I live on the north side of Tampa Bay, Florida, close to the main campus of USF. I have no problem growing papaya trees and have them planted with my pineapples and adjacent to bananas. The trees have constantly produced fruit. My problem is I can't tell when they're ripe for human consumption. Just about the time I think they're getting close either the squirrels get them or the get so ripe they drop to the ground. They never seem to change color, rather they stay the same shade of green. Any suggestions or hints?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Generally, when you start to see color spreading across about 1/3 of the fruit, then it is time to pluck it. Here is an article that will tell you just about everything you will need to know about Papaya. It is also well laid out: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg054