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How to Grow Mangoes in Your Urban Garden

Mangoes are a delicious, nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed year round. If you live in an urban area and want to grow your own mangoes, it can be done with the right tools, knowledge, and care. Growing mangoes in an urban garden does require a little extra work, but the unique sweet taste of your own homegrown mangoes makes it worth the effort. In this article, we will provide tips on how to successfully grow mangoes in your urban garden.

Choosing the Right Variety

Mangoes are a delicious and versatile tropical fruit. There are hundreds of mango varieties around the world, so it’s important to do some research and find the best one for your climate. Consider the variety’s size, flavor, ripening time, and disease resistance before making your selection. Depending on where you live, some varieties may have higher success rates than others.

Optimal Growing Conditions for Mangoes

In order to grow mangoes successfully, your urban garden should have plenty of full sun and well-draining soil. You should also give your mango tree enough room to thrive. You need to provide adequate space for the tree to grow and for light to get through.

Look for Disease-Resistant Varieties

When selecting a mango variety for your urban garden, look for types that are tolerant of common diseases. This will help reduce the risk of pest and disease infestations in your garden. Some popular disease-resistant varieties to consider include Tommy Atkins, Keitt, Kent, and Haden.

Choose Varieties With Cold Tolerance

Depending on your climate, it’s important to select varieties of mangoes with cold tolerance. For example, if you live in a cooler climate, look for varieties that can withstand occasional frost. Popular cold-tolerant varieties include Kensington Pride, Irwin, and Nam Doc Mai.

Consider Taste and Ripening Time

When choosing a variety of mango for your urban garden, think about the taste and ripening time of the fruit. Some varieties are sweet and juicy, while others are tart and acidic. You should also select varieties that will be ripe when you want to pick them. Dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties usually ripen earlier than others.

Site Preparation

When selecting a spot for growing mangoes in your urban garden, it is important to consider the size of the tree and its sun requirements. A spot that gets 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight is ideal, as mangoes need lots of sun in order to produce good-sized fruits. The tree should also have plenty of room to grow, as mature trees can reach heights of up to 25 feet. It is important to note that mango trees require well-drained, loamy soil, so if the soil in your garden is heavy, it may be necessary to amend it with organic matter to improve its drainage. Additionally, paying attention to soil pH is important, as mango trees prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5-7.

Preparing the Plant Site for Planting

Before planting the mango tree in your urban garden, prepare the site by digging a hole 2-3 times wider than the root ball of the tree. Also, make sure the hole is just as deep, if not slightly deeper. Place the tree in the hole, backfilling it with the soil that was removed. Then, pack the soil around the tree to prevent air pockets and water the soil to firmly pack it around the tree’s roots. If desired, add a layer of mulch to the base of the tree to help retain moisture and discourage weeds.

Amending the Soil for Optimal Growth

Mangoes require nutrient-rich soil for optimal growth and fruiting. As such, it is recommended that organic matter, such as compost, be added to the soil prior to planting to boost its fertility and help retain moisture. A nitrogen-based fertilizer can also be applied to the soil to ensure the mango tree is receiving all the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and development. Additionally, check the soil pH on a regular basis and adjust it if needed by adding lime or sulfur to the soil as necessary.


When planting mangoes in your urban garden, it is important to choose the ideal location for optimal growth and health. Mango trees prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Good air circulation is also important; plant your mango tree in an open location and avoid planting it near walls or other trees.

Prepare The Soil

Before planting your mango tree, make sure to prepare the soil. Test the soil pH and adjust it to around 6.5 if needed. Incorporate plenty of compost and aged manure into the soil to improve its nutritional content and water-holding capacity.

Dig The Planting Hole

When you’re ready to plant your mango tree, dig a planting hole that is twice as wide and slightly deeper than the root ball of the tree. Make sure the hole is dug in a location that receives full sun and is away from other trees.

Soak The Root Ball

Before planting your tree, soak the root ball in a bucket of water for several hours. This will help ensure the tree starts off with plenty of moisture and the roots will be more likely to establish quickly.

Place The Tree And Backfill The Hole

Place your mango tree into the planting hole and then backfill the hole with the soil you previously removed. Make sure the trunk of the tree is not planted deeper than it was in the container. Water the soil in the planting hole and add a layer of compost or mulch around the tree to help retain moisture.

Fertilize The Tree

When first planting your mango tree, apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer to the soil in the planting hole. Make sure to follow the package instructions for the appropriate rate of application.

Water Regularly

Mango trees require consistent and plentiful watering throughout the growing season. If your tree does not receive enough water, it may experience leaf drop, stunted growth, and smaller fruit. Monitor the soil and water deeply when the top 3-4 inches of soil begins to dry out.

Care and Maintenance

Fertilizing your mango trees helps promote abundant growth and maintain its health. Fertilize your mango trees once in spring and once in summer with a balanced fertilizer like a 10-10-10 or a 20-20-20. Make sure the fertilizer you use is specifically formulated for trees and shrubs. Follow the instructions on the label for best results.

Watering Mangoes in an Urban Garden

Mango trees need regular watering to grow healthy and produce plenty of fruit. Water newly planted mango trees every 5 to 7 days in dry weather and every 10 to 14 days in wet weather. Established mango trees need to be watered much less frequently, only every 2 weeks. Water deeply, drenching the soil around the tree and allowing it to dry out before giving it more water.

Pruning Mangoes in an Urban Garden

Mango trees should be pruned each year to maintain a desirable form, shape, and size. The best time to prune is late winter, just before the new growth appears. Prune off any dead or diseased branches and remove any water sprouts. Prune back any lateral branches that extend too far away from the central leader.

Mulching Mangoes in an Urban Garden

Mulching your mango trees helps conserve moisture in the soil and protect the root system. Spread a 2 to 4-inch layer of mulch around the base of the mango tree, ensuring a few inches of space between the mulch and tree trunk. Use organic mulch such as shredded bark or wood chips. This helps to add nutrients to the soil and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and fungi.

Pest Control for Mangoes in an Urban Garden

Mangoes may be susceptible to pests, such as scale, mealybugs, and fruit flies. Be sure to monitor your mango tree for signs of pests, such as chewed or discolored leaves. Treat with an insecticide or horticultural oil if necessary. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label for best results.

Pruning and Training

For maximum mango yields, fertilizing your mango tree is a must. Mango trees require a balanced nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizer for best results. Applying a balanced fertilizer once every four to six weeks during the growing season is enough to keep your tree healthy and producing fruit. Additionally, adding compost or other organic matter to the soil before planting is an effective way to ensure that your mango tree has access to the nutrients it needs.

Choosing the Right Type of Mango Tree

When deciding which type of mango tree to plant in your urban garden, consider the climate and amount of space in your garden. Dwarf varieties of mango trees are suitable for small urban gardens and can produce a good yield. Hybrid varieties that are resistant to disease and pests may be a good choice for urban gardeners looking for a good yield.

Maintaining the Health of Your Mango Tree

Maintaining the health of your mango tree is essential to maximizing its yield. Regularly check your mango tree for pests, disease, and signs of nutrient deprivation. If you notice any of these issues, address them with the appropriate treatment. Additionally, water your mango tree regularly and prune it as needed to ensure healthy growth.

Pruning and Training

Pruning and training your mango tree is essential to encourage maximum fruiting and a productive tree. Pruning removes any dead or diseased limbs, encourages more lateral branching, and helps to maintain the shape and size of the tree. Prune your mango tree regularly, ideally during the late winter or early spring. Training involves tying the main branches and staking the tree to give it support and shape. Training should also be done during the late winter or early spring for best results.

Harvesting Your Mangoes

Growing mangoes in an urban garden is no easy feat, but with the right soil, correct pruning and fertilizing, and good care, your efforts can be rewarded with a harvest of deliciously sweet and juicy mangoes. Once your mango tree has been producing fruit for a couple years and you’ve seen that it can handle the summer heat, you can start harvesting your mangoes. By watching your tree closely, you’ll know when the fruit is ready to be picked. Keep in mind that harvesting mangoes requires careful handling, as they bruise easily, so be sure to pick them up gently. Whether eaten fresh, cooked, or dried, your homegrown mangoes are sure to be a tasty treat!

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