Nationally recognized gardening expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moment television segments. Melinda shares tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. New Melinda’s Garden Moment web tips will be added throughout the growing season, so be sure to check back for timely, seasonal tips to help you be successful in your gardens!
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Pawpaw, North America’s Largest Edible Native Fruit
Add beauty and edibility to your landscape with North America’s largest native edible fruit, the pawpaw (Asimina triloba).
These 15 to 20’ tall trees start producing large fruit with a strong aroma, sweet, banana-like flavor and consistency of custard when six or seven years old.
Plant at least two different varieties to ensure pollination and fruit formation. At Boerner Botanical Gardens, they’re growing two species and three pawpaw varieties in this planting.
Watch for the early spring, dark purple flowers and the flies and beetles that pollinate them. Boerner credits their consistently large harvests to growing several varieties and the abundant pollinators in their garden.
Harvest the large fruit when they’re soft to the touch and separate easily from the tree. Use them as soon as possible as they only last a couple of days at room temperature and a week when refrigerated.
A bit more information: Pawpaw trees are native from New York south to Florida and west to Nebraska and Texas. The fruit is high in Vitamins A and C and richer in P, K, MG and S than apples, peaches or grapes. The fruit is used in pies, puddings, cookies, cakes and more.
Visit www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, videos and more.
About Melinda Myers
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on over 135 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. Myers is also the host of the recently released The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series. Melinda writes a regular column for Wisconsin Gardening and Chicagoland Gardening magazines. She also writes the twice monthly “Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column. Melinda hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for over 20 years as well as seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. She’s the recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators. Myers’ website, www.MelindaMyers.com, features gardening videos, podcasts, monthly gardening checklists and more.