Again, today will be really nice with sunshine and temps pushing 70F. However, it will be windy and the humidity will again be almost non-existent which means the increased risk of wildfires and I believe the DNR won’t give burning permits today because of this, but I am not sure. A red flag warning (high wildfire risk) was issued for a part of Wisconsin and, if conditions warrant, this warning might be extended further east toward us later today.
Starting Monday we will be selling potted pawpaw trees that we grew ourselves. Here is some information on pawpaws that I wrote:
Close relatives of the pawpaw (Asimina triloba) all come from tropical or semi-tropical areas of the world. Despite this, many pawpaws are quite hardy and strains which are native to the northern part of their range, from Nebraska through Michigan and into southwestern Ontario, seem to be able to withstand -25 F with ease. Strains from the deep south are not as hardy as this and will not survive most winters in Michigan.
Pawpaws do not do well in areas that have low humidity, strong winds or cool marine climates. They do best when planted in rich well drained soil in a location protected from wind. Pawpaws are normally found in wooded areas and often form dense thickets. While pawpaw trees which get the most sun usually produce the most fruit, when the trees are small they should be protected from intense sunlight. Planting them about 6 to 12 feet from the north side of a house, garage or similar building seems to be an ideal location. Here they are protected from the sun when small and as they grow they receive more and more sun which they need to produce abundant crops. If you plant them in the open, provide some means of protecting them from the direct sun for at least the first two years. Often even a large lawn chair placed next to the south side of the little tree will do.
Normally, pawpaw trees usually don’t start bearing until they are at least 7 years old. However, with lots of TLC and a near perfect location and good soil, you can get them to bear earlier. Keep in mind that pawpaws require cross pollination to get good crops which means it is recommended that you should plant at least two pawpaw trees.
For details on planting pawpaws and subsequent care follow the normal recommendations for planting any tree or shrub but here are a few tips.
Tip 1: Don’t neglect to prune it after you plant it. Pruning always seems to help any tree or shrub survive its first year. This is especially important with pawpaws. The heavier you prune after planting the better are the chances the tree will survive the first year.
Tip 2: Water frequently the first two years. Make sure the soil never dries out, but don’t waterlog the soil if it is heavy. With real sandy soil it is nearly impossible to over water. Tip 3: Watering frequently, with a bit of soluble fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro or a Miracle Gro wannabee, will likely get your pawpaw trees growing faster and bearing earlier.
While ripe pawpaws will only keep a few days at room temperature, which is something like a banana, they will keep several weeks in a refrigerator as long as its temperature is above 40F. Regular bananas, of course, shouldn’t be kept refrigerated.
Note: To read my article that was in Grit magazine go to the URL: grit.com/garden/fruit/pawpaws.aspx
A little later on we will also have different varieties of apple trees including Honeycrisp, Gala, Jonafree, Jonagold, and Liberty; Early Red Haven peach trees, hardy Wisconsin pecan seedlings from our own nuts grown right on our farm, blueberry bushes, red raspberries, rhubarb, and seedless and seeded grapes. Looking for herbs? We will be having a large selection of potted herbs this year including: Basil (green and purple), chives, sage, parsley, peppermint, summer savory, marjoram, cilantro, thyme, oregano, lavender, and rosemary. Flowering and landscape plants, both perennial and annual, will also be available including Hollyhocks, ferns, echinacea (purple coneflower), sempervivum, morning glory, stonecrop, nasturtium, mums, and many more! And yes, we will also be having vegetable plants including tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, summer squash, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and more. Make sure to keep coming back here for updates, keep an eye on our weekly Hi-Lites ad, and like our Facebook page. Also, visit my daughter’s new blog for more information about the all these plants and planting information: Taste of SunSugar.
Today we have the following up for sale.
Many varieties of the apples we are selling are still nice and crisp. We have 1/2 peck roadside bags of apples for $3 and many varieties are also available in 1/2 bushels. The prices for the 1/2 bushel of apples depends upon the variety. Half bushels of Red Delicious and Empire apples are $6 and 1/2 bushels of Idared, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Splendor, Crispin/Mutsu, Blushing Golden and Fuji apples are $8 a half bushel. We also have our yellow onions for sale at $2.50 for a 3 pound bag and our red potatoes for $3 a half peck (about 7 pounds)