Papaya - Red Thai
Papaya – Red Thai

That killing freeze last winter did quite a job on our papaya garden. Is that what you call it? or is it more correct to say ‘grove’? Doesn’t much matter because every one of the 13 plants just turned to mush, from the top down. Dad said to cut them back and keep cutting until I reached a solid trunk and that they would grow back from there. And so I sharpened the old machete and started whacking.

That didn’t help at all. The stumps just kept turning to mush and I finally gave up and ignored them. I had better things to do in the garden.
Next time I checked, 3 of the stumps had little green sprouts! One of them ultimately died but the remaining two stumps grew like mad. We didn’t have just two papaya trees, though. Each stump produced four ‘arms’, and of the four, two on each stump were super vigerous and two were slower and smaller. I probably should have pruned out the smaller branches but I didn’t. Mostly, I just left it all alone and let Nature do her thing.
And so we now have papaya again and as you can see from the picture, there’s certainly no shortage of it. The fruit started about 18″ from the ground and just kept on going. There’s a row of fruit around the tree, then a row of flowers which ultimately turned into another row of fruit… on and on. And the trees are still blooming and setting more little fruits!
I’m looking at the calendar now. Hopefully, we’ll have a “normal” season and most of the fruit will be able to ripen. Heaven knows, I’m certainly ready for some fresh, home-grown papaya fruit!