Papaya is an ideal fruit for growing in kitchen gardens and backyards of houses. It is also grown extensively as a filler plant in the orchards as well as main crop under protected conditions. Papaya is quick growing and start s bearing within 8-10 months of transplanting. It is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and enzymes.Papaya contains about 2500 i.u of vitamin A and 85 mg of vitamin C per 100 g pulp. Fruit contains a valuable enzyme papain, which helps in the digestion of protein rich foods.
Climate and Soil
Papaya is a tropical fruit. It requires warm and humid climate and can be cultivated up to height of 1000 meters above sea level. It can be grown successfully all over Punjab and plains of north India.Papaya is very sensitive to frost and wet soil conditions. It should,therefore, be planted in frost free areas on well drained soils. Young plants must be well protected against frost. They should be covered with transparent plastic envelops, sarkanda, straw thatches or any other covering material from November to February against frost damage.
Red Lady 786 (2013) : Plant are self fruitful and vigorous having height of 238 cm. Fruit bearing starts at 86 cm height from the ground level. Fruits are medium, oblong to oval, flesh reddish orange with excellent taste and flavor. It matures after ten month of planting.Average yield is 50 kg per plant. The plants are free from disease and pest incidence under protected conditions.
Punjab Sweet (1993) : It is a dioecious variety having plant height of 190 cm. Fruit bearing starts from a height of 100 cm from the ground level. Fruits are large, oblong in shape with pointed tip.Flesh color is deep yellow. TSS ranges from 9.0 to 10.5 percent.The average yield in 50 kg/plant. It is least susceptible to citrus mite, Eutetranychus oriental is.
Pusa Delicious (1992) : A hermaphrodite variety of medium vigor, having a plant height of 210 cm; fruiting starts at a height of 110 cm from ground level; fruit is medium to large; fruit shape is oblong to oval, flesh deep orange with excellent taste and flavor;TSS range from 8-10 per cent. Average yield is 46 kg per plant.
Pusa Dwarf (1992) : It is a dioecious and dwarf variety having plant height of 165 cm. It starts bearing fruit at 100 cm from the ground level. Fruits are medium in size, oval in shape with orange colored flesh having TSS of 8-9 per cent. This variety is resistant to lodging and can withstand cold better than other varieties. Its average yield is 35 kg per plant. It is also very suitable for kitchen garden.
Honey Dew (1975) : The plant is of medium height and bears fruit quite heavily on the trunk. The proportion of the male plants is low. The fruit is large, elongated and contains few seeds. The flesh is extra-fine and sweet with pleasant flavor. This variety is also known as Madhu Bindu.
Nursery Raising : Papaya seedlings are raised in polythene bags of 25 x 10 cm having about 8 to 10 holes of 1 mm diameter on lower part for drainage. Fill the bags with a mixture of farmyard manure, soil and sand in equal proportions.
In the second week of July to third week of September about 150 g seed is sown in bags for transplanting in one acre. Sow 2-3 seeds per bag. Treat the seeds with 3 g of Captan per kg of seed before sowing. Out of seedlings that will emerge, retain the most vigorous ones. When the seedlings have emerged, drench them in poly bags with 0.2% Captan to prevent from damping off disease. The nursery will be ready for transplanting in September October.
Dig pits of 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm in size at a spacing of 1.5 x1.5 meters. Fill the pits with a mixture of equal quantity of soil and the well-rotten farmyard manure. To each pit add 30 g Lindane 5%dust. Give a light irrigation to make the soil settle in the pit. In the first week of September to 15th October, transplant three seedlings 15 cm apart per pit and give a light irrigation.
When the plants have started flowering, thin them out to one plant per pit, taking care the final population of plants has only about 10 per cent males that are well scattered throughout the field for adequate pollination.
Manures and Fertilizers
The plants should be manured at the rate of 1.25 kg of fertilizer mixture i.e. urea, superphosphate and muriate of potash in the ratio of (1:2:1/3) twice a year (February and August) along with 20 kg of well rotten farmyard manure.