Our strain is grown from seed originally from the Davis collection of which much of the seed was collected from improved grafted and wild selections found in the most northern part of its range. This strain is the most northern form found in the U.S. Our planting was started in 1988 and has grown to include other northern Illinois plants known for their large fruit size, flavor and productivity.
To germinate the seed: Plant outdoors in the fall in shade or part shade. Mulch over the seed with compost. Seedlings will emerge in July slowly. The plants will grow 1-4 inches tall in the first year until the root reaches 6-12 inches deep. For indoor germination: Put the seed in the refrigerator in lightly damp Canadian peat moss for 90-120 days. After 90-120 days, put at room temperature. Seeds will sprout slowly 30-60 days or more after dormancy. Put in at least 50 percent shade. When the root emerges careful not to snap it off when planting. Best in rich organic soil.
Unlike other seed companies our seeds are stored in moist peat moss and never allowed to dry out after we process them direct from our farm. That is why people experience so many failures with pawpaw seed. It has to be kept moist all the time or the seed will perish. Also never freeze the seed or any woody plant seed for that matter. Freezing is not dormancy for seeds in the refrigerator. What happens in your fridge is not the same as outdoor freezing. Our seed for 2021 was floated to remove any partially filled seeds or damaged seeds. The crop was short in the fall of 2020.
For germination in the refrigerator: Store at 34-38 F (as close as possible) for 90-120 days in light moisture laden Canadian peat moss or other damp media. Remove from the fridge after cold and put at room temperature. Seeds will sprout in 30-60 days or more. Usually seeds emerge in July here in southern Michigan. The root comes first so careful not to break it off.
|Seed Source||Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania|
|Pollination Requirements||Need 2 plants genetically different for fruit set. Our seeds fulfill this requirement.|
|Soil||Does best in high organic soils but tolerates sand. Loam, clay loam, sandy loam, acidic|
|Climate||Zone 4ish to zone 9. In colder short season areas the shorter season may not ripen the fruit all of the time.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Easy to grow from seed, but seed needs shade the first year to prevent leaf burn which destroys the seedling. Transplant after 1-2 years to its permanent location.|