Should I pick Nam Doc Mai???

terrisoflaJune 7, 2011

I feel like I should change my name to terriNamDocMai. I have asked so may questions about it on the forum. Thank you all for all your suggestions. I did finally go to Homestead and purchase the 0-0-51 fertilizer and also got some liquid kelp concentrate while I was there. Took my daughter and we made a stop at fruit stands for lychee (she decided she loves them)and milkshakes and other assorted tropical fruits.

I'm sort of experimenting with my tree. Well really, everything in my yard is an experiment, but I did quite a bit of reading online, and came to the conclusion that I may have a boron deficiency, or potassium deficiency on top of the fungus problems. I made a spray of fish emulsion, kelp concentrate and 1 teaspoon per gallon of borax. Also fertilized with my new potassium fertilizer. I did this about 10 days ago and see no ill effects yet. I'll write back next year and let you know if my tree is any happier and hopefully not worse.

Now to my question. I have several fruit that may be ready to pick. They are both still hard to the touch. One has yellow and pink blush because it's on the outside of the tree and weighs a little over 12 oz. The other is green, on the inside of the tree and weighs a little under 12 oz. The problem is, I found an immature fruit on the ground this morning that had been "tasted" by squirrels. I have waited over 5 years to try a Nam Doc Mai, I'm getting close and don't want to blow it by picking too early, but will be heartbroken if the squirrels beat me to it. Should I pick them?

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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I won't tell you what to do...but will tell you a story of what happened to me last year with my Cogshall mango tree. Once I started to see "blushing" on my fruits I got pretty excited and thought finally I was going to taste my very first mango from this tree. One morning I found "one" yellow (not quite ripe) half eaten on the bottom of the tree, I was "ticked off" needless to say...I decided to put this plastic fencing and wrapped bird netting on top of the tree ( in my defense, it wasn't the best or secure) fencing. I thought it would at least keep them at bay? The next morning every single fruit was on the bottom of the tree...EXCEPT ONE (guess they didn't see it). The are that I had put the bird netting on was laying there(like they ripped it open)! All of them had teeth marks on them some were half eaten, some only 1/4 of the fruit was eaten. I was absolutely FURIOUS beyond words!

Lesson for me was...I wish I would have picked the fruit and taken my chances ripening them on the counter, heck, I would have eaten them green instead of letting the stupid varmints take a bite on every mango I had.

Your call...but I've noticed once they've had a taste...its free for all it seems! The chances they'll be back is much better than not.

Good luck!

Check out the link I provided below...there's a video on the bottom of the page that shows you how to tell when to pick mango off the tree.

Here's the plastic fencing I used last year that didn't work...I threw a bird netting on top.

This was last years Very first casualty...

Here is a link that might be useful: Great Mango Links and Videos

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 2:22PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Oh, I forgot to mention...I'm trying something NEW this year thanks to Trini(a nice member here) gave me some great ideas. I don't know if its going to work for me...but I've decided to try it this year, I have nothing to lose. Will let you know how it works for me...I surely hope it will as its my only chance,lol...Wish me luck I need it!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 2:29PM
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Thanks for sharing your story. I'm thinking I should go pick those two. I have others on the tree too, it's just those two look the closest to being ripe. The mango in your picture looks a lot tastier than the one they took off my tree. Mine was very immature and still white inside. Yours was nicely colored. No wonder they came back for more! The squirrels have also discovered my passion fruit for the first time. I have found a few on the ground that have been opened and eaten. I think they have just discovered fruit here. I hope your bags work and wish you the best of luck with them. You'll have to report back and let us know. We may all be doing that next year.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 5:26PM
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mangodog(palm springs 9B)

Pugsy's got both bases covered for you! Encase it in this screening type material, or pick it now and let it ripen on the counter....also, sounds like it might be something more aggressive like a raccoon as I've had squirrels fail to get through the bird netting...

Anyway, terri, sounds like you have choices.....and LET US KNOW how it goes and if you do get to eat it....


    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 5:28PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Not sure you guys have the common gray/black squirrels we have up here? If anything you should try trapping them. Drive them out to the Everglades and toss them to an alligator. I have a trap set up under my apple tree.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 5:38PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Terri, thanks for the well wishes...I wish you the same and hope you're able to eat all your delicious mangoes that's on your tree. I'm amazed that the mango the squirrels or whatever animal that ate your fruit was much greener than mine. Have they NO pride? Lol...they're getting so much bolder and now they're even eating unripe fruits. Unbelievable! Please keep us posted!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:24PM
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I think I ended up somewhere between those two choices. I went out to pick them and gave them one last squeeze and they did not give at all. Like rocks. I chickened out and got some of those plastic bags from the store and loosely tied them around the mangos on the inside of the canopy hoping that the squirrels will at least be a little confused. I know they can bite right through them, but maybe the bags will scare them off for a few days. Shouldn't the fruit give to pressure at least a little before picking?

franktank: my husband reminded me that one of our neighbors said squirrel gravey is real good! Why feed them to the alligators;)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:07PM
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I looked at that link you provided. It said there should be a gentle give when the fruit is ready to pick. I'm waiting for now. Hoping I don't regret it.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:33PM
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Squirrel problem:

Gamo Whisper .177 air rifle w/a 4x32 scope
use Beeman Kodiak Match pellets.

Enjoy your mangos.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 12:02AM
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Well we made it through the night with no losses. I'm wondering if the fruit will be ok during the heat of the day with the plastic bags on them. Has anybody done this before? I don't have the materials to make the nice wire mesh bags and have to go to work soon so they'll be on their own for the afternoon/night.

We had a squirrel at work that everybody used to feed peanut butter crackers to. He was there day in and day out for his peanut butter crackers and almost came in the door a few times. One of my co-workers found a cute, but large resin squirrel yard ornament and placed it under the oak tree he used to run up and down. That squirrel disappeared, never to be seen again after the giant squirrel was placed under the tree. I started calling it the "scaresquirrel." I may be shopping for a giant squirrel!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 9:40AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Very Funny Bluepalm :o)

Terri, I'm not positive but the plastic might get too warm inside? You might want to use Paper bags instead...maybe like the old fashioned "lunch bags" we used back in the old days when we brought school lunches from home. At the very least maybe newspaper and use twist ties?

I saw this picture on the web...

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 11:11AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Terri one other thing, I agree with you that I think there should be a slight give in the fruit when its close to being ready. If its still hard as a rock then chances are its still pretty green. I've also been told that when you pick the fruit and there's little or No sap once you break the fruit from the long stalk that the chances of ripening is much better than when its green and has a lot of sap when you pick it. Although I've had a few pretty green mangoes ripen before...but the flavor is not as good as it could have been if left on the tree longer.

I love those videos on that link..lots of great info! I prefer to watch how its done instead of being told how to do it,lol...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 11:28AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Plastic zip lock bags do not stop squirrels up here. They just chew right through them. I use to bag apples to protect against pests, but towards late Aug when the apples were huge, the squirrels would just grab one right in the bag, take a few bites of apple and leave it lay on the ground. Squirrel makes good compost.

Someone mentioned tying balloons to the trunk of the tree. They get spooked when they pop them. Its a tactic I might employ. They steal my peaches too.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 11:32AM
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Wow, you all are fantastic. I'll change out the plastic for paper till I can get to the store. My shopping list: metal screening, balloons and one large scaresquirrel.
What great ideas!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 12:35PM
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Well, I used what I found in the house. White paper bags with some sparkly silver ribbon at the top. It was working wonderfully, so I didn't feel the need to change anything. My first mango fell on Saturday. It felt a little soft, so I was excited at the thought of my first Nam Doc Mai. Then Sunday came along and we got a freak storm. It has been extremely dry so I was glad for the rain, but then the winds, like hurricane force winds, and hail the size of golf balls started falling from the sky. A friend of mine took video because we have never seen hail that big in Fort Lauderdale (west). Well, after the storm I went out for yard inspection, lost branches of trees, some trees fell over, and I had 9 mangoes on the ground under my tree. I brought them all in, and my daughter-in-law from Equador was thrilled to see green mangoes. She sliced one up in a bowl and salted it and looked like she was in heaven. She said they sell them on the street like that in Equador. I gave her some to take home and I'm glad someone is enjoying them. I still have a few here, with fingers crossed, to hopefully ripen. I still had 6 left on the tree, but the critters got one yesterday. All my protection blew off in the storm too.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 10:59AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Terri... So Sorry to hear you had some wind/storm damage... Goodness the hail and wind that you got sounds awful! Luckily for us we only had rain out of that same storm you guys 1 1/2" of much needed rain but NO wind or hail thank goodness. Sorry to hear some of your mangoes dropped and your bags blew off. Please let us know how your fruit taste once it ripens. Glad your DIL got to enjoy the green mangoes at least and didn't go to waste...I occasionally enjoy green mangoes too, not as much as ripe ones though :o)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 2:41PM
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Well I finally tasted my first Nam Doc Mai 6 days ago. It was disappointing. The fruit had those brown streaks in it that I have seen some describe. They were near the skin so I was able to peel them off. The fruit flavor was a little weak and off. The second one was much better. Of the approximately 10 fruit I got from my tree, about 1/3 had the brown streaks and the rest did not. The fruit seems to be a little better when it's a little firmer, but then it's a little tart too. I love tart fruit so it doesn't bother me at all, but not all in my family feel the same. Oh well, I have high hopes for my Valencia Pride next year. I've been fertilizing for growth, but will change that now. It has grown like a weed in my yard. Seems to be much easier than the Nam Doc Mai. Guess time will tell.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 8:35AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks for the feedback and update...I'm kind of glad I didn't buy a NDM. I've read several posts about them splitting and other problems with them...since I can only have so many mango because of my winter problems, I'm glad I chose other varieties for me. I know many here are big fans of it. Good luck with your Valencia pride, I bet those you will like much better.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 3:35PM
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