18 Feb 2010

Mangoes 2010


Mangoes are in full bloom on most parts of Grand Cayman and some trees (like Edwards and Nam Doc Mai) are already holding 30-day old fruit. The mango ripening season will therefore start earlier this year than is normal and some persons have asked why?

Generally, in temperate climates it is stress through chilling temperatures that stimulate fruit tree flowering. In tropical climates, it is often drought that creates that stress, albeit similar conditions may be simulated through pruning and ferlisation regimes.

Well, the past 3 months in Cayman have been a bit unusual as we have had a "wetter than normal" December 2009 followed by a long "cool snap" in January. It is these conditions, when combined, that have likely forced early mango blooms.

The typical mango fruiting cycle is that blooming will follow after about 45-60 days of drought. For those of you that have Bougainvillea in your lawns with automatic sprinklers in place you will understand better why you often envy those beautiful blooms in the drier parts of the Islands where the natural "rainy-drought-bloom cycle" is not interrupted by watering. Bougainvillea are similar to mango in this regard...