Mango

The botanical name for mango is Magnifera indica, and it belongs to the family Anacardiaceae. This fruit is believed to have originated from South and Southeast Asia. Mango trees are known for their deep roots and can grow up to a height of 90 feet. The new leaves of the tree emerge from terminal growth flushes, which can occur multiple times in a year.

In Kenya, mango farming is predominantly carried out in the coastal region and eastern parts of the country. Mangoes can be consumed raw as dessert fruits or processed into various products.

Here are the ecological requirements for growing mangoes:

  • Temperature: Mango trees thrive in an average annual temperature ranging from 15 to 30 degrees Celsius.
  • Rainfall: A yearly rainfall of 850 to 1000mm is sufficient for mango cultivation. It’s important to note that excessive rainfall during the flowering season can reduce fruit setting. Once the plant is well-established, it can tolerate drought, especially when its taproot reaches the water table.
  • Soils: Mango plants can adapt to various soil types but prefer deep (at least 3m), fertile, and well-drained soils with an optimum pH level of 5.5 to 7.5.
  • Suitable growing areas in Kenya: Mangoes thrive in lowland to upper midland areas. The most suitable regions in Kenya include the coastal areas, Murang’a, Thika, Taveta, lower Embu, Machakos, Makueni, and Kitui.

In Kenya, there are two types of mango varieties: local and exotic. Exotic mangoes are grafted onto local varieties. Local mango varieties include Dodo, Boribo, and Batawi, while exotic varieties include Apple, Tommy, and Kent, among others.

When it comes to pests and diseases, mangoes can be affected by various issues. One common pest is the Mango Seed Weevil.

Adult weevils have a dark brown color with grey markings and measure approximately 6 to 9 cm in length. They exhibit typical characteristics of weevils, including a robust exoskeleton. Female weevils lay their eggs on young fruits. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae penetrate the fruit flesh and tunnel their way to the seeds, where they complete their life cycle.

To control these pests, you can use the following methods:

  • Spray emerald at a rate of 10ml per 20 liters of water.
  • Alternatively, you can use Loyalty at a rate of 5g per 20 liters of water.

Mango gallfly

This pest induces the formation of wart-like galls on the leaves, leading to reduced photosynthesis. In severe cases of infestation, the leaves can be completely defoliated. The adult fly lays its eggs on the young leaf tissues. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae burrow into the leaves, and gall formation begins within 7 days.

To control this pest, it is recommended to follow these steps:

  • Spray legacy at a rate of 25ml per 20 liters of water.
  • Note that proper timing is crucial, and the spraying should be done when the leaves are just beginning to flush or emerge.

Mealybugs

These insects are small and have soft bodies. They have a tendency to cluster together, forming a cottony mass on mango plants. They are sap-sucking pests, and their feeding behavior leads to stunted plant growth. Additionally, they can cause damage to twigs and new leaves, which may eventually result in their death.

Mango scales

These insects resemble limpets and have a shell-like waxy covering that acts as a camouflage for their bodies. They obtain their nutrition by sucking plant sap, depriving the plants of essential nutrients. Their feeding activities can weaken or even kill the plants.

To control these pests, you can use the following methods:

  • Apply 10ml of Emerard per 20 liters of water.
  • Alternatively, use 5g of Loyalty per 20 liters of water.

Thrips

Thrips are small, slender insects with fringed wings and distinctive asymmetrical mouthparts. They harm plants by piercing them and sucking out their contents.

To control thrips infestation, you can use the following methods:

  • Apply 3ml of Alonze per 20 liters of water.
  • Alternatively, use 10ml of Bazooka per 20 liters of water.

Red spider mites

These pests belong to the Acari family and typically reside on the undersides of leaves. They may create a protective silk web. Their mode of damage involves puncturing plant cells.

To control these pests, you can use the following methods:

  • Apply 3ml of Alonze per 20 liters of water.
  • Alternatively, use 10ml of Bazooka per 20 liters of water.

Mango fruitfly

The female fly deposits eggs beneath the skin of mango fruits. These eggs hatch into whitish maggots that feed on the fruit.

To control this pest, you can use the following methods:

  • Apply 10ml of Pentagon per 20 liters of water.
  • Alternatively, use 8ml of Lexus per 20 liters of water.

DISEASES:

  1. Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew affects the leaves and flowers of mango plants. It initially appears as white spots, giving the affected plants a dusted appearance.

To control powdery mildew, you can use the following methods:

  • Apply 15g of Ransom per 20 liters of water.
  • Alternatively, use 20ml of Ducasse per 20 liters of water.
  1. Anthracnose: Anthracnose is a fungal infection that can affect the stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit of mango trees. It is characterized by dark, sunken lesions on the affected parts.

To control anthracnose, you can use the following methods:

  • Apply 15g of Ransom per 20 liters of water.
  • Alternatively, use 20ml of Ducasse per 20 liters of water.
  1. Die Back: Die back is a disease that causes the drying up of twigs from the top to the bottom of older plants. It is followed by the drying of leaves, giving the appearance of scorched or burnt foliage.

Control:

To control the mentioned pest or disease, follow these steps:

  1. Prune the affected twigs, cutting them 3 inches below the site of infection.
  2. Spray Green Cop at a rate of 50g per 20 liters of water.

WEED CONTROL:

To effectively manage weeds in mango orchards, farmers should implement chemical weed control methods. This approach is cost-effective and time-saving. Farmers can mix Clampdown at a rate of 200ml per 20 liters of water and spray it on the weeds. It is essential to ensure that clean water is used for the sprays. Clampdown is effective in controlling most weeds in mango orchards, including troublesome ones like pulp and couch grass.

NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCY:

Potassium deficiency: Symptoms include marginal leaf scorching that starts from the top and progresses downwards. Fruit quality is significantly reduced.

Control: Apply a spray of Dimiphite.

Boron deficiency: Signs of boron deficiency include flower abortion, fruit cracking, and the presence of brown areas in yellow fruit pulp.

Control: Spray Vitabor gold at a rate of 20ml per 20 liters of water.

Zinc deficiency: Mango plants suffering from zinc deficiency exhibit small leaves with upward or downward bending margins.

Control: Apply a spray of zinc gold.

Salt injury: Leaves may become scorched due to excess salts in the soil or irrigation water. They may lose their natural color and turn bronze. Severe cases may display tip burning.

Control: Mix 1kg of Humipower with 50kg of fertilizer and apply to reduce salt levels.

Note: The provided control methods are specific to each nutrient deficiency or pest/disease mentioned.

Add your comment