Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Solo Papaya (Hawaiian Papaya)
Fruit round and shallowly furrowed in female plants, pear-shaped in bisexual plants. Weight 1.1 to 2.2 pounds. Skin smooth, flesh firm, reddish-orange, very sweet, of excellent quality. Produces no male plants, only bisexual and female in a 2 to 1 ratio. Introduced into Hawaii from Barbados in 1911. Named Solo in 1919. Solo papayas are easier to harvest because the plants seldom grow taller than 8 feet.
Papayas have exacting climate requirements for vigorous growth and fruit production. They must have warmth throughout the year and will be damaged by light frosts. Brief exposure to 32° F is damaging and prolonged cold without overhead sprinkling will kill the plants. Cold, wet soil is almost always lethal. Cool temperatures will also alter fruit flavor. Papayas make excellent container and greenhouse specimens where soil moisture and temperature can be moderated.
How to grow
Papayas need warmth and a frost-free environment, but can often withstand light freezes with some kind of overhead protection. Sow the seed directly into the well-drained soil. The seed will germinate usually in 2 weeks. Seedling papayas do not transplant well. Plant them in large containers so the seedlings will have to be transplanted only once.
Papayas are ready to harvest when most of the skin is yellow-green. After several days of ripening at room temperature, they will be almost fully yellow and slightly soft to the touch.
rich source of vitamin A and C.