If you live in a very warm locale, such as Hawaii, Florida, or California, you can try growing mango trees of your own. You will need quite a lot of space, however, as a mango tree can grow to be ninety feet tall and eighty feet wide. The leaves can be between twelve and sixteen inches long. A mango will vary in weight from four ounces to three pounds.
While in the United States most mangos are eaten as a dessert fruit, they can also be used for juice, nectars, jellies, jams and preserves. In Asia, mangos are used before ripening to make relishes, chutneys, and pickles. In India, they make flour from mango seeds and when there is no food, seeds are eaten. Indians also use mango wood for furniture, flooring and for building boats.
If you are going to be growing mango trees, you can start out with grafted trees or seedlings. It will take between three and five years for the tree to bear fruit, but once it does it will continue for thirty to forty years. Mangos like a range of soils, anywhere from 5.5 to 7.5 in pH. They prefer soils that are rich and well-drained. To prevent the plants from being waterlogged, experts recommend growing on the ground that slopes moderately. Growing mango trees also is best done at altitudes of under 1200 feet and in locations where there is under sixty inches of rainfall per year. If you live in a very dry climate, you will need to irrigate the trees.
Mango trees do not like any kind of cool temperatures or strong winds. Before the initial planting, it is wise to fertilize the hole with a fertilizer that is 0-45-0, containing triple the normal amount of phosphate. Mango trees need to be planted at least thirty-five to forty feet apart. Young trees should be pruned to have no branches on the first two feet of trunk. Also, the first year the tree starts to develop fruit, it should be removed to aid in the tree’s development.
Growing mango trees requires much fertilization each year. In the first year, after the plant has developed significant growth, it will need 1-2 pounds of 10-20-20 fertilizer applied. In years two and three, 1-½ to 3 pounds of 10-20-20 should be used. The entire amount of fertilizer used each year should be divided into three or four applications. When mango trees are bearing fruit, every year they should be given a pound of fertilizer for each inch of the diameter of the trunk. The diameter should be measured approximately five feet up from the ground. The fertilizer should be given twice a year, once before the tree flowers and once after the harvest is completed. Additional nitrogen should be applied just prior to flowering.
In the United States, Florida is the largest producer of mangos, although overall U.S. production of mangos is very small. India produces 60% of all mangos worldwide. If you live in a climate where growing mango trees is possible, try planting a few trees or even a whole orchard if you have the capabilities. The demand for mangos is continually increasing.