Combinations of fertilizer rates, foliar N sprays, irrigation practices, and paclobutrazol were studied to determine how much they could alter and/or improve mango (Mangifera indica
L.) growth, flowering, and yield. Two treatment combinations derived from several years of prior studies of individual practices were compared: one combination was comprised of the best (BT) individual practices from the prior studies and included three applications of fertilizer, a 4% KNO3
spray application before flowering, paclobutrazol at 7.5 g/L, and weekly irrigation, and the other combination was comprised of the next best (NB) individual practices including two applications of the same amount of fertilizer, a 4% urea spray before flowering, paclobutrazol at 10.0 g/L, and biweekly irrigation. Both combinations significantly reduced terminal shoot growth and leaves per terminal shoot, advanced the date of flowering and harvest, increased panicle number, length and secondary branching, increased fruit set, fruit number at harvest, fruit size, and yield, with BT producing larger fruit and a greater yield than NB. Although both combinations produced fruit with higher quality than the control, the BT combination produced fruit with the higher total soluble solids, reducing, non-reducing, and total sugar content, and vitamin C content than the NB combination. Both BT and NB combinations of the optimums identified in the prior studies were successful at advancing bloom and harvest and increasing yield more than any of the optimum individual components alone, by 14-fold more than untreated trees for the BT combination, suggesting there were additive, if not synergistic, effects on mango. Further studies are warranted to assess the sustainability of these effects over longer periods of time, and to ascertain if the effects occur across mango cultivars and production environments.
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