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Saturday, 28 April 2012

MANGO - Queen of fruits

Sweet mango flesh

Mango tree is a fast growing, long living and ever green fruit tree. It can be grown in homestead gardens easily. It serves as a shade tree as well as an ornamental one. Mango fruit is considered as queen of fruits in tropical region. It is a rich source of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Mangoes are particularly rich in Potassium which helps to reduce blood pressure.
Varieties:  Promising varieties available in India are Alphonsa, Kalapady, Neelum, Mundappa, Pairi, Benishan, Alampur Benishan, Mulgoa, Suvernarekha  etc.  Available hybrid varieties are Hybrid No.45, Hybrid No.87 and Hybrid no.151.
Bearing Mango tree
The best time for planting Mango is May-June, before heavy showers. As the plants grown from seeds show difference in yield, quality of fruits etc from mother trees, grafts are preferred for propagation. Select one year old good grafts for planting. Planting can be done in 1x1x1m pits. Refill pits with mixture of top soil and 10 kg of compost/cow dung higher than the ground level. Plant the grafts at the same depth as they were in the containers. Ensure that the graft joint is above ground level. Stake the plants if necessary.
Irrigate twice a week during summer till the plants are 4-5 years old. For better growth and yield apply at least 25 kg of cow dung or compost from 4th year onwards.  Up to 3rd year 10 – 15 kg of the same is enough.
The major pests of mango are fruit flies and stem borers. To control fruit flies spray 0.1% Malathion with 2% sugar as a bait at monthly interval intervals from initial fruit set up to harvest. Collect and destroy attacked fruits that rot and drop down.
The important disease of mango is dieback. To control dieback of twigs and branches , cut and destroy affected portions and apply Bordeaux paste to the cut ends. To make  Bordeaux paste dissolve 100gm of copper sulphate and 100gm of quick lime each in 500ml of water separately. Mix together to make 1 litre of paste.