Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Mango Season or How A Mango Grows

 I have an annual weird date with a tree.  I am documenting that information for the next year. 

This is my crib sheet.

I may be a bit of a tree hugger, with my own more than casual life-long relationship with plants, gardens, and landscaping, I would say I have earned the name.

The specific tree I am speaking of is a Mango tree in the backyard.  In its case, it is a "Coghsall Mango" that has been bred to be smaller than the monsters that I see in my neighborhood.  That is relative since I have once trimmed the daylights out of my own fifteen foot tree (Call it 5 meters my non-American friends) down to my own height of 6'4" (193CM).  I will repeat this after fruiting season ends.

Ok I am showing off with my mental mathematical gymnastics.  A bit.

Anyway it is a progression of things to look for.  

Early Summer, May to June, I have to go out and hack my tree back.  The tree will put out new growths from the cut site that look like a hydra or an octopus.    Don't go below about eye level, 6 feet or so.  Leave some leaves on the tree so it can thrive.

Around Xmas, the neighboring Hagen Mangoes begin to put out inflorescences.  Be patient.

Around late January, my tree will begin to put out little acorn shaped buds.  They're bright green if not Chartreuse.

These acorns will grow, then split and put out small mango leaf shaped leaves with little spherical bumps.  Each of those bumps will grow into an inflorescence.

Later these inflorescenses will grow into something that looks distantly like a TV antenna with the bumps splitting open into dozens of mango flowers.

If I am lucky, each inflorescence that holds 50-100 "Proto-Mangoes" will be visited by bees.  The tree is smarter than I am and usually no more than three actual mangoes will form on each inflorescence.  

The extras fall off.

The fruit will be ready to eat by summer.  The recipe for Mango Jelly is simple - four cups fruit chunks, 2 cups sugar, 1 packet of "Sure-Jell with sugar".  Mash the mixture.  Cook on stove until it begins to jell.  Jar and can for gifts later. 

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