Bagging prevents insect pests, especially fruit flies
, from finding and damaging the fruits. The bag provides physical protection from mechanical injuries (scars and scratches) and prevents female flies' laying activities, latex
burns, and fungal spots on the fruits. Although laborious, it is cheaper, safer, easier to do, and gives you a more reliable estimate of your projected harvest.
How to make a bag?
- Cut old newspapers measuring 15
x 22 cm or 12.5 x 27.5 cm for mango and for fruits of similar size.
- Double the layers, as single layer breaks apart easily.
- Fold and sew or staple the sides and bottom of the sheets to make a rectangular bag.
How to bag a fruit?
- Blow in the bag to inflate it.
- Remove some of the fruits, leaving 1 on each cluster.
- Insert one fruit per bag then close the bag using coconut midrib or firmly tie top end of bag with string or wire.
- Push the bottom of the bag upwards to prevent fruit from touching the bag.
- Use a ladder to reach as much fruits as possible. Secure the ladder firmly on the ground and for bigger and higher fruits trees, secure or tie the ladder firmly on big branches.
Bagging works well with melon, bitter gourd, mango, guava, star fruit, and
Start bagging bitter gourd when the fruit is 2-3 cm in length. Tie the bag with a string around the stalk. The bag is formed like a cylinder and must be longer than the anticipated size of the fruit when it matures.
Start bagging the mango fruit 55-60 days from flower bloom or when the fruits are about the size of a chicken egg.
When using plastic bags, open the bottom or cut a few small holes to allow moisture to dry up. Moisture trapped in the plastic bags damage and/or promotes fungal and bacterial growth that caused diseased-fruits. Plastic also overheats the fruit.
Bags made of dried plant leaves are good alternatives to plastic.
Remove the bags during harvest and disposed them properly.