i've been growing pawpaws for about 20 years here in west pa (north of Pittsburgh)
pawpaws remind people like a lot of things banana, mango , mellon, pear, pineapple, but really taste unique.
each tree (unless grafted) tastes different. the mix of flavors may be more mango (some varieties even use the name) while others favor banana or some other flavor. but they all taste like pawpaw.
Pawpaw are members of the custard apple family. the texture of a pawpaw is custard or pudding like. I tell people "it's banana pudding on a tree" and when they're really ripe, that's a good description.
they ripen like a banana and people may or may not like them depending on degree of ripeness. imagine trying to sell bananas to someone who has never had one and all you had were overripe black bananas.
some people are also turned off by the "pudding like texture" and richness. (who can each a bowl of banana pudding pie filling?)
making things like ice cream, smoothies,pies ,etc allow you to dilute them but still enjoy the flavor.
freezing is the favored way of preserving them,as the pulp freezes well with little loss of flavor. I froze a number of them whole last fall and were giving tastes of them and free seeds to plant at the local Earth Day this past weekend. (about 300 people found about the word "hugelkultur" for the first time also)
I give talks at local fairs promoting pawpaws as the perfect backyard fruit tree, no spraying, little pruning, not bothered by pests, small managable tree for backyards
Perfect, that’s exactly what I needed! Ive heard that the grafted ones are not as good as the native ones; I really don’t know if that’s true since it seems they are more expensive. Ive also seen a lot of nurseries say that it needs help with pollination, have you found that to be true? I can’t imagine that a native species to our area would need any help with pollination but I could be wrong. Do you have any suggestions for sources in our area so we can try them out with spending $18 on a full size tree? Thanks for your input.
I had one that did manage to grow a top on it from 3 that I got as plants 2 years before..I'll leave it where it is..
I had a gob of seeds and ripe paw paws that I planted here and there in the garden ..they say they take about 2 years to sprout from seed, but so far I haven't seen any growth from where I put those in..but they still might form we'll see.
the person that sent me the seeds and ripe paw paws sent some that were ready to eat and I tried them and I liked them..which gave me more and more desire to get some growing here.
I'll keep working at it
Some (cut/paste) highlights:
We have found that some major points to remember about propagating pawpaws by seed are:
1) Never let the seed dry out; this greatly reduces the germination rate.
Keep pawpaw seed in ziplock bags containing moist peat moss, and then store in a refrigerator until you are ready to
2) Pawpaw seed has a chilling requirement that must be satisfied for optimal germination rates.
You should store seed for at least 100 days in a refrigerator (in moist peat moss) for optimal germination.
3) Do not let pawpaw seed freeze, it will kill the seed.
4) Start seeds in tall pots (12”), as the seedlings have strong taproots.
Since the roots of field dug pawpaw seedlings are easily damaged, we usually recommend starting pawpaws in pots,
or buying them from nurseries in pots, and then transplanting them.
5) If you are growing seedlings outside, keep the plants in moderate shade their first year (we use 55% shade cloth)
for maximum growth of the plant. Seedlings will grow well in whitewashed or even unshaded greenhouses.
Also, a link to their "Pawpaw Planting Guide":
Perhaps a guild using plants that attract these flies would be advantageous, but I'm not sure what, or if there any flowers that do.
if you have just a few small trees, hand pollination is an option.
a bucket of manure or food scraps set underneath the trees will bring flies in.
for those in an urban settings, this might not be the popular, but explain to the neighbors that it's only for a few weeks while the trees are in blossom. and give them some fruit in the fall
if you live where there are flies, such as farm, pollination usually isn't a problem.
I don't "do" anything to increase pollination and most of the blossoms do not get pollinated. but i still get a lot of fruit.
if all were pollinated, the fruit would be smaller (with the same number of large seeds) i prefer fewer larger fruits as this make processing and handling easier
if one were really in the production mode:
the "gold standard" is hanging roadkill in the limbs.
yes, two seedlings , even if the seeds are from the same tree, are able to pollinate each other. two grafted trees, if the grafts are the same variety (clones) will not. so a seedling or different grafted clone is needed. so 2 seedlings or 1 seedling + one grafted variety.
or better yet 10 seedlings!!
btw, what nursery is that?
Village Farm Garden Center
I am located in the banana belt of Michigan, ie the southern edge.
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