Introduction: Gardening From the Grocery Store - MANGOS
I have never tried to grow mangos before but after seeing the Gardening Contest Instructable I thought I would give it a try.
I did a quick check on Instructables and youtube and came up with the basics for this project.
I live in San Diego, CA so it is usually pretty easy to find almost anything you want at one of many local specialty and farm-fresh produce markets.
Step 1: Know Your Target and Grab Your Weapon
I started on May 2nd with a ripe Green Mango for $.79.
I also found Yellow Mangos on the 7th at 2 for a dollar and thought I would try them as well. A softer and smaller mango (also called Manila Mango).
If you have never eating a mango it can be a little hard to figure out what to do with it. A ripe Green Mango (the type of mango, not referring to the color) should just be slightly soft, not squishy. If it is still rock hard just leave it on a counter for a day or two.
If you look at your mango you should be able to feel or see a left and right side, almost like there is a keel at the bottom.
Make a cut and slice off each side of the fruit. There is a large flat pit in the center and you are trying to slice right next to that to get the most amount of fruit off.
Step 2: Your Fruity Reward
You can scoop the fruit off of the skin with a spoon but I like cutting a crisscross pattern on the flesh side, cut to the skin but not through it and then POP the side and enjoy.
Step 3: And We Have SEED!
As for the pit, I remove the strip of peel and I munch on the mango flesh until I get to the pit. I take the back of a butter knife and scrape of the pulp to make the pit easier to hold.
Work around the pit and you will find a place that you can pry open the pit. Online says that it is like shucking and oyster but I haven't done that so I will take their work for it.
You want to take a little care in this and try not to damage the seed inside.
Step 4: Getting the Seeds Ready and Planting
I found out that there are a couple of sprouting methods.
One method is to wrap the seed in a damp paper towel and then place it in a zipper type plastic bag and check it every few days for root growth.
Another method is to put the seed in water and wait for it to sprout.
Since I can’t seem to follow instructions to well I kind of took what I read and did my own thing.
I wrapped the green mango seed in damp paper towel and put it in the plastic bag. For the yellow mango seed I put one start into dirt and the other seed went into water for a couple of days.
On May 9th I saw the start of a root on the green mango and the yellow mango had a little swelling at one end.
I put the green mango seed flat on the dirt with the root pointing down. I put the yellow mango seed in the dirt vertically.
On the May 18th I saw the start of a shoot on the green mango seed, it almost looked like a worm crawling out of the seed.
I didn’t see any growth on the yellow mango seed bit it did turn a lot greener. I pulled the seed from them the dirt and noticed one large root and one smaller root. I replaced it in the dirt and waited.
The green mango shoot has continued to put on growth and is trying to form leaves.
The yellow mango is showing signs of putting out a shoot on may 24th.
I also have an update on the yellow mango seed that went straight into the dirt without any moist paper towel or soaking in water.
The seed is sending out a root and is splitting across the top. I can see a tiny little shoot forming.
I DO NOT recommend pulling seeds or seedlings out of the ground to see how they are growing. I only did that for this project so I can document what is growing and what is happening.
Step 7: Wrap Up!
What did I learn making this Instructable?
Start with a ripe mango
Eat and enjoy the fruit
Remove the seed from the pit and either put in it a moist paper towel or soak it in water for a couple of days
plant it (seed on its side or vertical - I don't think it really matters.)
It actually sprouts pretty quickly and now I am just waiting for it to GROW!
Mangos are on sale this week, 2 green for a buck and 3 yellow for a buck… these seeds are going to be going into a pot in the garden and I will let them fend for themselves.
Happy gardening and who knows what my next trip to the produce section will reveal.
Step 8: Mango Update
I ended up with about 9 mangos at various stages of growth. I have 4 green mango and 5 yellow or manila mangos.
The green mango seeds are much larger and seems to be giving my the most growth/
Of the 9 seeds I have above grown growth (stems and leaves forming) on 4 of them, 3 green and 1 yellow, and the other five has some degree of root growth.
I can only attribute my success to soaking the seeds for a few days in water before putting then in soil. Since I live in zine 10 to 11 I did put a seed directly in the ground to see if that will have any difference, At this time I am only detecting root growth. I know I am only talking about 9 seeds but I am 9 for 9. I like those odds.
For the first few days after the leaves come out the leaves look very droopy but after that they have gotten a rich deep green and seem to be getting ready to take off.
Happy gardening and enjoy growing something.
Step 9: MANGO UPDATE -- Almost One Year Later
I thought I would update my Mango instructable with some new photos.
These three are the same plants as the last step. I sprouted them and then planted them in a pot outside. They overwintered outside. I should tell you that I am still in San Diego, CA so that isn't a real issue but I didn't give them any special care or love. I just watered them along with everything else thatI am growing outside.
I recently repotted them in a larger pot and moved them from 4 to 6 hours of sun per day to more like 6 to 8 hours of sun.
The largest tree/plant measure just a little over 21 inches and has lots of new leaves coming out. I also have a bit of branching near the base of one. I decided to do a little pruning and removed a couple of those new branches.
I believe the two large plants are the green mango type and the small plant is the Yellow type. The leaves are very fragrant.
I have one plant that is growing in the house and it has plenty of leaves but is very slow to add height. I may be time to move that one outside as well.
I currently and down to only 4 mango plants -- the others have either gone on to new homes or been lost to neglect. out of sight, out of mind on my side yard.