I only heard of the pawpaw tree a couple weeks ago. I have yet to see a pawpaw tree or eat pawpaw fruit. Last week Laura gave me a bag of pawpaw seeds and suggested I try to start them, and I said sure. What she didn’t mention is that the seeds take 9 weeks to germinate! Much longer than the tomatoes, lettuces and onions that I am used to starting in my greenhouse.
The process of germinating pawpaws is also quite different than I am used to. The seeds require cold stratification, which from my understanding means keeping the seeds in a moist condition to prevent the embryo from drying out. The seeds Laura gave me were simply in a bag, so I’m not sure what their storage condition was. I tried planting some in four inch pots in my “greenhouse”. My “greenhouse” is the skylight of my apartment that I built a terrace around in order to start vegetables for my farm.
I also thought it would be interesting to put the seeds through cold stratification, so I put some of the seeds in a moist condition in the fridge in clear bags so I can watch what happens to the seed. Apparently most of a pawpaws initial growth is in root development so it will be interesting to have a view of this growth through the clear bag.
When Laura asked me to start the seeds my first suggestions was that the eventual tree could have a space in our office to provide us with some greenery. After a brief amount of research I discovered that pawpaw blossoms produce an odour of rotting flesh in order to attract flies and wasps for pollination, not an ideal smell for an office environment. I think we might decide on another fruit tree to decorate our office with and find a different home for the pawpaw trees.