Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mango planting

I planted a mango tree out the front this week. It's a Kensington Pride (aka Bowen) grown from seed. Here's how I've set it up. First I dug a big hole and watered it for 30 minutes to saturate the super sandy soil. Then I mixed in some cow poo, sheep poo, rock minerals and bentonite clay. Then I planted the tree with a bamboo stake.

Then I set up the retic. Mangos are tropical plants so they need lots of water so I've set up a 'thirsty' retic station using a disused station which we used to establish the native garden. The others plants I'll put on this station are the Macadamia, bamboo and yet to be planted Avocado. I've read in my fruit tree bible (Louis Glowinski's Complete Book of Fruit Growing in Australia) that bearing mango trees should not be watered for three months before flowering. So I put a valve in the line so that I can still water the other plants but not water the mango tree. I've also left a line available for growing sweet potato close by (another tropical plant).

Young mango trees like some shelter, so I’ve banged in four posts to support clear poly film for winter. This will provide a warm micro-climate for the tree in the cooler months and protect it from wind. In summer I’ll replace the plastic with shade cloth in order to protect it from the heat. After a couple of years of this the tree should be able to fend for itself. I’ve thought of laying some thermal mass (eg dark rocks) around the tree to adsorb warmth in winter, but this will have to wait for another day.

In about five years we should be harvesting our own mangos. Yum, I can’t wait. Whether I’ll be able to actually eat any before our very own fruit bat (Quin) gets them remains to be seen…


  1. Good luck with your mango. I will follow your progress with interest. We are in Perth's northern suburbs and I've managed to kill 2 mangos (so far). I built a shelter too, but suspect I didn't pour enough water on. I also think they take quite a long time to get established before they take off. Love the blog, sounds like you are doing some exciting things in the garden. Cheers, Anna

  2. Glad I found your page. My children and I are growing a mango from a seed and we're learning all we can. Unfortunately I have black thumb...but I'm striving to change that...LOL. Thanks for the helpful tips and great photos!

  3. Here is something from my fruit tree bible on growing from seed: "to plant from seed remove the husk, keeping an eye out for the large bug, the mango weevil borer, that may be inside. Cut out any damaged part of the seed, then plant in a seed box in the shade. The seed is polyembryonic like some citrus and may produce one to eight seedlings with only one of them being different from the parent plant. This is often the most vigorous seedling and the one produced from the centre of the seed towards the stalk" (Glowinski, p306). So the trick is to select one that is true to type, ie NOT the most vigorous one. Good luck with it.