And here I am, back again. I hope that you all have had a wonderful festive season, and that the new year is has started off great!
There is a saying that goes "the best time to plant a tree, is ten years ago, the second best time - is right now"
Today I wanted to have a look at growing your own Mango from seed.
We live in an age where amid all the chaos, I find it crucially important for people to move towards a more self sustainable way of life, and this means that it is becoming more important than ever for people to grow their own food and medicine.
As an avid Mango farmer, I can tell you first-hand, that growing mango trees from scratch can be time consuming and tricky. Air-layering the plant can be a great way to clone from the mother plants, but this can only be done seasonally under the right conditions and has a low success rate.
Growing from seeds, is of course anther way to establish mango trees, but this can take quite a bit of time for the seeds to germinate, and many seeds often does not germinate at all.
After our recent draught, I will need to fill in quite a few of our mango trees in the orchard that has died off, and I thought this might be a good time to share a few tricks of the trade on how to establish healthy mango trees from seed a bit faster, with a higher success rate. This is a method that I personally found works well, and whether you are planting for agricultural purposes, or just to extend your sustainable garden, I am sure that this will work for you as well - given that Mango trees take to your area.
This will not only give you a delicious crop of fresh mangoes every year, growing mango trees can also be beneficial to your health, mango fruits contain a whole bunch of natural goodness that is great for you, but the mango leave is another green treasure trove of medicinal wealth, which I will look into a bit more in a later post.
Lets get growing!
Here is how to grow mangoes from seed, much faster with a higher success rate. First you will need to remove the fruit of the mango from the pip, and then set it aside to dry out. Once the outer casing of the pip has dried out completely (this should only take a day or so)
This will allow the outer casing to weaken just enough to pop open when pressure is applied to the opposite sides of the pip along the scraped edges. The reason that we do it this way in stead of simply cutting open the seed-pod is to ensure that minimal to none damage is done to the seed germ on the inside of the casing.
Next, using your hands, you will place the seed between the thumbs and index fingers of both hands, making contact with the scraped edges, and then firmly apply pressure to the seed casing, this will allow the seed casing to pop open just enough to allow you to pull it apart.
Once you have managed to get the casing open, you will see that there is a bean-like pip on the inside of the hard outer casing, and this is what you are actually after.
Now all you have to do is remove the soft seed from the protective seed-pod without damaging it. In order to do this you have to place your fingers into the cracked casing and carefully pry the sides from each other. Between the seed-pod and the seed, you will see that there is a thin white membrane don't worry about this tearing, that is completely natural, and the seed will not need that membrane in order to germinate.
Once you have the seed-pod open enough to allow the seed to come out freely, just gently shake the pod until the seed is released. Make sure that the seed is in tact. If you are successful the seed that you are left with should look something like this:
The seed itself might vary in size as well as shape depending on the size of the mango pip you got it from as well as the cultivar mango that you are using, but this should give you a decent point of reference.
At the moment I am planting sabre mangoes, a mango cultivar that yields small to medium sized mangoes, with a fibrous fruit and high sugar content. A cultivar that is highly sought after in the juice as well as achar (a popular spicy Indian mango relish made from the green fruits of the mango tree) industry, and it is one of the many cultivars that we are currently growing on the farm.
Now, lets get back to that seed!
What you need to do next is loosely wrap the extracted seed in some kitchen towel, and then give the unit a quick dunk in some water, so that the paper towel around the pip is completely wet. Then you place the encased seeds into a plastic bag. You can use a normal bag and tie it in a knot at the top, but for the sake of my sanity - I prefer to make use of re-usable, resealable plastic bags as I normally do big batches at once.
Within a few days you will start seeing roots emerge from the pip, and in about 15-20 days the root system and shoots should be strong enough for the pip to be transplanted.
For this I normally plant out the seeds into planting bags in a mixture of potting soil and earth (50/50 mix) until the young trees are established enough to survive the great outdoors. Below you can see the strong new roots developing in the seed bags.
Note: It is important to ensure that the seeds stay moist, if you see that the paper towel is drying out before the seeds are ready to be transplanted, open the bag and sprit with water.
Growing Mango Trees gives you more than just Yummy Fruit!
Mango Leaves are an exceptionally great healer for numerous ailments, and I will be doing a post shortly on the benefits of using mango leaves shortly!