Papayas grow in tropical climates and are also known as papaws or pawpaws. Their sweet taste, vibrant color, and the wide variety of health benefits they provide make them a popular fruit.
The possible health benefits of consuming papaya include a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, aiding in digestion, improving blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and improving wound healing.
Papayas are a soft, fleshy fruit that can be used in a wide variety of culinary ways. Here we will explore more on the health benefits, uses, how to incorporate more of them into your diet, and what nutritional value papayas have.
Crop Cultivation/നടീൽ രീതി
Papaya is propagated almost entirely by seeds. The best time for raising papaya seedlings is from February to March. The seeds are sown in raised seedbeds of 2 x 1 m made 15 cm above the ground level or in polythene bags. A mixture of sand, leaf mould and dried FYM is spread over the seedbed. The seeds are sown 2-3 cm deep at a distance of 5 cm in rows 15 cm apart. To raise seedlings for planting in a hectare, 250 g seeds are required. Seedbeds should be watered daily, if there is no rain.
Two month old seedlings are transplanted in the main field in May-June at a spacing of 2 x 2 m. Pits of size 50 x 50 x 50 cm are taken and filled with topsoil. Male plants are removed as soon as they flower and the female and hermaphrodite plants are retained. In pure female plantations, one male plant is retained for every 10 female plants. Seedlings are shaded to protect them from excessive sunlight until they establish.
How to Grow / പരിപാലന രീതികൾ
Papaya thrives well in tropical climate. The occurrence of low temperature and frost limits its cultivation. The optimum temperature for the growth and development of papaya is 22-26ºC. In Kerala, the limiting factors for commercial cultivation are high rainfall and severe drought in summer. However, this is best suited as a homestead fruit crop. The papaya prefers a rich, well-drained soil. It will not tolerate waterlogging around the trunk.