Hey guys Andre the Farmer here, and this week I wanted to tell you about one of my favorite fruits to grow and eat. It's also a fruit that currently grows very well in Central Florida.
I say currently because 30 years ago, it was thought that we were too cold for mangos to thrive here. Yes, that's right, let's talk mangos. And before notifying the grammar police, mango plural can be mangos or mangoes; both are correct.
July and August are mango harvesting time and a kind of the last call for planting new mango trees in Central Florida. So let's talk mangos.
First off, you should know that there are over 500 varieties of mangos that grow in Florida alone. So on my property, I grow about 20 different mango varieties, each of which has other characteristics.
New mango varieties are developed by simply planting a seed. The tree that will grow from that seed can take 5 to 12 years to produce fruit and will not be identical to the original fruit from which the seed is. You are rolling the genetic dice when you plant a mango seed from that mango that was so delicious.
This is how to create new mango varieties.
A great example is my Carrie mango tree, a commonly grown variety in Florida. But it is said to be the granddaughter of the most famous Caribbean mango, the Julie. That means someone planted a Julie mango seed, harvested fruit from that tree, and then planted the seed from that fruit, and the resulting tree was a Carrie mango. So when you plant a mango seed and grow a unique tasting mango, you get to name it. To propagate that mango and make new trees, you would need to air layer it or graft branches from it onto other trees.
All mango trees that you buy from reputable nurseries are grafted trees. It's the only way to ensure that you get the variety of mango you seek and get fruit within a couple of years of planting. That brings us to planting. The best time to plant a mango tree is 20 years ago, the second-best time is early summer, and the third best time is right now before we get too deep into August. Mango trees can thrive in Central Florida, but a frost can also kill them, so it's best to get them in the ground and established well before cold weather.
If possible, you want to plant mangos trees in full sun, but they can tolerate partial shade. One of the biggest concerns I hear about growing mango trees is they get too big. Well, that's not entirely true. A mango tree will only get as big as you allow it. By pruning, you can control the size of the tree. Also, many dwarf mango varieties like Carrie, Pickering, and Coconut Cream are available. Yes, I said Coconut Cream. So, what are you waiting for.? Let's get planting, and you too can be about that life.
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