Do Mango Trees Need Fertilizers
There are 3 things which are important for any plant. Fertilizer, Water and Sunlight. Depriving it of any one of these 3 is fatal for the plant. These 3 components are even more important for young plants. For older plants, they may be able to withstand the lack of any one of these for a span of time. A mango tree may go without irrigation for a year if its fully grown. They may sustain without proper fertilizers for up to 3 years and even more if they are older than 10 years.
Depriving a plant of fertilizer is more or less like depriving a person from food. Nutritious diet is important for humans just as nutrients and fertilizers are important for the plants. Most trees and plants are capable of absorbing nutrients from the soil if they already exist, in some form and quantity. But sometimes, the soil is not replenished with these nutrients. During these times, its important that you fertilize the soil manually.
There are 100’s of nutrients which a plant requires. Most of them are in minor traces. The key nutrients a plant will need when they are fully grown and fruiting are Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus. Nitrogen helps the vegetative grow. Potassium is helpful in resisting drought and enhances flower and fruit growth. Phosphorus helps root growth, Flower setting and seed setting.
Calcium and Boron are also key to mango plants.
Among the trace nutrients are manganese, magnesium, Zinc, Copper , Sulphur, iron and molybdenum. Most of these trace minerals are already available in the soil and should not require manual intervention. A soil test will help you determine if any of these trace minerals are lacking and if you should administer them manually.
Trace minerals are important for the plants in various stages. They help prevent disease, improve fruit taste and also fruit settings. Lack of trace minerals will affect your trees in some way or the other.
Though mango trees require all these nutrients, its important to know that most of these are available in its natural form. Cow dung, Vermi compost and a bit of lime is usually sufficient to provide all the nutrients and minerals for the mango tree. If your soil is well irrigated and free from chemical pesticide, the growth of natural bacteria in the soil will be sufficient to provide all the nutrients for the plant. Adding chemical fertilizers will require human intervention for life. Decreasing the amount of urea, potash and phosphorus gradually will ensure that the plants are able to take in the minerals from the soil. Shunting the root 2-3 meters from the plant after its fully grown will ensure more branches from the root and increase the plants ability to draw more nutrients and water from the soil.
A yearly application of natural fertilizer is recommended for mango plants. If you are using chemical fertilizers , the application may be more concentrated but still required for proper growth of the plant.
A full grown mango tree should take 50 kg of Farm yard manure or cow dung per year. The quantity of manure will increase from the seedling stage to the full growth of the mango tree.
- Nursery stage : 250 Grams of Farm yard manure per plant
- Pit Preparation : 50 KG Of farm Yard manure while preparing pit
- Non Bearing stage (First 3 years) : 10 Kg Farm Yard manure
- Year 4-9 : 20-50 KG Farm Yard manure. Increase 5 kg every year starting at 20 kg for the 4th year
- From 10th year : 50 KG Farm yard manure
Soil testing every year is mandatory to determine if there are any trace minerals which are lacking. Adding them manually via chemical fertilizers are recommended. Also try to add natural fertilizers like humic acid and sea weed extract when require to balance the soil composition depending on the soil tests.