In this Article we will discuss Mango Cultivation
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Mango (Mangifera indica L) is one of the choicest and most ancient fruits known to mankind.
It occupies a pre-eminent place amongst the sub-tropical fruits hence while doing mango cultivation we have to take care of a number of things so that the nutritional value of mango is preserved and we can have high quality mangoes.
Climate and Soil
Mango thrives well up to 600 m above mean sea level provided locality is frost free and there is no high humidity or rains during flowering.
The favourable temperature is 240 C to 270 C, however, it can tolerate temperature as high as 480 C provided that trees are getting regular irrigation.
Mango has been found to grow on a wide range of soils. However, deep and well-drained loam to sandy loam soils are most suitable for cultivation.
Heavy black cotton, saline and alkaline soils should be avoided. The deal range of soil pH for mango cultivation is 5.5 to 7.5.
Bombay Green (Malda)
This is one of the earliest varieties of North India, harvested by the end of June. Fruits are medium sized having strong and pleasant flavour. The pulp is deep yellow, firm and fiber less.
This is the mid season mango variety ripens in first half of July and is most popular in North India. Fruits are medium sized with pleasant flavour, sweet and fibrous pulp. Its keeping quality is good.
You can get dashehari mango live grafted plant from here
This is also a mid season cultivar and ripens in 2nd half of July. Fruits are medium to large in size, flesh is firm, fiber less, lemon yellow and strongly flavoured. This is an important variety of North India with biennial bearing habits.
Samar Bahisht Chausa
This is a late maturing variety of North India ripening in first fortnight of August. Fruits are large with light yellow colour having soft and sweet pulp. It is shy bearing.
Some important hybrids of mango:
Cultivars Amrapalli is dwarf and preferred for high-density plantations.
Propagation and Rootstock
Rootstock used for grafting is grown from stones of seedling mango trees. The stones are sown soon after they are removed from the ripe fruit as they loose their viability very soon.
Before sowing, stones should be immersed in water and only those stones are sown which sink in water as these are considered to be viable.
The stones are sown in July-August in well-prepared beds. In the beds, the seeds are sown in lines which are 45 cm apart and a distance of 60 cm is left after every two rows to facilitate the cultural practices and grafting of seedlings.
The stones after sowing are covered with the mixture of sand and farmyard manure. The seedling assumes graft able size in next July-August but some of the well-cared seedlings become fit for grafting even in March-April.
Mangoes can be propagated by several methods but it has been observed that veneer and side grafting are efficient as well as cheaper than inarching method. The following points should be kept in view, while selecting and preparing scion wood for grafting.
- The scion sticks should have equal thickness to rootstock.
- The scion sticks should be selected from terminal non-flowered shoot, which is of about 3 to 4 months of age.
- The scion stick should be defoliated leaving a portion of petiole 7-10 days before their detachment from the mother plant.
Grafting can be done from March to April and from mid August to September.
The pits are dug during summer and filled with 20-25 kg well rotten farm-yard manure and garden soil. The distance of planting varies with cultivars. However, 8-10 m distance in both ways is advocated. During planting, earth ball should remain intact and graft union should be above the ground level. The following points should be kept in consideration while selecting plant materials:
- Plants should be obtained from reliable nursery and should be of known pedigree.
- The graft union should be smooth and about 25 cm above from ground level.
- The plants should be vigorous and straight growing and free from various insect-pests/diseases.
- The plant should be taken out with good sized earth ball to keep maximum part of root system intact.
- The plant should be handled carefully during transit to keep the graft union as well as the earth ball in sound condition.
After care of young Plants
- Provide irrigation to the newly planted young fruit plants. Avoid heavy watering and stagnation of water in their basins.
- Remove/pinch off stock sprouts whenever they appear.
- Remove tying material at the bud/graft union, otherwise it may cause constriction.
- Provide support to the plants for their upright growth.
Protection from frost and hot weather
It is necessary to protect the young plants for at least 3-4 years against frost and low temperature injury by covering them with suitable thatching material. Irrigation can also be useful to ward off ill effects of frost.
Protection of plants/trees against hot weather by white washing the lower basal portion of stem is also desirable. Other measures, like wrapping the stem/trunks of plants/trees with old gunny bags or providing thatches to young plants may also be carried out.
Training and Pruning
Training of the tree for well spaced branches is essential in early years. The main branches should grow in different directions at least 30 cm apart and with good crotch angles. As mango bears terminally, so annual pruning is not done except removing over crowded, diseased and dead branches.
Top-working of inferior mango trees
The old unproductive and inferior seedling trees which are found in large numbers every where, can be rejuvenated and improved by the process of top-working.
The selected scaffolds limbs of inferior or unproductive trees, desired to be top worked are headed back in Feb-March. The cut ends are treated with Bordeaux paste. Many shoots emerge within a short time below the stubs.
Out of these, 2-3 vigorous shoots per branch or limb are selected and remaining are removed. These shoots make fast growth and become suitable for grafting by August-September of the same year.
Manuring and Fertilization
|Fertilizer requirement (g-tree)|
|Age of tree (Year)||F.Y.M. (Kg/tree||Urea||Diammonium phosphate||Muriate of potash|
|15th year and above||100||1945||770||500|
Apply full nitrogenous fertilizers alongwith half of phosphorous and half of potash after harvesting of fruit. Remaining quantities of two fertilizers should be applied during October with last irrigation. Apply at this time organic manure also, as they are released slowly.
The very first irrigation is needed just after planting in the absence of rains. Subsequent irrigations are needed as per need of the plantation upto 2-3 years or so. The interval between each irrigation may be of 3-4 days in summer to once a fortnight in winter depending upon type of soil and climatic conditions.
Bearing mango trees respond well to irrigation and they produce more yields by increasing fruit setting and fruit retention. Such trees should be irrigated at 10-15 days interval during the fruit development period.
Bearing trees should not be irrigated during flowering stage, rather it is advantageous to withhold irrigation that will induce more flowering otherwise it will result in more vegetative growth.
Interculture and Intercropping
Young mango orchards should be kept completely free of any weeds. At least one shallow cultivation at quarterly interval (once in 3 months) should be done.
Bearing mango orchards are shallow cultivated in the beginning of the monsoon and again cleaned in post monsoon season. In the interspace of the mango orchard, certain vegetables can be intercropped viz. onion, tomato, radish, carrot, cowpea, cluster bean, French bean, okra, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, colocasia, turmeric, methi and palak.
Besides fruit crops can also be grown viz phalsa and strawberry for initial 4-5 years.
Harvesting and yield
During first 3-4 years, any flowering on trees should be removed to develop a good frame work of tree. It is common practice to harvest mango fruits when they start falling from the tree naturally (Tapka stage). Fruits should be harvested by using bamboo hand tool called mango picker.
The yield of the mango fruit varies due to several factors viz. age of the tree, variety grown, climatic conditions, soil type, type of tree (seedling or grafted one), on and off year and management practices followed.
However, from a well grown mango tree (10 year onwards) the yield varies from 40 to 100 kg and may go up to 3-5 quintals per tree at the age of 40 years.
Grading and packing
Sorting and grading are desirable pre-requisite for successful marketing. The fruits of mango can be graded according to their weight as follows:
1st grade: Fruit weight 320 g or more
2nd grade: Fruit weight 270-320 g
3rd grade: Fruit weight 200-270 g
The common practice is to pack the fruits in bamboo baskets which usually are not of any standard size. Now the wooden boxes are used for packing mangoes. The lining material (newspaper, paddy straw) may be used in boxes.
|Fruit drop in mango |
|The natural fruit drop of mango is rather severe amounting to about 99% at various stages of growth.||i) Regular irrigation during the fruit setting and development period can reduce fruit drop considerably. |
ii) Application of plant bio-regulators like NAA (40 ppm) or 2,4-D (20 ppm) about 6 weeks after fruit set, reduce fruit drop considerably.
iii) Spray of 0.8% zinc sulphate or 4.0% potassium nitrate at bloom stage are very effective in increasing the fruit retention, yield , quality and shelf life of mango cv. Dashehari.
|Biennial bearing |
This is one of the most burning problems since it renders mango cultivation less remunerative to the growers. Biennial bearing is also known as alternate bearing. It indicates yield variations in alternate years i.e. an year of optimum or heavy fruiting followed by a year of little or no fruiting. The problem of biennial bearing is a varietal character governed by genetic makeup, and this tendency starts exhibiting in mango plant even at the second year of fruiting and become more serious as the age advances.
|i) Proper upkeep and after care of orchards, adequate manuring and proper irrigation after fruit set can help in reducing irregular/erratic bearing in mango. |
ii) Soil drenching with paclobutrazol (5-10 g/ tree) results in minimum out break of September to October flushes, which results in early and profuse flowering.
|Mango malformation |
Mango malformation is of two types viz. vegetative and floral. The vegetative malformation generally affects seedlings of young plants in which there is a swelling of buds and formation of small shoots with short internodes at the apical portion and given an appearance of witches broom like structure. In floral malformation, panicles become deformed, axis become short and rachis thick, due to this inflorescence look like a cluster. Malformed panicles have bigger flowers than the normal flowers and are mostly male.
|Following measures can lower the malformed panicles significantly: |
i) Deblossoming once at bud burst stage.
ii) Single spray of 200 ppm NAA in October.
iii) Cutting the malformed twigs alongwith approximate 15 cm healthy portion after complete fruit set in May.
|Leaf scorch |
Mango leaves particularly old one show scorching at the tip and margins. Affected leaves fall down and the tree vigour and yield are reduced. The main cause of this malady is due to an excess of chloride ions which render potash unavailable.
|a. Collect and destroy fallen leaves. |
b. Apply potassium sulphate.
c. Avoid brackish water for irrigation.
Diseases and their Management
|Powdery Mildew (Oidium mangiferae) |
Whitish or greywish powdery mass appears on young foliage and inflorescence. The affected panicles bear very little or no fruit due to pre-mature withering of inflorescence or fruit drop.
|Spray dinocap (50g/100L water) or carbendazim (100g/100L water) or tridemorph (100 ml/100L water) or fosetyl-al (300g/100L water) or wetable sulphur (3g/1L water) when disease appears. Give 2-3 subsequent sprays at an interval of 10-15 days as per disease severity.|
The disease appears on young, leaves, shoots inflorescence and fruits. Round or irregular brown spots appear on leaves and young shoots. Spots on leaves enlarge with cracked centre. Spots on shoots enlarge longitudinally giving a blighted appearance. In severe attack, the shoots may die. Minute black dots appear on inflorescence and fruit skin. Affected fruit becomes sunken.
|i) Prune off the diseased/dead shoots and apply Bordeaux paste to cut ends during December-January. |
ii) Spray the trees with mancozeb (200g/100L water) or copper oxychloride (300g/100L water) or carbendazim (100g/100L water) or cabtan (300g/100L water). Give one spray each before and after flowering and 2-3 subsequent sprays at fortnightly intervals as the monsoon sets in.
|Twig die Back and Leaf Blight |
Minute, yellow spots turning brown appear on leaves and twigs. The spots increase gradually and cover a large leaf surface. The spots have dark purple margins. Dark brown lesions appear on young and ripening fruits.
|i) Clip off the diseased twigs from 15 cm below the infection site and destroy by burning. |
ii) Apply 0.01% mercuric chloride or KMnO4 solution to cut ends followed by Bordeaux paste/paint.
iii) Spray with thiophanate methyl (100g/100L water) or copper oxychloride (300g/100L water) or carbendazim (100g/100L water). Repeat 2-3 sprays at 15 days interval.
|Red Rust (Cephaleuros viresens) |
Rusty red, circular spots appear usually on old leaves and rarely on petioles and young leaves.
|i) Avoid close plantation. |
ii) Spray with Bordeaux mixture (!:1:100) or copper oxychloride (300 g/100 L water) during July-August. Give 2-3 subsequent sprays at 15 days interval.
|Bacterial Canker (Xanthomonas campestris pv. Mangiferae) |
Minute, dark green, water soaked areas appear on leaves and fruits. Later, these spots become raised. The disease spread is rapid during rains and becomes severe in July-August.
|Give two sprays with Copper oxychloride (300g/100L water) or streptomycin sulphate (50g/100L water) as soon as disease appears on leaves. Give subsequent sprays at 10-12 days interval.|
Insect Pest Management
|Mango Hopper |
This pest is active from Feb. to May. Damage is caused by both nymphs and adults by sucking sap from tender leaves, shoot and inflorescences. As a result, fruit setting is affected and quality is reduced. Nymphs while feeding secrete honey dew which falls on leaves and encourages the growth of sooty mould fungus.
i) Mango orchards should be properly maintained by pruning the intermingling branches for free circulation of air and sunlight to minimize the congenial condition for mango hopper breeding.
ii) Orchards may be sprayed thrice as given below:
End of Feb. use Endosulfan 35 EC 100 ml or Dichlorvos 100 EC 500 ml or carbaryl 50 WP, 1000 g in 500 L water.
End of March after fruit set, use:
Dimethoate 30 EC 750 ml of Methyl demeton 25 EC 800 ml or Monocrotophos 36 EC 600 ml. in 500 L water.
May be given in April or four weeks after 2nd spray. Use same insecticide as given for 1st spray.
|Mango Mealy Bug |
Damage is rendered by nymphs and adult females by sucking sap from young shoots and inflorescence, panicles as a result fruit setting is reduced and fruits remain undersize and some even fall to the ground.
|i) Soil in the mango orchard should be turned over in June-July with a furrow turning plough to expose the egg masses and their destruction by summer heat. |
ii) Treat the basins of the trees and area around the mango tree in Jan.-Feb. with 1.5% lindane dust @ 25 to 30 kg/ha.
iii) Apply around the tree trunk alkathene bands 15-20 cm wide (400 gauge) about ½ m above ground and tightly fastened to the trunk before eggs start hatching in Feb. to prevent the ascending of nymphs. Apply mud plaster at the lower side to prevent the nymphs from ascending through the band.
iv) The nymphs which have ascended and settled on the growing points can be checked by sprays recommended against mango hopper.
|Mango Shoot Borer |
Larvae of this pest after hatching from the egg bores into the young shoot from top to downwards and makes small gallery and feeds on the soft tissues. The attacked shoots show dropping and leaves dry up and turn black.
|i) Remove all the dried shoots and destroy them. |
ii) Spray the new growth once or twice in Aug.- Sep. with Endosulfan 35 EC, 1000 ml. or Methylparathion 50 EC, 600 ml in 500 L water.
|Bark Eating Caterpillars |
The larvae feed on the bark of stem and branches. Such trees are seen with ribbon-like webbings mixed with excretal pellets and chips and chewed wood under which the caterpillar moves and feeds. The affected trees show loss of vitality and vigour and may slowly die.
|i) Remove the silken webbings and treat the affected branches with lindane 50 WP 10g or methyl parathion 50 EC, 4 ml, in 1 L water. |
ii) Insert in holes, where the caterpillars rest when not feeding, cotton soaked in petrol or 0.02% Methyl parathion 50 EC or 0.05% Dichlorvos 100 EC and seal the holes with mud plaster.
|Mango Scale |
Occasionally mango trees are attacked by this pest. The damage is rendered by small, flat scales by sucking sap from leaves young shoots. The attacked trees appear sickly and bear poor quality fruits.
|i) When the attack of this pest coincides with the attack of mango hopper, then the sprays recommended against mango hopper will control this pest also. |
ii) When the attack is in July-August, the plants may be sprayed with Dimethoate or Methyl demeton 600 ml in 500 L water.
If you found this article interesting and want to know more about mango cultivation, you can plan to get the book from here