By Umar Nsubuga
Mango tree is a favourite fruit for many and can grow up to 30m tall. There are currently several mango tree varieties, especially the hybrid types that one might not even need to climb to harvest because they fruit at very short heights.
Twaha Kakooza, a tree farmer based in Kayunga says a mango fruit varies from five to 30cm (2-12 inches) in length and may weigh from 100g to about 2kgs.
According to Kakooza, mango trees grow under warm, sunny conditions and prefer well-drained, sandy, loamy and medium clays and also do well under a PH of between 5.5 and 7.5. PH refers to the soil’s level of acidity of alkalinity.
“The trees should be shielded from strong winds, especially when still young”.
He says mango trees take 18 to 24 months to start producing fruits; some examples are Tommy Atkins, Alfonso, Glenn, Florigon, Palvin, and Palmer.
On average, each of these species produces at least 50 fruits in the first season. The numbers go up as it grows larger.
Even if you find space for only two mango trees in your compound, you will be assured of at least 100 mangoes per season. Obviously, with the mangoes in plenty, you will not be consuming the four or five that you buy from the market, but at least 10 or even more.
How it’s planted
Isam Sempala who deals in tree seedlings at Kawanda says if you are to plant one in a compound, dig a hole of at least one foot squared, and apply some natural rotting materials around it, including dung.
Ring weed it and continue applying manure at least every six months.
“With good care, you will save on money spent on mangoes,” he advises.
According to Sempala, you can buy the seedlings at around sh2,000 from grafted fruit tree dealers across the country. Management of the tree is very easy.
Any person interested in eating mangoes will spend between sh2,000 and sh4,000 a week or sh8,000 and sh16,000 a month. This is certainly very high. If you have some little space in your compound, you can save this money for the rest of your life.
What to consider before planting
Isam Kambugu, a compound designer says before one plants any tree the size of the compound should be considered, the surroundings and above all, one’s personal preference.
“You need to have a plan of how you want to design your compound before you go ahead to plant any fruit tree,” he advised.
Trees that require less maintenance
According to Kambugu, one should consider trees that require less maintenance and also consider season and disease-resistant plants.