Position – Plant your Tommy Atkins mango tree in full to partial sun, where the fruits can be warmed and sweetened by the natural light. Allow plenty of room around your tree to let the canopy spread.
Size – This tree gets to a height of around 4.5 metres, with a similar width of the canopy.
Soil Type – This tree thrives in a slightly basic soil with a pH of between 6.0 and 7.2. It is fairly hardy and only really requires soil that drains well so that it doesn’t retain too much water (which would cause the roots to rot). A rich loam that is deep enough for the roots to extend down into it is ideal.
Mulch – Mulching around your mango tree helps to prevent weeds and excessive evaporation. This means that the soil can retain moisture for longer. Use organic substances like old leaves, hay, wood chips or grass cuttings; but keep your mulch at least 20 to 30 centimetres away from the tree trunk.
Watering – mango trees should only really be watered around the flowering period. Water it every 2 or 3 days as soon as flower buds appear. Give your tree 60 to 80 centimetres of water under at least 40% of the canopy area. During the rainy season, let the tree survive just on the rainfall.
Fertilising – An all-purpose, rapid-release fertiliser can be used on the tree as soon as flowering starts to encourage great fruiting. Over-fertilising your mango tree may prevent the fruit and flowers from developing.
Pruning – Trim the tree of dead branches and keep it down to three (max four) main branches for the best results. You should also try to keep the canopy fairly open, not overrun with branches.
Harvesting – The Tommy Atkins can produce gorgeous fruit in its first year. The mangoes are usually perfect for picking 4 or 5 months after the tree has flowered. They should have a gorgeous purple-red or red-yellow skin and should not be too firm.