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I had about 15 beautiful papaya plants that were about 2 mtrs high and just setting flowers and just after the rains started they started yellowing and dropping leaves. I pulled the smallest [and sickest] and found what i would commonly call root rot. I then took it into our local farm supply shop and they diagnosed it as having fungal and/or bacterial [because of the odor] rot and Rxed a systemic antibiotic that was quite expensive and I passed, as I think the plants are too far gone by now to be helped.

My theory is that I simply planted the trees too level to the ground and with our bad draining clay soil, they simply drowned.

But to prevent this in the future, as I have some true 'holland' type seeds comming up and I don't want to waste them, I will make a small hill or mound so that the water drains away and doesn't sit. maybe adding some sand, cocopeat and klab to help with drainage.

how does that sound????

how do the pros do it in a wet, poor drainage area??

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I'm not a pro, but how I grow papaya in clay conditions...

I dig a hole about 3 feet deep and put about a foot of rice husks (you call Klab, I call Glaep) in the bottom, then fill with composted cow dung and leaf compost and soil in layers and build up to about 6 inches above ground level so it slopes away.

In the dry season I will dish the top to allow watering, but rainy season fill this dish so the water will run off.

I've found that you need to put some of the clay soil back in the hole because if you just fill with compost and rice husks etc, the wind will blow the plant over! The roots need something to grab hold of solidly.

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I had about 15 beautiful papaya plants that were about 2 mtrs high and just setting flowers and just after the rains started they started yellowing and dropping leaves. I pulled the smallest [and sickest] and found what i would commonly call root rot. I then took it into our local farm supply shop and they diagnosed it as having fungal and/or bacterial [because of the odor] rot and Rxed a systemic antibiotic that was quite expensive and I passed, as I think the plants are too far gone by now to be helped.

My theory is that I simply planted the trees too level to the ground and with our bad draining clay soil, they simply drowned.

But to prevent this in the future, as I have some true 'holland' type seeds comming up and I don't want to waste them, I will make a small hill or mound so that the water drains away and doesn't sit. maybe adding some sand, cocopeat and klab to help with drainage.

how does that sound????

how do the pros do it in a wet, poor drainage area??

Had similar symptoms with some fungal thing. I was told to pull them out and burn, if it is beyond saving. Otherwise spray with some fungicide (local and not expensive), which I did to see if any response. After that, all was well and new growth were fine...I have not noticed any recurrence.

Many months later, I now have a problem with the fruit instead. I prefer my papaya ripe and sweet. It is almost impossible for the fruit to ripen on the tree due to fruit flies, fungal spots (maybe there is still fungus in the plant from before, I dont know), birds and other pests that attack the ripening fruit. I was told to pluck them out early, but somehow they do not taste as good this way :)

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While we're talking papayas.....

A friend sent me a copy of a Thai ag magazine article by a big Holland papaya farmer and his technique [translated by my wife] was to plant seeds in flats or bags then transplant 4 or 5 strong seedlings, then then them down to one hermaphoridite [sp/katoey] plant per hole.

In Hawaii, where papaya is king, they direct seeded into well drained volcanic soil and thinned down to 1 female.

Anyone know what's going on with the katoeys here??

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Doggie....

in that ag article, there were fotos of his beautiful fully fruited papaya trees with a large plastic bag covering all fruit.....I was thinking of having some screen bags sown to cover my fruit when it fruits.

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Doggie....

in that ag article, there were fotos of his beautiful fully fruited papaya trees with a large plastic bag covering all fruit.....I was thinking of having some screen bags sown to cover my fruit when it fruits.

Jaidee thanks, yes I will try that...I'll just look away from the plastic bags fluttering in the breeze and meanwhile, hope for better paw paws :)

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Yeah, I hear what you say about seeing plastic bags fluttering and that's why i thought of using screen netting, but fruit flies are small maybe could get thru. There is this mosquito net material that is smaller mesh and may work for fruit flies, but it's cotton and don't know how long it would last.

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It could be many things.One is nemetodes,but if you are growing other things in the area that would not be it..If you put to much fertilizer that could also cause the yellowing and fruit/leaf drop as would to much water.As to the Fruit flies....When you see the fruit,about 2"place a paper bag around the fruit.After a period of time the bag from the rain will fall away.By that time you will not have to worry about the fruit fly.They only lay thier young in the beginig of the growth of the papaya.

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Hi JDG and fellow posters

Another alternative would be to graft your "Hollands" onto mountain papaya-carica pubescens(sp?) rootstock as this wild strain is less susceptible to root rot. Check out this guide for info on bi-sexual plants Hybrid papaya cultivation

It basically comes down to the fact that the shape and size of the fruits are preferrd in the market to those of the female and many of the hybrids have been bred to produce a greater than average ratio of bi-sexual plants from seed.

Here's another link for anyone interested in growing papaya organically Organic Papaya production

and some good general info here Fruits from warm climates- Julia Morton

Just recieved my seed from the US 

Tropical red F1

Red Lady #786 F1

Tainung no.1 F1

Sun Gold F1

Known You no.1 F1

Solo sunrise improved

Red Maradol

Red Maradol improved

Mountain papaya

So trials will begin later in the year !!

cheers for now J

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  • 1 month later...
I had about 15 beautiful papaya plants that were about 2 mtrs high and just setting flowers and just after the rains started they started yellowing and dropping leaves. I pulled the smallest [and sickest] and found what i would commonly call root rot. I then took it into our local farm supply shop and they diagnosed it as having fungal and/or bacterial [because of the odor] rot and Rxed a systemic antibiotic that was quite expensive and I passed, as I think the plants are too far gone by now to be helped.

My theory is that I simply planted the trees too level to the ground and with our bad draining clay soil, they simply drowned.

But to prevent this in the future, as I have some true 'holland' type seeds comming up and I don't want to waste them, I will make a small hill or mound so that the water drains away and doesn't sit. maybe adding some sand, cocopeat and klab to help with drainage.

how does that sound????

how do the pros do it in a wet, poor drainage area??

hola dear friends

i have the feeling that nematodes, fungus, bacteria, root rod and maybe even the fruit fly (who might not like the smell of it) could 100% avoided by using wood vinegar. this is cheap, naturally organic, an actually growth enhancer and will produce more flowers.

wood vinegar is easy to make (we are right now burning a charcoal kiln for that and the char coal) you can find different methods in the net.

also there are at least two companies in thailand selling it in bulk. ask them to who they ship and buy small amounts. you dont need much.

use it for everywhere, its a great growth enhancer and seems to help the soil too.

if anyone is interested i can tell you how to make a very easy "kiln".

also, to avoid drowned roots, plant the papayas on a slope or in a row elevated. i do that in circles (3-5m diameter with 5-7 plants) where i make a hole in the center and dump all the organic material from the area and create therefor a perfect fertilizing system. the papayas stand on the rim elevated and will shut out thick roots to take the compost from the center hole

enjoy papaya planting

patrick

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I'm no expert, but I think the rot can be prevented through well drained soil. I've noticed my papaya devoloping the yellow leaves and not looking so healthy. Seems to be on the bigger plants that are more than a year old. Papaya's have a large tap root, so I'm guessing as the plant gets larger, so does this root, eventually getting down to where the soil is very moist.

I've had very good results from using the burnt rice husks and mounds. When I plant the next batch I'll be sure to put the burnt husks deep down. I'd also avoid organic matter deep down as this may promote rot.

Also, studies have shown that Papayas do better when direct sewn rather than transplanted. If I do transplant I'm very careful and just cut the plastic away, so as not to disturb the roots. My missus (and a lot of Thais), will plant several in each bag and then tear them apart - bad idea.

Papayas are generally easy and low maintenance. For about 2 months in Bkk, they've been B35 a kg and the fruit stalls haven't been stocking them.

Cheers!

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I had about 15 beautiful papaya plants that were about 2 mtrs high and just setting flowers and just after the rains started they started yellowing and dropping leaves. I pulled the smallest [and sickest] and found what i would commonly call root rot. I then took it into our local farm supply shop and they diagnosed it as having fungal and/or bacterial [because of the odor] rot and Rxed a systemic antibiotic that was quite expensive and I passed, as I think the plants are too far gone by now to be helped.

My theory is that I simply planted the trees too level to the ground and with our bad draining clay soil, they simply drowned.

But to prevent this in the future, as I have some true 'holland' type seeds comming up and I don't want to waste them, I will make a small hill or mound so that the water drains away and doesn't sit. maybe adding some sand, cocopeat and klab to help with drainage.

how does that sound????

how do the pros do it in a wet, poor drainage area??

Traditionally, papaya will do better elevated or sloped. Drainage. Contrary to popular myth, the hybrid domestic variety are extremely sensitive to overt moisture and continuous direct sunlight. Might be to your advantage to seek out the 'wild' varieties, as they tend to be hardier and produce a much tasier {red} fruit.

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Hello zzaa09, you say "Contrary to popular myth, the hybrid domestic variety are extremely sensitive to overt moisture and continuous direct sunlight." Where might one find "published" research information on this, and what verities(seed name & company) that this pertains to?

Also where might one find a "wild" papaya in LOS? Or do you mean O-P as in open pollenated? The only wild papaya I knew of was in South America(BZ). Harvesting from a rain forest and orchard production in LOS are two different creatures.

The latest issue of House Ag Magazine(Aug 09) has a 30 page feature on papaya, lots of nice color pix's for use that don't read Thai. The latest top verities in the Thai market, pix's of the fruit and the growing conditions.

Taste is to the individual, OP vs Hyb fruit one being better than the other needs to be done by blind tastings, nothing worse than a closed mind. I'm growing 7 kang dum to every Holland this year.

rice555

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Hi Guys

Pretty sure zzza09 is meaning "native" to Thailand rather than wild (although could be mistaken) .Wild (mountain) papaya (carica pubescens) sp? from Mexico I believe, is apparently more resistant to root rot than some other varieties and is used as root stock in various countries although not aware of this being used in LOS . As Rice555 rightly points out taste is down to the market you are aiming for (round our way it's  cut for som tam before ripe although they seem to enjoy it ripe (always orange fleshed not red ) if available in the market).I guess the US is the largest importer and that the hybrids have been developed to supply this market ie. preferred shape, colour, sweetness etc.. combined with disease resistance, thickness of skin(for shipping), height of growth for harvesting etc.. 

getting back to the OP I've read that papaya are most susceptible to root rot in the first three months of their growth cycle after which they develop a certain amount of natural resistance to the disease. So maybe planting time could be of significance. 

cheers for now J 

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