SEBASTIAN Scata is known by friends and neighbours as ‘The Mango Meister’ for his fruitful endeavours.
He has mastered the art of growing mangos from seeds in pots in his former backyards of Willetton and Kardinya, and current suburb, Banjup.
Since first tasting the juicy stone fruit in India at 17, Scata has been fascinated by its texture, flavour and tang.
“Not something that was available in Australia back then in 1982, at least not that I can recall; it would be many years before I discovered that taste again,” the homegrown gardener said.
“I love everything about them, especially the shape, aroma and versatility.
“They can be used in all sorts of cooking; best of all I love them juiced.”
Scata’s green thumb emerged 15 years ago when he made a bet with a family member that a seeded mango tree was just as good, if not better, at producing fruit than a grafted tree.
He says it took him seven years to prove that theory and he has since proved it many times.
Scata grows mangos in pots so he can move them to follow the sun and currently has 20 fruiting trees.
“Rule of thumb: it takes about seven years to get fruit with the right conditions and a bit of hard work, which can be rewarding and enjoyable,” he said.
“I must have the best of both worlds, as I have been able to produce fruit at the four-year mark.”
Scata’s top tips for growing mangos from seeds in pots
1. An 80 percent rate is achievable with germination.A good seed will be derived from a good mango – pick high-quality fruit
2. Nothing happens until the temperature hits 28 degrees. Seeds take 7-10 days to germinate and are polyembryonic (two or more embryos developing from a single fertilized egg). One seed can give you up to nine trees
3. Place pot on a paved or bitumen surface, as radiating heat assists with germination
4. Re-pot trees annually at end of each season to maximise growth; just go up one or two pot sizes (starting with a 250ml pot)
5. When tree is about one metre tall, cut the tip (about one cm) so the tree starts to branch out
6. Soil: a basic potting mix has always done me well, just add some sheep manure on top
Duck and Mango Noodle Salad
2 duck breasts, trimmed
200g rice noodles
½ red capsicum, cut into strips
2 green onions, sliced
¼ cup coriander leaves
¼ cup mint leaves
2 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1 mango, thinly sliced
lime wedges, to serve
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over low heat. Add the duck breasts, increasing the heat as the duck cooks. Cook until duck skin is golden brown and middle is still slightly pink. Remove from pan
- Soak the noodles in a bowl of boiling water until soft then drain and run under cold water
- Transfer the noodles to a bowl and toss with capsicum, green onions and herbs
- Combine the fish sauce, lime juice, oil and sweet chilli. Toss with the noodle mixture and fold through sliced mango
- Slice duck breasts and serve with mango noodle salad. Serve with lime wedges
Tip: It’s best to cook duck breasts starting them in a cool pan.