Saturday, 20 February 2016

Nam Dok Mai Disappointment

When the mango ripening season nears, the level of excitement of the home gardener inevitably rises in the expectation of succulent, juicy and sweet fruit… especially when those provident trees are young. As pointed out in earlier blog posts, our two bearing trees, both four years in the ground, have formed their second small crops.

However, when one of those expectant trees fails again, one’s excitement turns to disappointment.

Our Nam Dok Mai mango has failed to ripen its little crop in successive years. Last season, two mangoes split and fell before ripening. This season, even with new ‘tactics’, namely withholding fertiliser and providing much less water, the two fruits failed to ripen before spoiling.

The largest fruit appeared to have developed a fungal infection. Luckily, it was large enough to consume green after removing the damaged portion of the flesh. This week, the second fruit, much smaller in size, split. Again, we were able to consume a small part of the fruit green.

So, what was the cause? Sydney experienced very heavy and persistent rains throughout January. This is not out of the ordinary, because some seasonal sub-tropical storms will move south, depositing their revitalising loads on the city. It is a possibility that the Nam Dok Mai trees received too much water during this period, causing the unfortunate damage to the fruit.

If one reads other blog entries on the internet, it would appear that splitting of ripening Nam Dok Mai mangoes is a common problem.

We want to persist with our Nam Dok Mai tree. It was a ‘family’ backyard tree in Malaysia, and it would be lovely to be able to replicate old times here in Sydney. Furthermore, its wine red new flush growth is very beautiful.  However, we do wonder whether the Sydney climate, with its summer rainfall most seasons, is conducive to the easy cultivation of Nam Dok Mai mangoes.

'Aftermath' of a summer storm

Let’s see what happens next February!

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