I bought Pawpaw seeds from a stranger on FB. It was a permaculture group, so I had high hopes, I ordered them in late November. I am impatient for seeds. I waited a whole two weeks before harassing the seller, who I did not notice was in Canada about "where are my seeds!" Anyway, they did arrive! He also included planting instructions.
He wrote that the seeds must never dry out. The seller shipped them to me in damp potting soil. Yay! The seeds are supposed to be cold stratified, so I put them in the refrigerator for the winter. I did not want to risk losing them to a freeze, in a pot outside. You know, because nature does not know what it is doing. Pawpaws take about three months to break the soil's surface.
He sprouts his seeds in a shallow tray, keeping them between 75* to 85*F. I don't have the space inside to do this. In April, once the outside temps weren't getting below 50* F at night, I put them in a shallow tray for sprouting. I poked holes in the foil pan for drainage, and put the tray's plastic cover underneath, for bottom watering. When it rained, I would remove the tray to prevent drowning. This tray was watered after this pic. Then I waited. And waited. His seeds usually sprout in July or August.
Do you see what I see? Well, maybe not. In amongst all those damned weedy seedlings are two sprouts, One center front, leaves barely unfolded. One with his head still underground. On July 11 they were right on time!
I waited another week and potted them up. Look! another one! I received 12 seeds, so I went ahead and moved them all over to the tall "tree Pots". I have a bunch of thick plastic, ummm... film? sheets? So I cut them up to make tall pots. Micheal suggests 12+inches. For safety, I made mine taller. I placed a sheet in the bottom of a crate to keep the soil from falling out of the bottom. The water is able to drain easily in this setup. I rolled my cut sheets into tubes, arranged the 12 the pots, and filled them up, using a mixture of my clay and potting soil. I transplanted the trees and remaining seeds. I guess they needed some firmer tamping, they have shrunk down some.
Dan Boone has a threadhere, that suggests only a 50% loss of Pawpaw seedling loss in full sun. However, 50% loss of what I have leaves me with no pollinator. I have kept them in the shade. There is maybe an hour or so of very light dappled sun, the rest is full shade. I intend to keep these in their pots, in shade hoping for more tres to sprout. Once the trees are dormant, late fall of 2021, I will plant them out in their forever home.
Remember that random Facebook guy I purchased my seed from? He is Aaron Elyk of Foraged Farm Fresh, who is credited for two pictures in For the Love of Pawpaws. Pages 86 104 are his photo credits. It's a small world after all. He is expecting to offer more seed this fall.