Mango trees grow to 35–40 m (115–131 ft) tall, with a crown radius of 10 m (33 ft). The trees are long-lived, as some specimens still fruit after 300 years.
In deep soil, the taproot descends to a depth of 6 m (20 ft), with profuse, wide-spreading feeder roots; the tree also sends down many anchor roots, which penetrate several feet of soil.
The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, 15–35 cm (5.9–13.8 in) long, and 6–16 cm (2.4–6.3 in) broad; when the leaves are young they are orange-pink, rapidly changing to a dark, glossy red, then dark green as they mature.
The flowers are produced in terminal panicles 10–40 cm (3.9–15.7 in) long; each flower is small and white with five petals 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) long, with a mild, sweet odor suggestive of lily of the valley.
Over 400 varieties of mangoes are known, many of which ripen in summer, while some give double crop. The fruit takes three to six months to ripen.
The ripe fruit varies in size and color. Cultivars are variously yellow, orange, red, or green, and carry a single flat, oblong pit that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface, and which does not separate easily from the pulp.
Ripe, unpeeled mangoes give off a distinctive resinous, sweet smell. Inside the pit 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) thick is a thin lining covering a single seed, 4–7 cm (1.6–2.8 in) long. The seed contains the plant embryo. Mangoes have recalcitrant seeds; they do not survive freezing and drying.
Kent (Large oval in shape. It also possess a greenish skin with dark red blush and small yellow dots), Keitt (Large, oval in shape), Palmer, Haden (It is medium to large and oval to round in shape), Alphonso and Jaffina.
Fruits mature between May and August. In the southern part of the country most varieties also fruit between December and February depending on the weather.
The seed in the mango can be your seed if it’s for back yard farming, but if you are planning of going commercial, then you can see the Ministry Of Food and Agriculture for bulk nurseries.
Site Selection and Land Preparation
Select areas with well drained soils without a hard pan with pH 5.5-7 (slightly acidic to neutral), rainfall distribution of 500-1500 mm of 27 to 40°C. At least 2-3 months of dry weather is necessary for good flowering and fruit set. Your backyard can be modified a bit before the planting. Slash; remove all slumps and stones, plough, harrow and ridge and construct drainage channels and ponds where necessary.
Planting and Management
Seedlings should be delivered in the time for planting and planted at the onset of the rains for commercial farmers, but if you can water it always too that’s fine.
Line and peg such that rows are aligned in the East-West direction. First dig holes 60cm wide and deep. Mix top-soils with well decomposed organic manure to fill the hole. Leave for 2 weeks to settle.
Remove poly bags from seedlings, plant and mulch with any suitable organic material. Where rainfall is erratic irrigate seedlings to field capacity at weekly intervals.
For a large scale farm spacing ranges from 8m x 6m, 8m x 8m, 9m x 5m and 10m x 5m depending on the soil type, climatic condition, variety and crop management practices adopted. This will enable each tree to freely grow
Train seedlings to a single plant as soon as it is established by cutting off all side shoots. When the plant reaches about 1m high, cut the terminal shoot to induce side shoots. Select 3-5 shoots well spaced out at 50cm apart and different heights on the trunk to become the main branches. Avoid branches with weak unions. Prune the side shoots after they have produced 2-3 flushes (50-60cm) and cut below the back ring area. Continue pruning until the desired height (3.5-4.5m) is obtained. Keep the tree free of side shoots.