Save the Papaya

Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world, and we as gardeners must adjust to unfavorable changes in the weather. In Texas, the major environmental threats to the garden are: too much sun, sandy soil, lack of water, too much rain, violent thunderstorms with accompanying high winds and hurricanes.
Papayas have a main tap root rather than the expansive network of roots that most other species of trees have anchoring them into the ground. The main tap root has a few side roots, but they are closer to the surface of the ground rather than d
eep in. As a result, the papaya is vulnerable to being toppled over by high winds or young boys who might like to uproot one just because they can.
The inner core of the trunk is hollow, much like bamboo. Even slight damage to it produces a rush of milk that streams to the wound (as white blood cells do when human skin is injured) to begin the process of creating a crusty "bandage". Keeping the tree properly hydrated maintains the "milk pressure" as our bodily fluids and the free flow of them maintain our blood pressure.
This year temperatures dropped to 31-32 degrees in the Houston area. Although the actual temperature was above freezing, there was enough wind chill to cause frost damage to most of my papayas.
All blossoms are lost and developing buds drop off. The leaves show all the signs of irrepairable damage i.e: wilting, rapid change in color from green to yellow to brown, complete crisping and eventual dropping off. If temperatures are expected to continue at the near-freezing level, it is best to let the leaves remain on the tree as long as possible as they will protect the tender and more likely to regenerate top growth. Absolutely remove all fruit. A tree fighting to survive doesn't need a pile of fruit to nurture. When all danger of frost has passed, strip off all dead leaves.
n't be hasty about removing what looks like a dead tree. Be patient. Many trees will send out side growth or regenerate top growth. By being patient, you may salvage the tree and insure many more years of healthy, abundant harvests . Introduce plenty of water and gradual dressings of your usual fertilizer as soon as possible. If you must, saw the tree down to the nearest new growth at the thickest part of the trunk and paint the wound liberally with tree tar.
Sometimes, all is not lost. Patience and a good salvage job may lead you back to tasty fruits and your peaceful, leafy canopy.

Digg this

No comments: