World’s Ugliest Greenhouse Saves The Day!

World's Ugliest Greenhouse Saves The Papayas!

Ok, I know we said we were just growing the papayas as annuals here in Gainesville and we'd let them go when the freezes came . . .

And we started them way late in the year too -- like in June we started with 3g plants, expecting a late harvest if we were lucky.

But then this happened:

Ripe Papaya

Our first ripe papaya from the 'King George' -- yum!

After tasting the first 2 of them, I was hopelessly hooked.


papayas nearly ready to pick

And when this:

early papaya blossoms

turned into this in mid November:

Papaya fruit cluster in November

and then this in early January:

Papayas Just before the freeze

Papayas just before the freeze

Well . . .

When the first freeze hit late January -- like not until the 18th -- I'm thinking:

Why now? We're almost to spring! It's only a few more weeks -- can't we just cover them?

What about the old piece of plastic from the greenhouse we just replaced? It wouldn't cost much and we could just do something temporary . . .

Don't all honey-do lists start that way?

itty bitty baby papaya

itty bitty baby papaya

So here's what we ended up doing Before the freeze:

World's Ugliest Greenhouse

World's Ugliest Greenhouse Indeed!

Used greenhouse plastic, stained with green algae all over, torn in places -- that's why we replaced it in the first place --- Uggg-ly!

We threw a light bulb inside, and since it was on the south side of the house, right next to the house, and the temperatures never went below about 27-28, nothing froze -- miraculously.


And as you can see in this picture of the framework, the papayas did just fine!

Well here we are, it's Feb 8th, and just a few more nights and maybe it'll be Spring . . . I'll let you know if they actually finish ripening!

Greenhouse Frame

Greenhouse framework

By the way: we'll have 3g papayas of this dwarf hybrid ready to go the week of Feb 14: 3g/$19ea or 3 for $45

At that size, you could easily be eating fruit by June or July!

Bigger 7g pots too: $29 or 3 for $75

Papayas can be self-fertile, but planting 3 gives you the highest chance of getting fruit.

Read more on this special hybrid we call the 'King George' on our website here


7 gal papaya beginning to bloom

About the author

Green Genie

The Green Genie is the voice of AskTheGreenGenie brand -- organic, edible landscaping for home gardening made fun ! We're passionate about helping home gardeners to get more out of their gardens and enjoy the fruits of their labors -- literally. Organic gardening is a given. Fight pests effectively and actually win the battles. Oh, and palm trees -- I know, they're not all edible, but we love the ambiance!