ALCMC – Goodbye Papaya :(

Hello Garden Friends,

Today was a sad day, we had to pull down our papaya tree because it had died. The autopsy report showed a severe case of rotten roots. Papayas do not need very much water and unfortunately the district’s maintenance people had reset the sprinklers (turning them on) so that the quad’s newly seeded grass could get water. I guess they turned on our zone too because the soil around the papaya was soaked. Sigh…

At least it made for a good lesson. The students wondered how too much water can leave a plant dehydrated. I explained that when the roots have too much water the soil becomes a good habitat for fungi and bacteria that can decompose the roots – and when the roots are dead they cannot pull up any water!

Farewell mighty friend! May your body return to the soil. 

On the bright side our leeks, beets, garlic, and broccoli and ready to harvest! Check out the photo below:

Until next time!

-Jeff Mailes


Jeff Mailes

Jeff Mailes is a garden designer and environmental educator working out of Woodland Hills, CA. A Los Angeles County Master Gardener and UC Davis Alumni, Jeff earned his B.S. in Environmental Resource Science in 2012 and has been growing edibles and natives for the past 6 years.

Jeff’s passion for plants and garden education has led him to school gardens from Los Angeles to Sacramento and all the way up to Portland, Oregon. Now familiar with ecosystems across the West Coast, Jeff has settled back home and works to bring people together over food and inspire the next generation of earth stewards to leave it better than they found it. When not writing about himself in the third person, Jeff enjoys singing with his guitar, going on camping and hiking excursions, and tossing a frisbee around with his friends.