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Author Topic: Pawpaw inquiry  (Read 412 times)

zephian

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Pawpaw inquiry
« on: October 17, 2018, 03:46:37 PM »
Hello! I've seen a lot of talk in this forum about Pawpaws and I've been interested in them for several months now.
I have a couple questions about them though,

1) Will they grow well in my area? I am in zone 9b. Locally we grow alot of stone fruits in my area so chill hours should be ok?
2) What are some good varieties to grow? I've seen discussion about some tasting like mangos, others like banana, etc. I personally prefer banana, but the wife loves mangos.
3) Can they be maintained in a pot?
4) Sourcing: would anyone have seeds come late winter/early spring to try? I'm at my limit for what I can germinate and keep warm for the winter here.

Thanks!
-Kris

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 01:36:55 PM »
Glad to hear of your interest in pawpaw!
It’s a really cool fruit and a pretty tree.

1) they need hot summers and moderate winters. Not sure about your area but clearly they’re not native. Though at least one guy is growing in Utah or Arizona- I cant remember.  Documentation suggests minimum 400 chill hours (below 40F). There is a Purdue PDF out there that talks about heat requirements -I won’t repeat here.
2) Peterson Pawpaws varieties are often considered the best. KSU cultivars are good. Brand new KSU Chappell is best I’ve tasted. Overleese, Sunflower, NC-1 are older but tried and true varieties. There are lots of others but not widely available. There’s even one called Mango but I’ve never tasted.
As far as flavor - I get a little tired of the banana +mango comparison because in my opinion pawpaws don’t taste like either. I think the mango/banana is coming from the fact that it’s a “tropical” flavor and that really it is very unique if not totally singular in the fruit world. There is no acidity or tartness, which is partly why “mango” doesn’t ring true for me. The other awesome thing is that after several days off the tree, the flavor changes to caramel/butterscotch. To me this is when they’re best. Almost like a flan or caramel custard. A great pawpaw will have the wonderful texture of a perfect fiberless mango. Some varieties are softer, however (e.g. Rebecca’s Gold).
3) pawpaw is definitely not a tree you’d associate with container culture but I think a savvy gardener could maybe pull it off. I don’t think you’ll find much literature about how to grow them in pots though. Some nurseries sell 15 and 30 gallon pawpaws so I guess it’s possible.
4) I may have some seeds in spring so PM me then and we can see.

Cheers!

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 01:59:32 PM »
More on flavor - (my favorite topic)
Sometimes you may get a ripe melon taste in a pawpaw. KSU Chappell that I’ve tasted had a distinct pineapple aspect, perfectly balanced with the aforementioned caramel flavor. Some folks have reported coconut flavors though I have not encountered this yet. Some have even compared to durian, and I have definitely encountered this, in a KSU trial variety.
This brings me to the point that flavor is highly variable. From year to year and even from cluster to cluster on the same tree. Ripeness when picked of course makes a difference too.

But in general the flavor (at least prior to the caramel phase) is just “pawpaw”
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 02:04:16 PM by Triloba Tracker »

zephian

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 03:57:08 PM »
Awesome. I think I will try a couple and see how they do. Chilling hours are readily available for <45 in my area but I don't see anywhere listing sub 40.
My area gets anywhere from 400 at the lowest to 800-1000 chill hours average a year and summers can hit 115.

Thanks for the input, I may reach out to you again in spring. I have several species planned already and this one may get cut to make room for cherimoya or something else.
-Kris

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 05:24:26 PM »
If I had to pick between pawpaw and cherimoya, i would grow cherimoya (or atemoya or sugar apple).
Pawpaw is cool but for me not up to the tropical annonas.

Though the more I eat, the more I like pawpaw...

zephian

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 05:44:46 PM »
I have Atemoya, and sugar apples already in the works. Cherimoya next year. I think I would want to grow PawPaw 'just because' It would be a nice comparison if I got them all fruiting.
There are definitely some die hard pawpaw fanatics out there but I've had multiple people now tell me Cherimoya > rest.

If I had room I would grow anything and everything I could get my hands on... :)
-Kris

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 07:37:00 PM »
Roger that.
I'm definitely obsessed with pawpaws, possibly to an unhealthy level, but it's not solely because the fruit tastes good. It's a more complex relationship  ;D
One of the main attractions, though, is the fact that it's a "tropical" fruit that grows in a wide range of temperate conditions.

But in my opinion the taste/fruit quality is not as good as its cousins.
I've eaten all the major Annona fruits except Annona reticulata (custard apple), and this is how I would rank everything:
Cherimoya
Atemoya
Pawpaw
Sugar Apple
Guanabana
Rollinia/Biriba

Pawpaw could possibly be #2. So maybe i have slightly contradicted my previous statement but still cherimoya is on top.

shaneatwell

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 09:25:46 PM »
I believe Roger Meyer had multiple old fruiting pawpaw's at his place in valley center. Place probably sold since he passed a couple years ago.
Shane

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2018, 10:04:01 AM »
I thought I'd come across a California Rare Fruit Growers publication on Pawpaw, and sure enough here it is:
https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/pawpaw.html

It's mostly rehashing of pawpaw basics, but it does touch briefly on growing in CA and also in pots.

ThangBom321

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2018, 12:07:05 AM »
Can I get in line for possible Paw Paw seeds? I keep my eyes open when I walk with my wife (they are suppose to grow wild in TX) but never came across one. Perhaps it's because I don't know what I'm looking for. PM me your pay pal.

Thanks

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2018, 01:56:59 PM »
Can I get in line for possible Paw Paw seeds? I keep my eyes open when I walk with my wife (they are suppose to grow wild in TX) but never came across one. Perhaps it's because I don't know what I'm looking for. PM me your pay pal.

Thanks

Yo! Yeah, when I read this i was thinking Pawpaw doesn't grow in TX, but i took to the interwebs to confirm/deny.
The USDA map shows Texas as in range, but it seems to only show whole-states, not a precise map. So like, if one county in Texas has pawpaws, the whole state is colored-in on their map.
Most other more precise maps only show a very small portion of eastern TX as in-range.
My guess is you do not have them in your area, sadly.  :'(

It may be hard to grow them in Zone 9....they need winter chill. However, it would be silly not to TRY it.

I don't know that I will have any seeds to spare - check back with me in the spring and we'll see. but it's not looking promising this year :(

If you can't wait, rareseeds.com sells them, or at least they used to.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2018, 09:40:12 PM »
They will grow in zone 9. However, in Texas, I'd give them a little bit of shade, as long as they're young.
The summers in Texas can be really hot and dry, depending on where you are, which can put a strain on pawpaws.

ThangBom321

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2018, 10:12:03 PM »
Texas is huge and have many temp zones. That means that map is poop.

I'm in no rush. I can wait till next year or even later. I was hoping that I can just plant them in ground and not have to lug them in when it gets cold. I'm willing to plant them in a pot like all my other plants. How big do these trees grow? I hope not too big because lugging it would be easier on my back.

I have plenty of shade on one side of my house. This may be a good spot for this plant if it grows.



Triloba Tracker

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2018, 12:10:19 PM »
You can plant directly in ground for sure but you will need to shade them until they reach about 18 inches (KSU recommendation) it longer.
They can get 20ft or more depending on conditions but that would take a while I think. Of course you can top them and keep em small like orchard growers do.

They will grow in deep shade but will be less productive of course and more leggy.

directrepeat

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Re: Pawpaw inquiry
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2018, 02:27:03 PM »
I'm in Austin and have had decent luck getting pawpaws to grow from seed. They do not like the alkaline soil here in Travis County though. I have to use soil acidifier on the seedlings because the tap water is so alkaline--they'd definitely prefer rain water. I have planted young trees out in Bastrop county (sandy, acidic soil) and they seem to do well in the ground. As others have remarked, these trees need a lot of shade their first few years in this climate. I would recommend dark shade cloth. I had many plants bleach and die the first year as soon as it hit 100 degrees when they were in too much sun--the ones behind shade cloth were fine.

I just ordered different seed from pawpaw growers and random folks on eBay--there is a lot of genetic diversity and some pretty big differences in how they react to this climate. I had some plants lose their leaves for fall the first week of September and others that still have their leaves this morning after a short 29 degree chill overnight.

Chris

 

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