How to sprout 500 pawpaw seeds in a aqurium

Sorry This isn’t wrote the best , Will have to rewrite when I am at home (traveling and looking for seeds at this moment in carbondale Il Shawnee National forest AT hotel,)

Hi FOr the people that find selected pawpaw fruits I wouldn’t wan’t for their sprouting efforts to go to waste.
I myseld are trying to find selected wild types More on that later

First keep seeds moist (they are recalcitrant not orthodox)
meaning they need to be kept moist Not soking wet when stored

#1 After cleaning seeds for 3 months Put seeds in ziplock bags in the fridge with (sterile) peat moss or soil could use sand
If cleaning Buckets full (Jerry Lehman before He passed on)Used a Drill with a stiring device and water I suppose.
(see Cliff Englind nursery for selected seeds (KYSU will mail 10 seeds for there pawpaw college research)

second #2 MAke your own potting soil (peat , top soil , and perlite (sand optional) (edit in later Pine bark mulch type)
by adding peat moss top soil ( make sure (no rotting compost , and keep your left over peat moss dry )

#3 mix seeds in it

#4 Important Cut a cardboard Box to fit the lid tightly (scissors or a X-acto Knife)
#5 fit a Garbage bag over the cardbord box if too tightly and won’t fit remove a tiny amount of the cardboard
(you can buy water proof material from the hardware store (edit in name later)
or wax covered in some boxes they throw out in some food stores)

(see Optional things on second post before starting to add soil in aqarium)

For a small amount of seeds
you can also use a ziplock bag place the soil in,
fill with air the air acts as a humidifier ( more on my results when I have time )


Take a aqarium (optional ) place sand on bottom
(to soak up extra water ) but not too important I’ve done without.

Another option is to get screen alittle bigger so a pencil can go through

Place that at the bottom of aqaruim this is to get the seeds out when you flood it

MAkes it easier than picking out 500 or so seeds

Buy screen should be less then 5 bucks from homedepot (not $20)
I can edit this for the exact measurement (it’s at my home )
(homedepot web sites giving me problems )

Note Some sand does contain salt if it came from the Ocean
I haven’t had a problem , but on other garden web sites I have heard of it happening

I also Made this way to sprout these on my own , but
I did adapt this from A way to start cuttings in a aquaruim from Mike McGroarty
(he blocked the sun some with scotch tape making stripes for cuttings .

Note do not let your seeds get to hot
but placing them for a bit in a ziplock bag with air in it,
and in a hot car may be good for a half and hour


Sounds interesting…keep us informed!

(I’ve had little trouble with pawpaws from seeds so long as they’re kept somewhat to very damp and get 90 to 400 days in the refrigerator.) (Or just scattered in briars and weeds at forest edge or stream edge seems to produce fair results…without any storage. So, obviously, they can take some winter time freezing.)

(I’ve dug a few seedlings from under trees I planted a decade or more ago…so obviously rotting fruit under a tree leads to some seedlings naturally). (Not counting root sprouts.)

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Just Post all this in one topic
Since I am on moderation
Would be nice to rewrite this more organized
as I was traveling , and in motel
(no luck finding pawpaws of any interest this year
(although In Pawpaw fest did find a reddish persimmon
(from that tree seedless, and smaller )

About that sterile soil

I have used soil in the woods
be careful if the soil has un broken down sticks , and things in there
or if it is out of the compost

I had 2 bucks full of seeds (not cheap either)
My soil had Hydrogen sulfide (or rotton egg smell)

IT is not Aerobic (meaning it uses Oxygen)
but Anarobic (so that was a head ache )

This may have been because My peat moss was left in the bag in the wet wheather too
If food (like mushrooms) is stored in plastic it builds up the humidity , and rots faster
as opposed to storing it in A papper bag where it drys out

If you screen the soil from outside that works too
to get the unbroken down sticks out.
remember this isn’t outside it is a controlled enviroment
the bacteria can get out of controll. (and also the white flys that lay eggs )

Once they are are sprouted you can move them out side
But not in full sun for a year (although I did have 3 that Took it
(, but that was out of thousands also grew very big very fast
they died in winter though in pots over 10 years ago before I knew better)

------ Second thoughts

I Did forget something
The white flys if you put dry sand on top
they will not lay their eggs in dry sand .

you also may want to look into a heat cable (garden)

(If I had a website I would make this a lot easier to understand , but just posting here for the time being.)
I have rigged a few extra things , but it is kind of hard to explain without pictures

Like placing a water bottle inside the soil
IF I where amaking potato salad (or pasta ) where I didn’t want the water
I would pour the hot left over water in the bottles to keep it warm at night
(light bulb would work)

(remember heat cable ) those brew shops that sell heat blackets are kind of expensive
($30, and $80 for the bigger) one)

I am sure with a heat cable you could get a clear plastic tarp, (for green houses)
and do this in a large space of land with a ton of seeds
(I just have a lot of aqariums (dumpster dived, garbage picked taped up. or try craigslist freecycle )

I have also trasplanted seeds in toliet paper rolls for a short time.
or fastfood (yuck) cups.

Keep in mind doi not over water White flies love to lay their eggs in that
they eat seeds also roots too.
if your seeds are stored to wet they will rot
I have told friends this repeatedly but they still do this when I visit
If your gifting to so called friends add more sand , and perlite so the soil dries up faster

Vermiculite holds a lot of moisture this can be used also
being in a aquarium that is like a terrarium it holds the heat, and water so it doesn’t need to be watered
I’ve left for 3 months, and while they did live looked very bad /.

So air them out every now , and then
every other day or week for a night.

I have more to add when I can think of it

I Have started mango seeds for the fun of it
Left them out side
the one placed in a Thick plastic dog food bag that was opened grew latter , and so much bigger
the humidity trapped really helps with speeding upthe growth.

also Be careful with adding bone meal
those 500 tree’s smelled bad when I brought them in vermiculite, and bone meal to New Orleans for a week
and the racoons sure did have a fun time tearing them up too, (had to laugh a little though.

One more thing be careful with newly planted tree’s as squirrels like digging New ground
Cayanne pepper may help or stones over saplings
Any thoughts welcome on that

(i am just doing what they call in the nursery business Healing over my older 100 tree’s
burying in a mound of soil .
(except I dug a pit, layered it in Landscaping fabric , and dumped peat moss in (etc)
so I can dig up easy since I promised some people some .

(3 year old tree’s have been in a show box size area since we had a polar vortex
and stored in basement for a while surprised as didn’t water , for a long while , but came back.

I mean’t that persimmon most where Bigger, and with seeds , but a few where small without
didn’t see any (dark) alligator bark persimmon tree’s near by,but looked , and looked,

Of coarse some type of Hickory was throwing me off with that alligator bark ,
and I see that black gum does as well Nyssa sylvatica.