Planting a Pawpaw Patch

It’s been a busy month with adding 33 rhubarb transplants, planting 17 varieties of garlic (about 3,000 cloves) and cleaning up the annual gardens for winter.

However, the most exciting development at the farm this fall has been putting together a pawpaw patch.  A friend discovered a neglected pawpaw patch near Barto and received permission to take fruit.  We tasted a few and the flavor was outstanding.

October is the tail end of pawpaw season, so many of the fruits were beyond their prime.  However, Purdue University Extensionsuggests that one plant the entire fruits, so we took 15 fruits and the seeds left over from the pawpaws we ate and planted 18 holes worth of pawpaw patch.

Right now, the pawpaw patch looks like this:

pawpawpatch%20Oct%202015[1].jpg

As the pawpaws won’t send up shoots until mid July to late August, each fruit has to be marked with a stake so we don’t mow anything down in the Spring.  We’ll weed the areas around the stakes by hand until the trees are large enough to be easily seen.  Pawpaws are an understory tree, but once mature, they bear more fruit in full sun.  We’ll put shade cloth over the shoots for their first two years above the ground.​​

If you’ve never heard of pawpaws, the Wikipedia entry is here​.  The ones we planted had yellow flesh and tasted like a banana with mango and apple overtones.
Kentucky State University has studied pawpaws more than anyone else; their information is here.
It will probably be about 5 years before our pawpaw patch produces saleable fruit, but we’re excited to add this native fruit to the farm.  ​​

 

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