Improving soil fertility
Farmers need to implement proper management strategies to improve the fertility of the soil in the orchard.
The following management strategies for soil protection and weed management in mango production can be recommended:
- Planting cover crops especially in mango orchards before fruit production starts. A more permanent cover crop can be established and managed by slashing and weeding out of undesired plants that may compete with the cover crops or mango trees. The vegetative organic material left on the soil surface provides a mulching layer that protects the soil and positively influences the water retaining capacity of the soil.
- Mulching, especially in the young mango trees.
- Weeds can also be controlled by using small animals like goat and sheep to graze on the pasture under the mango trees. The farmer must be careful not to overgraze and to monitor the animals to avoid damaging the mango trees.
Application of organic fertilizers
The nutrient requirements of mangoes are dependent on the stage of growth.
Mangoes especially require a good supply of nutrients during the active growth stage until about 4 years when they start fruit production and thereafter, more nutrients are required, especially during flowering and fruit formation.
The following general nutrient supply measures can be adopted:
- During the early development of the mango tree (during the first four years), a regular supply of compost and green manure is provided to improve the foliar development.
- As soon as the mango tree produces fruit (from the 4th year on), application of compost made of farm yard manure or other organic material should always follow the flowering, so that enough nutrients are available for fruit formation and fruit development.
Mango trees under optimal conditions can achieve yields between 10 to 30 tons per ha and year. The yield varies per tree from 50 to 500 kg depending on the planting system, size of the tree and variety.