Have you ever heard of the delicious fruit called a paw paw? Paw paw trees are the largest edible fruit tree native to North America. Paw paw trees produce greenish black fruit, and the inside is a pale yellow color. The taste of this fruit resembles a combination of a citrus mango, and banana. The unique and delicious taste of this fruit will keep you coming back for more!
Paw paw fruit is generally not the easiest fruit to come across. During September to October it is possible to find this fruit at your local farmers market but it will be pretty pricey. Your other option is to grow this fruit yourself!
How to grow pawpaw trees?
Growing a paw paw tree from seed requires a lot of patience, as it can take between 6-7 years before your tree starts to produce fruit. If you are planting a paw paw tree, you will also need 2 different kinds of paw paw for your fruit to set.
Paw paws are also hardy in zones 5-8 and sometimes 9. They do well in well draining, slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5-7.
- Germinating paw paw seeds requires a 60-100 day period of cold and moist stratification and should be sown into the ground in late fall.
- Stratification can also be mimicked in a refrigerator of 32-40ºF.
- Place the seeds in a ziploc bag with moist sphagnum moss for 70-100 days.
- After you take them out of the refrigerator, place them in warm water for a day, and then they are ready to be planted in the ground.
When to harvest paw paw fruit?
You will know when your fruit is ready to be harvested when you see the leaves start to turn yellow which will most likely be in September. The fruit will also turn a darker shade of green and will have black spots on it. The paw paw fruit should also be soft to touch and if you try to pull it off the tree it should come off with ease.
You eat the fruit similarly to a mango! You want to cut it open and remove the outside layer and the seeds, and inside you will have this delicious fruit that you can go ahead and eat!