Have you ever wondered that there is much to the making of a mango than just picking up a dozen of it from your neighbourhood fruit stall?
There is a strong likelihood that you haven’t given much thought to it. I too didn’t until I became a mango grower. As the mango season dawns, like many others I too go the extra mile to get the best looking fruit at the best price. Mango for me is the best summer fruit. (There are other contenders like jackfruit, lichi, grapes etc).
Incidentally, I didn’t bother how it was grown, what care was taken and how it arrived on my plate until I attended a day-long workshop on the sunshine fruit by veteran mango grower, Rajendra Bhat. His farm at Bendshe village, off Karjat Road, in Badlapur (East), Rajubhai has been growing varieties of mangoes for over two decades now. Addressing a gathering of farm owners of Chon Village, assembled due to the efforts of Madhuvan Farm Owners Association and Deptt of Agriculture, Maharashtra Govt., he dwelled on various issues beginning from selecting the right variety to picking the fruit.
The session, held in Marathi and I’m putting forward the points which I gathered.
- Don’t plant Alphonso as their yield is less compared to mangoes like Amrapali, Mallika, Dasehra, Langda etc. If Alphonso offers you two mangoes Amrapali will give you four. Alphonoso is a 200-year old variety compared to the new ones.
- For every three grafted variety plant one of the seedlings. It helps in cross pollination.
- The shape of your tree should be akin to an umbrella.
- Prune branches which continue to remain in shade.
- Don’t prune with a sickle, prefer a saw. If you use a sickle make it work like a saw.
- Don’t allow the tree to go sky high.
- Apply cow urine at the end of cropped to avoid infection.
- If you have chopped an infected/diseased/unhealthy branch clean the sickle/saw in Dettol or any other disinfectant before resuming work on other branch.
- Before advent of the monsoon do place pieces of sea salt on branches. As the rains begin it will carry the salt water to the roots without harming the micro-organisms and prevent the growth of termites.
Look forward to more in the coming posts. If you like to share your thoughts you’re welcome.