Mangos take about six years from planting to good harvests. Some mango fruit may appear as early as 3 years, on young trees only shoulder-high. Mangos usually have a 1 month harvest yearly, starting 3 or 4 months after the winter rainy season ends. In Asia, the monsoons are July – October, so they are available on the market in the spring. Mango trees can produce well for 20-30 years, typically with a bumper crop every 2 or 3 years.
By comparison, papayas start harvesting well in 10 months after planting. They can be harvested every week, year-around, for 1-3 years depending on the health and vigor of the trees.
Both mangos and papayas respond well to good fertilization.
My guess is that the improved returns is 10 times the expense of that good fertilization. So heavy fertilization is a good investment.
In contrast. Asian monsoons are June – October, so their mangos are available on their market winter / spring.
The desired mango variety grafting material (called "scion wood") from proven trees must be grafted onto a young seedling. There are a number of good grafting techniques. I have my own grafting technique which maximizes the contact between the cambian layer of the root stock with the cambian layer of the scion.
Mangos available in Asia are mostly yellow-skinned, oblong-shaped, and strong-tasting. We specialize in the more red-skinned, round, and super-sweet Rapoza, Keitt and Zill varieties.
Mangos are picked (long pole with claw and basket works fine) when the tip starts showing yellow. The super-sweet Rapoza variety is quick to ripen, within days. They are fully ripe and the sweetest when you can easily peal the skin. Cutting beside the small flat seed, dicing, and turning inside-out as picture shows is the accepted civilized patient method of eating. We eat mangos over a sink.
Mangos ripen by their own natural ethylene gas production. To speed ripening, wrap them to concentrate the ethylene. To slow ripening, of course put them in the refrigerator which slows this natural process. Imported mangos are probably harvested green, and artificially ethylene gassed en route. Ethylene ripening chambers have been used for tomatoes and other commodities for decades.
Green mangos are often seen in the Asian markets, sometimes at a higher price than the ripe ones, used for salads and Asian dishes.
Mangos are considered by many as the most delicious of all fruit.
Mangos grown in the US cannot be exported until the USDA approves a fruit-fly treatment procedure (like they have for papayas). So our mangos are palletized and sent by interisland barge from Molokai to Oahu and Maui and the Big Island.