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Pawpaws

    5 responses

Judy starts with ...
Can anyone help me? I can't seem to grow a decent pawpaw tree! I have one at the moment which is, miraculously, presenting me with three fruit, but I can see it's unwell. The leaves, over winter seemed perfectly normal, but they are very quickly becoming shorter and shorter. It has a trunk with a stunted bunch of yellowing leaves at the top. I see pawpaws everywhere in Brisbane, with big crops of fruit and they seem to be growing in totally neglected situations. This one is two years old and is less than 2 metres high with a spindly looking trunk.
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Judy1
Brisbane
24th September 2008 2:11pm
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Jeff says...
Hi Judy
It might be best for you to start again with some new stock, It's hard to know what the problem is without knowing your type of soil,have you been fertilizing,regular water etc? A nice friable soil , plenty of water and a decent amount of phos and potasium to induce flowering and fruit.
It could just be Judy that you pawpaw is past it's used by date.
If I were you I would vacate the space of the old one and throw in a dozen or so new plants so you can choose a couple of good female plants and a male to fertilize them for the coming season.
Jeff
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Cairns
24th September 2008 10:01pm
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Mark says...
Hi Judy,

We're in Brisbane too and Pawpaw's should grow well here.

As Jeff says it's hard to know what the problem is. I'm just a beginner myself but I can tell you what we do if it helps.

Pawpaws seem to be remarkably drought tolerant. I've had mine in the ground now for three or four years from seeds I placed in the garden. (Easy to grow from seed by the way.) Since I had so many I reglected them in favour of trees I'd bought and planted.

As a result they have been slow to grow but this season we've been eating a number of our first crop.

Where we are in Brisbane there is alot of clay soil. This means that the it takes a long time for any water to drain away. I suspect that I have actually I have killed more trees by watering them than I have saved. Perhaps you're in a similar boat?

Like most fruit trees the keys when planting seem to be good drainage and sun. If you don't have a bank or slope with naturally good drainage perhaps try making a mound with rocks or bricks around and building up with compost. (Don't put fertiliser directly in with the compost it will burn the roots, fertiliser only on the surface a little away from the trunk).

An expert gardener (not me) would know exactly how much water to give an when. In absence of such knowledge I reckon you're better off underwatering than overwatering. If you overwater you can get root rot and kiss goodbye to your tree. In you underwater your tree may be slower to get established but if it starts to stuggle you can still rescue it by giving it more water.

Oh yes and MULCH MULCH MULCH. I use sugar cane and lucerne bails. Keep it a little away from the trunk though, apparently can lead to fungal diseases. Don't forget some fertiliser too.

Once they are established they really don't need much attention. Don't forget to cut it back on a slight angle at about 1.5 metres after it's fruited. Put a tin can or tie a few layers of alfoil over the trunk to stop water getting it and rotting it from the inside out. This should encourage multiple trunks branching off the main trunk thus increasing your yield. Another bonus is that you should be able to reach the fruit next season, win-win. Down the track, maybe six months after, you should be able to remove the tin or alfoil, in theory anyway.

Hope that helps or at least gives you some ideas.

Cheers
Mark
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Brisbane
26th September 2008 11:21am
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Judy says...
Thanks very much for your reply, Jeff. Nice friable soil - no I can't say that! We have a lot of clay here in Brisbane, around my place, anyway! I know they hate clay so I took care to prepare the spot well - or so I thought. I'll take you advice and when the three little offerings I have now are ripe, I'll dispose of the tree and start again. Have you ever heard of anyone growing them in a big pot?
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Judy1
Brisbane
1st October 2008 9:05am
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Judy says...
Hi Mark, The spot where I have this tree is on a slope and gets lots of sun. I'm really thinking that there is just too much clay in that area and I've been poking around my garden looking for a better spot. I think I might have found one where I've been throwing lots of garden rubbish and the resulting compost seems to go down to quite a depth. It's also on a slope and sunny. I might try here and water less, as you suggest. Thanks for your advice re fertilising and pruning. I take it all on board and will start anew! Have you heard of anyone growing a pawpaw in a very large pot? I might experiment with that, too. I have a really big black plastic pot under my house somewhere!
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Judy1
Brisbane
1st October 2008 9:17am
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Andy says...
Hi everyone,

My PawPaw tree that I bought from daleysfruit is now about to die. As usual can not pass through winter. This is the 3rd PawPaw tree that I can not get it to fruit and pass through winter. Now I decide to grow it in my pergola where no frost can get to it and plenty of sunshine. I was hoping to grow from seed, but how can I tell which seed is male and which seed is female or bisexual?
I notice there are dark and light seeds so which is which. Can anyone help me out.

Many thank in advance :)

Andy
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Andy3
adelaide
1st October 2008 4:25pm
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