Grow Your Own: Pawpaw

For a minimal outlay pawpaw are very productive and yield quickly.
For a minimal outlay pawpaw are very productive and yield quickly.

Why don’t more of us grow our own pawpaw?  

We had a wonderful crop of red pawpaw here this year. 

We find that they are producing good quality and quantity within two years of planting. 

That really makes you feel good about growing your own fruit and vegetables when you can get results that quickly. 

Pawpaws have a productive lifespan of around six or seven years. 

We plant them between much longer life span trees that will eventually crowd them out knowing that suits the shorter life span of the Pawpaw. 

We fertilise our Pawpaws twice a year with our compost plus some gypsum. 

During the cooler months we add a teaspoon of Epsom salts around the base of each tree.  They like their magnesium.

Pawpaws are a little unusual with their flowering and fruiting biology. 

With that in mind I prefer not to grow them from seeds as we want the majority of those planted to produce fruit. They are not expensive to buy from your local nursery or plant outlet. This ensures you are planting and harvesting the desired outcome.

They like their water but don’t handle wet feet, so select an area with good drainage. 

With lots of wildlife and  particularly possums we pick the fruit as soon as they get some yellow. They ripen well inside the home. 

We struggled initially to get the results we now do. 

Our biggest issue has always been Blackspot. Blackspot is a fungal disease. 

Small black spots appear on the leaves and fruit and is at its worst in the coolest months, particularly after rainy weather. 

As long as it is kept in check it will not be a major problem. 

Once a month between April and October we remove the infected leaves (don’t compost them) and we spray the leaves (nine litre mix) with water after adding two tablespoons of Wettable Sulphur. 

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