Friday, October 10, 2014

A Thankful Friday and Paw Paw Update

Thank you, readers, for making the daily posts I write an enjoyable experience.  I appreciate each and every one of you when you stop by, and when you comment. Reading each comment is like opening up a little gift.

So, before I launch into a little story on how one of my readers helped me with a problem, I want to ask you all a favor:

What would you like me to write about in the coming weeks?  I like to write about what appeals to me each day.  But, what do YOU want to see? Gardening? More pictures?  How-To's?  Recipes? (I don't cook, but my spouse loves to cook.) More photos of upstate New York?

I will take your suggestions and see what I can do with them.

And now, a shout out to reader Howard Giles.  On Tuesday, I blogged about three paw paw plants we had germinated this spring.  My spouse and I had saved seeds from a paw paw purchased last fall from a locavore store, stratified them, and planted them this spring in pots.

The paw paw grows wild in portions in the United States and I remembered them from living years ago in rural Arkansas.  Their fruit tastes like a cross between a mango and a banana, and, indeed, they are a temperate zone cousin of various tropical fruits.

It was a nice project, but now frost was coming, and I needed to know how to keep the seedlings alive.  I don't have the room to grow them on my property.

Howard Giles to the rescue - he commented and suggested I contact an extension service if we had one.

Cornell Extension is a wonderful resource - one I don't use enough.  (And, dear readers, if you have an extension service in your area - I'm confident yours is just as wonderful.) I kicked myself.


Then, I did what he suggested - I contacted our local Cornell extension service.  And within a few hours, I had my answer from one Linda Swoboda.   I want to pass her advice along:

"I would suggest that you transfer these small trees into a larger pot, 2 or 3 times as big as they are in now, with good soil and sink the pots into the ground in a shaded area outside.  Full sun, even winter sun is hard a young pawpaw trees.  Water them in well. The roots will continue to develop and grow all winter.  The leaves will drop soon, so don't worry too much about what is eating them.  It could be a slug - check under the pots to see if they are hiding there in the daylight hours. [I didn't find any.] In the spring the trees can be transplanted to their permanent location.  However, I have read that in order to get fruit in the future, 2 unrelated pawpaw trees need to cross pollinate.  So these seedling siblings will not be fertile - you will need another tree of a different source."
She even sent me a couple of links, which I read.  Thank you, Linda!

I'm disappointed that these three plants, if they survive, won't be able to cross pollinate.  So, no paw paws are in our future.  But we are going to do what she suggests.

And then, next spring, I need to find a forever home for these trees, because, according to my reading, they need to be planted in their forever home next spring.

So that is the story of my paw paws.  Next spring, I'll see if they made it.

And again, thank you to my readers for making this possible.  And now, I look forward to your suggestions. 

11 comments:

  1. I love Thankful Fridays :) I'd love to see more of your beautiful photos and recipes! This is such a fun blog and great read. I'm sorry that the paw paws wont be cross polinating but let us know if they survive!! Happy Friday to you

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    1. Thank you, Ashley. Perhaps I will feature an apple crisp recipe tomorrow. And, I promise, more photos. Thank you for commenting.

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  2. I always enjoy reading your posts. I would love to see some recipes as I'm always looking for new ones for my family :)

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    1. Thank you - I will feature some recipes in the near future. Working on one for tomorrow. I appreciate your comment.

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  3. I would love to see photos of upstate New York in Autumn! Excellent idea from your reader. I went to look online for Cornell Extension and find they are a wonderful resource for homeschoolers. They have lesson plans for children from natural plant dyes to The Three Sisters Exploring an Iroquois Garden, and everything inbetween. http://blogs.cornell.edu/garden/lessons-alphabetically/

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    1. Photos you shall have - I have plenty. And, I am working on an apple post for tomorrow. Thank you for commenting.

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  4. Good luck with your paw paw plants! In my experience, extension service has been a wonderful resource for many things. I look forward to more of your posts.

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  5. I enjoyed reading your post :)
    Good luck with the paw paw plants ;)

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    1. Thank you - I will provide an update, perhaps next spring.

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  6. Ah... just discovered from Wikipedia that Paw paw is waht we call in India the papaya plant. We had one at home but it withered away. I am trying to get hold of seeds as they grow quite easily over here. Interesting posts. I think i am getting hooked up to your gardening notes.

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