About 20 years ago she bought a mango seedling from Chris Perry at Perry's Fruit and Nut Nursery, McLaren Flat. She planted it in a place in her garden in Lockleys, sheltered from the western sun by a wattle tree and from the wind from the west and south, by a fence and a shed. No particular preparation was made of the soil but the soil in Lockleys is excellent, as it was originally the flood plain of the Torrens. The water table is also very high and when established, trees can feed from it once the roots reach down as little as 60cm or so. She used to cover it every night during cold weather but, with subsequent seedlings, found this was not necessary although they rarely have frost in Lockleys.
It took about 10 years before the tree began to fruit and at first there were only 2 or 3 fruits. As the tree has grown it has increased its yield and this year, 2008, the crop was close to 100 mangoes. The tree is now over 3m high and as wide. Alternate years are better and often a lot of the fruit blows off in spring before reaching larger than thumb-nail size. This year, 2008, many more fruit stayed on, despite the dry conditions, and even the smaller fruits (the size of a pear) ripened beautifully.The mangoes usually ripen during April but this year they ripened from mid March and consisted of some of the biggest and smallest mangoes yet. An interesting difference this year was that each of the earliest ones developed a red patch on the sunny side, before ripening to the usual orange. Maybe this was due to the very cool February weather.
Jean has tried to grow another tree from a seed of this tree, several times but, although they germinate readily, they have produced trees which either have had stringy fruit, or failed to have more than one mango per year. She has also tried grafted mango plants but these have not been successful.Mango trees prefer to be on the dry side during winter and this is achieved by having them planted on the NE side of a fence and shed, causing a small rain shadow. The soil is also very free draining in Lockleys. Jean fertilises the plant in early spring with citrus food but otherwise does not feed it. She waters it deeply now and again, when the fruit are growing.