Saturday, 23 April 2016

The Last Maha Chanok Mango

Picked and ripened, cut and consumed, the last mango has gone. Anticipation… craving… satisfaction… Wish for more…

The ripening process begins

Our last three Maha Chanok Seedling mangoes began their ripening process at the beginning of this month (April), maturing in order of size, smallest to largest. These were large mangoes, ranging in size from 600 grams to one kilogram, all with a skin colouring and taste reminiscent of their parent Maha Chanok fruit. What is most most impressive with these mangoes is their meat-to-seed ratio: very large fruit with very thin seeds. 

The very thin seed of a Maha Chanok Seedling mango

600 grams. April 7. The fruit will require a few days indoors to develop its full flavour
775 grams. April 13. 

A tad over 1 kg. April 15.

Last year, I attempted to sprout the seed of a mammoth 1.1 kg fruit in traditional fashion, planted in potting mix in an outdoor location, only to be disappointed. The cooling weather of April, with average daytime temperatures in the low to mid-twenties Celsius (680 to 770F), led to failure: a new tactic would be required if the late season seeds of our valued tree would be successfully grown. So, after researching the internet, I came across this video, which suggested that the mango seed could be spouted, wrapped in damp kitchen towel, within a zip-lock bag. This I did, placing the zip-lock bag in a warm, northerly facing window.

Mango seed placed in wet paper towel within a zip-lock bag:its own mini-greenhouse
To this point, I can report early success. My first experimental indoor sprouting has indeed begun to germinate, pushing out a generous tap root. The second seed, too, has begun to root. Given a few more days of development, I may be able to pot up the first seedling, keeping it indoors for a short time, until the first flush of leaves mature enough to cope with the cold of winter.

A successful beginning to the experiment

I hold no illusions about these second-generation seedlings: their fruit will likely differ from both the original Maha Chanok fruit and our Maha Chanok Seedling produce, the seeds being mono-embryonic in nature. Moreover, where to plant them? The back yard jungle is full! Growing on the second-generation presents an interesting exercise, however. 

The dimensions of the largest mango

One wonders what joys year five of this mango tree will bring!

Wishing you hours of enjoyment and contentment in your garden…

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