Establishment

Propagation

  • Done by use of Seed or vegetative method
  • Seed – before sowing, remove the husks & transplant soon after emergency
  • Vegetative – through grafting

Mango Propagation and Planting Material

Mangoes are raised from seed or propagated vegetatively. Propagation from seed, though easy and cheap, takes more time to bear fruit, and unable to perpetuate characters of the parent tree because most commercial varieties are cross-pollinated.

It is essential to raise seedlings from the local mangoes to be used as root-stocks. Clean mango seed should be sown in beds mixed with well-decomposed farmyard manure at the rate of 8-10 tonnes per hectare. Alternatively, 25 kg nitrogen (N) per ha may be applied in the form of urea, CAN or any other available inorganic source in two split doses at about two months interval after the leaves have become green.

When the seedlings attain the age of 2-3 months, they should be transplanted well in prepared beds or pots. Proper care should be exercised in irrigating the young transplanted seedlings. The seedlings should also be protected from adverse weather conditions by putting the pots under big trees or thatching the young seedlings in the field.

There are several methods of vegetative propagation which include Cleft/top wedge grafting, whip and tongue grafting, and splice grafting. There are other grafting methods such as bark grafting and wedge grafting that are used for top-working, i.e. changing old varieties to new recommended varieties, as illustrated in figures 1-5.

Grafting Methods

  • Grafting is done at pencil thickness stage
  • Side Veneer
  • Wedge grafting
  • Top-working of old trees (Grafting has an advantage of dwarfing effect and increases yields)

Illustration;

mangoes-grafting1mangoes-grafting21mangoes-grafting31mangoes-grafting41mangoes-grafting51

Land Preparation

  • Deep soil cultivation by ploughing / digging is recommended. The field should be cleared of trees, bushes and weeds.

Spacing

The planting distances vary and depend mainly on water availability, variety and management. The standard spacing is 12 m x 12 m. However, trees are spaced at a combination of 6 m, 8 m, 10 m, and 12 m on the square or rectangle design.

Planting

Planting holes 60cm x 60cm x 60cm in size should be prepared in advance to receive the young trees. Topsoil and subsoil are separated. Topsoil is then mixed with one ‘debe’ (about 20 kg) of manure and 125 g triple Super phosphate (TSP) before refilling. Watering of the hole should be done just before planting to ensure contact of the roots with moist soil. Under rain fed conditions, mango seedling should be planted preferably at the beginning of the rains. If there is sufficient irrigation, then planting is possible at any time of the year.

Fertilizer Application

For high yields, regular fertiliser application is necessary in the early years (up to 5 years). Application of fertilizer should be gradually increased from 240g/tree (50 kg/ha or 20kg/acre) of calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) during the first years to up to 3kg/tree (600kg/ha or 240kg/acre) of CAN in the eighth-year. The CAN application should be done in two equal split applications during the long and short rains. Similarly, TSP application should be  increased from 120g/tree (25kg/ha) in the first year to 1.2 kg/tree (250kg/ha or 100kg/acre) in the eighth year.

Apply an average of three ‘debes’ (about 60 kg) of manure per tree during the early years of growth. The fertilizer and the manure should be well spread around the tree canopy at the beginning of rains.

Irrigation

Irrigation is necessary in the drier areas, especially during early stages of growth and development. At top-dressing time watering is vital to ensure high quality fruit production. Irrigation can be applied to stimulate flowering after a distinct dry spell.