracnose can be controlled using copper fungicides.

Harvesting: It takes between 90-160 days after flowering for the mangoes to reach maturity depending on variety. A fruit is considered mature when it has reached the stage at which, after harvest and ripening, its eating quality will appeal to the consumer. Mango fruit is harvested at the so-called mature-green stage. This is the stage of physiological maturity at which ripening will occur, while still allowing time for handling and marketing. Maturity can be measured by using a color chart and must not be confused with ripeness.

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