Unsung Paw Paw is a delicious, low-maintenance fruit tree native to North America.

Why not plant something unusual, easy to grow, exotic and delicious? Meet the pawpaw tree, Ashimina triloba.

Also known as the Hoosier Banana, Poor Man’s Banana or False Banana, this unfortunately underutilized fruit tree has 12 by 5 inch drooping dark green leaves that sway in the breeze and transport you to the tropics. I will give it to you.

But it’s not tropical at all.pawpaw is north American native.

Found growing wild from the south Ontario Michigan east to west New York and south to Texas florida, pawpaws are hardy in horticultural zones 4-8 or 5-9 depending on the variety. The small pyramidal trees are about 25 feet tall, love moisture and are very cold tolerant.

In spring, the branches are covered with maroon flowers with a strange scent reminiscent of fermented grapes, followed by clusters of heavy 3- to 5-inch-long mango-like fruits. In autumn, the bright yellow and golden foliage of the trees brightens the landscape. And deer tend to avoid them.

Pawpaws are as low maintenance as fruit trees. Choose a sunny location with some wind protection, and plant in well-drained, slightly acidic soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 5.7.

water Fertilize regularly for the first 1-2 years until the seedlings are established, fertilizing 20-20-20 once a month only in April, May and June. As for cleaning, all you have to do is remove the suckers growing at the base of the tree. Pawpaws are not invasive, but will grow into bushes if left alone.

In most cases, two different pawpaw varieties must be grown to ensure cross-pollination and fruit set. Look for grafted and named varieties such as Davis, Mary Foods Johnson, Overleys, Sweet Arica and Taylor that will bear fruit in a few years instead of 6-10 years from seed. . to produce. Sunflowers are a rare self-fertile variety that will bear fruit when planted alone, but will be more reliable when combined with a mate.

Avoid buying curled burlap trees that are grown in the fields and dug up for sale. This practice risks damaging the pawpaw’s long taproot and affecting its ability to effectively absorb water.

Harvest in late summer when the berries are soft to the touch and easy to peel. You can remove them shortly before they are fully ready, but pawpaws picked too early will not ripen properly from the tree.

Some swear that pawpaws taste like bananas. Others claim their taste is similar to papaya. Either way, the nutritious creamy fruit, rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, can be eaten raw or used in any recipe that calls for bananas, including puddings, smoothies, muffins, cakes, breads, and more. can. Throw away the thick skin and seeds of the fruit, as they contain toxins.

If you’re curious about the taste of pawpaws but aren’t ready to grow them, you’re probably out of luck. Perishable fruits can only be stored for a few days, so shipping is not practical and you will not find them in your local supermarket.

The only way to experience them is to grow them yourself.


Jessica Damiano writes the award-winning Weekly Dirt Newsletter and regular gardening column. APs. Sign up here to get gardening tips and advice delivered to your inbox every week.


For more AP gardening articles, please visit https://apnews.com/hub/gardening.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/ap-american-water-florida-ontario-b2369817.html Unsung Paw Paw is a delicious, low-maintenance fruit tree native to North America.

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