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Organic Papaw Revival

Organic Papaw Revival

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Last winter was tough on papaws. PHIL DUDMAN shares his tips for getting your organic papaws back in shape.


Papaws are tropical plants… and there’s only one thing they hate more than winter and that is a wet winter.

It was a particularly wet one in my garden, which means my papaws suffered terribly with lots of spotty disease that have destroyed much of my fruit.

That’s the winter that was, and now that conditions are approaching the type that make papaws thrive, it’s time to give them a a little attention to set them back on track

First thing, get in and remove all fallen and diseased leaves and fruit – don’t compost them – bin them to help break the cycle of reinfection.

After that, give the remaining foliage, fruit and trunk a spray with a copper based fungicide to kill any fungal spores.

Once that’s done, spread a balanced organic fertiliser around the plants, water it in well and cover the soil with mulch.

Potassium helps to build natural disease resistance – and so does seaweed. Spread a tight fistful of sulphate of potash per square metre around the roots now, in summer and again in autumn, and spray the foliage and fruit once a fortnight with a diluted seaweed extract.