Absence of summer showers, a blessing this year
TIRUCHI: Timely and adequate rain, absence of any natural calamity, especially torrential showers, during the season and above all meticulous crop cultivation practices have all resulted in a higher yield of the popular ‘Himampasanth’ variety at the Thathachariar mango groves at Srirangam this year.
Last year, the torrential rain during March had resulted in a serious fall in yield. This year, on the contrary, the extent of monsoon rain was not only adequate but also timely. The absence of summer showers, which adversely affect the mango flowers, was yet another blessing this year.
The high quality variety, being cultivated using bio-manures, has been attracting a number of people who have been making a beeline to the gardens every day. Bunches of the fruits of various sizes indicating the different ripening stages can be seen on the branches of the neatly pruned mango trees at the groves.
“We have taken every care to ensure proper cultivation process,” says S.T. Rangarajan of the gardens. The incidence of hopper disease shortly after flowering season has been posing a challenge. “We control the incidence of this disease through adequate preventive measures such as application of Endosulphan,” he says. The weight of the fruit varies between 350 gm and 750 gm, depending upon its size.
The special steps being taken by him, among others, include the application of bio-compost mainly comprising cow-dung and hen-waste. “We do not apply any chemical fertiliser on any account, a major factor attracting the people for purchasing the fruits here,” he says.
Natural ripening of the fruits is another salient feature of the ‘Himampasanth’ at the gardens. “You see customers waiting here for a while till our workers pluck the quantity of fully-grown mangoes ordered by them,” he says adding that he does not resort to any artificial ripening process.
Fruits rolled into hay are packed in a box before marketing them to customers. He advises the customers to take the mangoes from out of the box and keep them in the hay for a few days to ensure proper ripening. “A little care towards ripening the fruit makes it delicious,” he says.
The other varieties grown at the gardens along with their weight in grams are: Banganapalli (300 to 400); Rumani (150 to 200); Apple Pacharasi (300 to 500); Maal Pacharasi (600 to 750). Once the season is over, he ensures that the trees are pruned so that they get adequate sunlight.