Guest post by Yvonne Lee of www.bargainhunter.com.au
It’s currently mango season and I’ve been consuming a heap of mangoes. I have been buying cases of mangoes (16 to a box) for around $10 – $20. I started buying up early due to the (then) ridiculous prices of bananas. Now the bananas have dropped in price to $0.99 per kilo I’m still buying my mangoes but have backed it off a bit. I’ve noticed the mangoes are coming from all around Australia now. Early in the season I bought ones from Northern Territory and now it seems as if my mangoes are from QLD but I’ve also seen Western Australian mangoes in the stores. I’m not sure if they have always come from those places and I hadn’t paid attention to them previously. Nowadays all the mangoes seem to have labels on them so they are easier to identify where they are from.
With the glut of mangoes at our place I was filling up our ice cream container for worm food really quickly, especially since the pit took up a lot of space in the container! I decided to google how to grow a mango tree from a pit. It seemed a logical thing to do…anyway there were some wonderful pictures, instructions and YouTube videos which helped me.
Did you know the pit of the mango isn’t actually the seed…it’s the seed inside a casing! The first step is to break out the seed from the pit. This is dangerous work and I found the safest (for me) was to use a vegetable peeler and “peel” the edge off so I could open the pit to get to the seed.
This is a picture of the clam like pit opened up with the seed inside:
I then carefully extracted the seed from the pit shell…
This is then soaked in a shallow tray or bowl of water with water changes whenever the water is a bit manky. In time (maybe a couple of weeks?) a little shoot comes up and leaves sprout. This is a picture of one of my recent successes:
The first one has been potted and been sitting outside. It’s looking a bit sad and limp but I’m not sure if it’s because it doesn’t like the soil or the weather. At least it’s still alive!
I’ve also got a few more ready to pot soon:
Some of the other seeds which didn’t look decent enough after I got them out of the pit, I put in the worm farm. Lo and behold a few of them sprouted. I tried to pot them up but some bug ate the leaves so the chances of them surviving are very slim. I think I’ll keep them inside if I find anymore.
One thing I did find in one of the pits I opened up was a bug (a black beetle)! It crawled out (and creeped me out a bit). It obviously ate the mango seed – I have no idea if these beetles normally survive or bore their way out at some stage. Strangely enough that batch the beetle was found in was one of the BEST ever tasting mangoes – I’m kicking myself now for not making a note of the name of the mango farm/brand. I went back to the fruit shop and they didn’t have anymore.