With so much re-planting going on, as in my last post, I’ve decided to see if I can create a micro-climate cool zone, induce germination and (hopefully) the growth of a plant which grows in zone 8 or cooler. I’m in zone 9b/10.
In June, I received a present from a sweet Facebook friend in West Virginia (Zone 5b-6a) ~ yes, she sent me some fresh Pawpaw seeds! (BTW, Pawpaw in the US is Asimina triloba and not Papaya as what Pawpaw is, in Australia). Now that got me thinking … so I decided to stratify them, put them in the fridge, give them a period of cold (40o F/4o C) for 4-5 months, try to “make them comfortable” in hope of breaking their dormancy.
Florida has just experienced her first cold front this week, it means winter is forthcoming and cool weather, ideal for Pawpaw seed germination, calls for some action, right? I had already done some information gathering and know that Pawpaw seedlings will develop long tap roots so I decided I’d do some recycling instead of buying expensive tree seedling cell-pots.
My style of deep cell-pot begins with the cutting of a bottle-cap to allow water drainage but not soil/potting mix loss.
Then cutting the base off a small water bottle; screw the cap back on and fill the bottle with seeding/potting mix.
Place Pawpaw seed 1″ into the soil mix and top up if necessary.
OK, I’m a recycling enthusiast, and if you are wondering how I’m getting these inverted bottles cum cell-pots to stay upright, I’ve put them on this contraption made from a thrift-store purchase, which todate I still do not know what it was originally meant for, and it just happens to have the right size wire square.
From the Kentucky State University’s Pawpaw Planting Guide, it says “The seed will normally germinate in 2-3 weeks, and the shoot will emerge in about 2 months. Germination is hypogeal: the shoot emerges without any cotyledons.” So, I intend for it to continue its stratification, but now outdoors over chilly (but not freezing) Florida winter. Will it emerge as in zones 5-8? Can I persuade/trick the seeds to at least germinate?
My 1st batch of Pawpaw (experiment) seeds are now in the north side of the garden, under shade, awaiting the next cool front. I have 7 more seeds to try and see if I can persuade them to germinate, to at least show me what a Pawpaw plant looks like.
Readers/fellow bloggers, if you have grown &/or tasted Pawpaw before, can you let me have your opinion on the fruit &/or the plant growth, please?