Category Archives: Papaya

Growing (Edible) Greens on No One’s Land

During a casual stroll around a friend’s neighbourhood in Penang, Malaysia, from a distance I spotted someone kneeling amongst weeds, in absolute concentration of sort. Plain curiosity got the better of me so I walked up and said hello. Then I realised the green growth were not invasive weeds but actually edible plants which I grow in my backyard!

The kind lady told me “No land is wasted here. All neighbours seed sow or plant cuttings where empty land is ignored by government and we all simply pick what is available and just what we need for a meal-dish”.  Then she insisted that I take a bag of young sweet potato leaves so that my friend can taste what is freely available and join in the anonymous food growing group in the area.

Should I also start planting edibles in/on vacant lots in my neighbourhood? Food for thought ~ pun intended. 😀

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My 1st Fall Papaya

I returned from the Tropics to be greeted by a backyard, kind of ‘suffering’ from dehydration, but with a bit of tender persuasion has recovered to reward me with tropical fruits in the Fall.

1st Fall Papaya

1st Fall Papaya

It exceeds 5lbs but unfortunately this is the only kitchen scale I have.  :(

It exceeds 5lbs but unfortunately this is the only kitchen scale I have. 😦

Thick pulp & very sweet! Tastes even better when chilled.

Thick pulp & very sweet! Tastes even better when chilled.

More are a-coming … so I guess the trees do listen when I talk to them. 😀

Happy Papayas!!

The hot summer is over ~ thank goodness!
Finally, the Papaya trees are showing their joy … and I mean real joy.  So far, there are 6 trees bearing fruit (at different stages) and 5 with blooms.

Tree no. 1, right by my backdoor.

Tree no. 1, right by my backdoor.

Tree no. 2, a little further away.

Tree no. 2, a little further away.

Yes, I’ve run out of hosiery for my poor fruits & definitely need more.  😦

A female tree bearing her 1st round of fruits.

A female tree bearing her 1st round of fruits.

"Baby" Tree only about 4ft tall ~ definitely needs extra care for winter.

“Baby” Tree only about 4ft tall ~ definitely needs extra care for winter.

To give an idea of their average size, I took a photo with my hand sort of holding the base of the fruit.

They average 5-6lbs per fruit.

They average 5-6lbs per fruit.

And now come the questions ~ Does anyone know where I can get really cheap knee length hosiery? Internet? Walmart?  Or is there a better way of protecting papaya from fruitflies & wasps, yet allowing each fruit to get to its maximum size? (I estimate needing about 30 pairs of nylon stockings, heck! I don’t buy that many even for myself!)  All advice will be really appreciated.

My Fruit in Armor ~ Papaya in Disguise

The Food Wasters have struck again!!  If someone knows of a scarecrow for squirrels, do please let me know.  We removed their banana supply and what do they do? Attack a ripening papaya of course. 😡

The victim

The victim

I couldn’t find any old used ones (for fruits i.e.) but because of its urgency, yes, I’ve actually sacrificed a pair of new knee-length hosiery to protect  my precious big papayas.

Papaya in Stocking!

Papaya in Disguise!??

Yeah, those darn squirrels … I’m going to Sock-It-to-‘Em!

Oh yes, we had to kill Ms Papaya

We had to “bite the bullet” and do the heartbreaking deed.  Yes, we killed our treasured papaya tree. We had to, as it was a volunteer growing in the wrong place; but over time gave us so many mega-sized sweet fruits.  We’ve had her (yes, female) for 3 years and she happily grew right next to our concrete wall, staying warm during winter.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER  😦

So now, begins the process of hopefully getting this tree to re-grow from cuttings, which to-date, I have  known only 50:50 success.
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Papaya Propagation ~ My experiment

Strange things happen when you least expect.  A coppiced branch was chewed on by bugs or birds and fell to the ground.

Branch insert

Branch insert

I picked it up, laced it with crushed bonemeal and put it back into the soil. That was 10 days ago and since the leaves looked very much alive, yesterday, out of curiosity, I decided to do a check.

papayaclone

Root growth in 9 days.

Surprise! Roots are sprouting.

I guess there is no harm trying to re-grow a few more coppiced stalks of the particular bi-sexual tree that I like, right?

So … I used a very sharp knife to clean-cut 2 coppiced stalks from the tree that has given me HUGE, sweet fruits, cut off most of their leaves, coated their stumps with bonemeal and potted them.

clone2-horz

And now to keep my fingers crossed and observe.

Papaya tree which I would to clone.

Papaya tree which I want to clone.

Special Update for tfg:  I took a pic to let you see the actual size of the tree which is about 11ft tall.  The fruits are HUGE and very sweet with thick juicy pulp… and it’s bi-sexual.

Papayas and their “protective gear”

The Papayas are now speeding up their growth as warm weather approaches.  I usually use  Knee-length hoisery to protect them against fruit-flies but Walmart has run out them for awhile now, so I’ve had to make my own out of frost blankets.

Protected Papayas

Protected Papayas

BUT yesterday, I discovered … oops! wrong size

Undersized "protective gear"

Undersized “protective gear” which had to be cut a little, to remove

Lesson learned:  Treat Papayas like growing kids ~ safer to sew their “wear” 2 sizes bigger, when slipping them on after confirmed pollination, just in case.

Early pre-Spring harvest

Early pre-Spring harvest

The next time I see knee length hoisery on sale, I’m going to buy them by the dozens!!  Nothing like the good old knit to fit.

Papaya in stockings, knit to fit.

Papaya in stockings, knit to fit, any shape, any size.

Papaya – before the cold front …

Weather forecast:  The coming Wed & Thur will bring temperatures to 37~38°F.
Not good at all as the margin of error is usually 4-5°F, which means there is a possibility of frost  *sigh* And those poor plants that thought spring has sprung in this very mild winter will “suffer”.

No delay – The tropical papaya has to be harvested!

papaya

Malaysian Papaya

and added to breakfast cereal.

Breakfast

Breakfast

My frost blankets must be taken out today, in preparation for the chill … & hope the tropical fruiting plants keep their fruits intact and growing.  😦