The mango holds great significance in tropical regions, where its industry has been growing both in terms of scale and geographical distribution. In Kenya, this fruit is cultivated in numerous counties, serving as a valuable resource for fresh consumption, as well as being processed into juices and fruit jams.
Different mango varieties are grown, each exhibiting variations in shape, color, taste, fiber content, seed size, as well as resistance to pests and diseases. These varieties encompass:
- Tommy Atkins
To cultivate mangoes successfully, it is essential to provide them with deep soils, ensuring a spacing of 8-10 meters and a depth ranging from 0.5 to 1 cubic meter. When preparing the planting hole, it is advisable to combine the topsoil with a measure of manure and a compound fertilizer. An ideal choice is NPK fertilizer mixed with Humipower, a soil conditioner, at a ratio of 1 kilogram of Humipower per 50 kilograms of fertilizer.
Pruning is an important practice carried out to manage the shape, size, and canopy of mango trees. There are two types of pruning: formative pruning, which is performed in the first year to establish the desired shape, and structural pruning, which takes place after harvesting to enhance both yield and quality.
Major pests and diseases
Mango Fruit Fly: The presence of fruit flies (Ceratitis spp) causes a loss of over 50% of mango fruits. Female flies lay their eggs on the fruit surface, and the resulting maggots penetrate and destroy the fruit, leading to rotting and fruit drop. To effectively control these flies, a recommended solution is to use PROFILE 440 EC (30ml) in combination with INTEGRA (3ml) or LEXUS (8ls/20 lts).
Mango Seed Weevil: Mango seed weevil is spread through the transportation of infested fruits, and the larvae develop within the mango seeds. This infestation damages the quality of fruits intended for export. Control measures should be implemented starting from flower bud initiation using KINGCODE ELITE (10ml/20lts) or PRESENTO (10g/20lts).
Scales and Mealybugs: Scales and mealybugs are pests that can be identified by the presence of honeydew or sooty mold, which attracts ants and reduces the fruit quality due to sticky deposits, color compromise, and compromised skin texture. To address this issue, various insecticides can be used, such as RANGER (40ml/20 liters), SINOPHATE (20g/20 liters), or EMERALD (20ml/20 liters).
Gall Midge: Gall midges are insect pests that cause galls to form on the leaf surface. These galls adversely affect the leaf’s ability to photosynthesize, leading to defoliation, leaf discoloration, and twig dieback. A recommended approach is to spray KINGCODE ELITE at a rate of 10ml/20 liters of water, preferably after harvest and during pruning, to ensure a pest-free plant during flowering.
Greenlife offers PRESENTO (10g/20 liters), RANGER (30ml/20 liters), or PROFILE 440 EC (30ml/20 liters) for pest control.
Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew is a fungal infection that affects leaves, buds, flowers, and young fruits, causing defoliation. The spread of this fungus is favored by humid weather conditions, and infected areas are covered by a whitish powdery growth. Effective control can be achieved through spraying ABSOLUTE at a rate of 10mls/20 liters, repeated three to five times at intervals of 10 days, starting from the onset of flowers until flower set.
Anthracnose: Anthracnose affects mango fruits, leaves, and twigs. Infected flowers wither and die, and black spots appear, enlarging on the fruit’s surface. To control anthracnose, a spray of RANSOM (15g/20 liters) in combination with INTEGRA (3ml/20 liters) is recommended. For the best control, repeat the spray every two weeks after flower bud formation.
Similar to other crops, proper nutritional management plays a crucial role in ensuring the health, high yield, and quality of mango fruits.
Boron Deficiencies: Boron deficiency becomes particularly evident during flowering, leading to flower and fruit abortion. Addressing this deficiency improves fruit size and quality. The recommended control measure is to apply VITABOR GOLD at a rate of 30 ml/20 liters during the preparation for flowering, typically in June or July.
Zinc Deficiencies: Zinc deficiency manifests as the “little leaf symptom,” characterized by small leaves and overall dwarfing of the plant, along with chlorotic foliage. To address this deficiency, it is advisable to apply manure or organic matter and spray ZINC GOLD at a rate of 10 ml in 20 liters.
Root Development/Immunity Booster: Enhancing root development and plant immunity is essential, particularly at the onset of rains, to facilitate better nutrient uptake and enhance overall plant health. Greenlife offers a complete foliar fertilizer called LAVENDER, enriched with hormones and microelements, at a rate of 20 ml/20 liters.
Fruit Quality and Ripening: To improve fruit development, starch-to-sugar conversion, odor, skin color, and texture, it is important to focus on fruit quality and ripening. At this stage, a high potassium (K) content is required. This can be achieved using GOLDCHANCE SUPER FLOWERS and FRUITS.