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How To Develop Chayote, Mirliton, or Choko

Cultivating chayote vegetation is a good lesson in trellising as a result of they’re nice in vertical gardens. When you discover ways to develop chayote, likelihood is, you’ll make it part of your warm-season backyard yearly. 

There are numerous chayote squash varieties on the market. Imported chayote is frequent. That’s as a result of this summer season squash has been round for some time. Every kind produces plentiful leaves and greedy tendrils, together with a ton of fruit which you can eat or save for future plantings.

It’s a conundrum why chayote fruit hasn’t develop into in style amongst North American growers. Not solely is the chayote vine beautiful, however its vegetable pears are additionally versatile, becoming into totally different cuisines. Particularly in the event you’re in tropical and subtropical areas, rising them is a worthwhile enterprise. 

Good Merchandise At Amazon For Rising Chayote:

Fast Care Information

How to grow chayote
Studying the best way to develop chayote will hold you very effectively equipped with produce. Supply: daniela.magallon
Widespread Title(s) Chayote, mirliton, choko, christophene, chou chou, chow chow
Scientific Title Sechium edule
Days to Harvest 30 days from flowering
Gentle Full solar
Water 1 inch per week
Soil Sandy, loamy, well-draining
Fertilizer Sluggish launch, excessive phosphorus and potassium
Pests Leaf-footed bugs, squash vine borer, root-knot nematode
Illnesses Powdery mildew, root or crown rot

All About Chayote

Chayote farm
If not trellised, chayote creeps all over the place as proven at this chayote farm. Supply: rica1786

Chayote vegetation (Sechium edule) are also referred to as mirliton, chou chou, chow chow, christophene, and choko. It was cultivated as a staple crop by Mesoamerican peoples and made its solution to North America within the late 1700s and early 1800s when Haitian immigrants moved to Louisiana within the wake of the Haitian Revolution. Chayote squash was and is a staple of the Haitian food plan. It was touted for its prolific nature amongst colonists, admired solely as decorative. It wasn’t till after somebody tipped them off that the plant donned the moniker, “vegetable pear”. 

The chayote squash sprouts to type a big, sweeping vine that may attain as much as 10 to 12 meters tall. That’s why chayote vegetation must develop alongside fences and arched trellises. Chayote enjoys tropical and subtropical areas, grows as a young perennial year-round in optimum circumstances. In cool seasons, chayote dies again and stays dormant till it warms once more. One plant produces 60 to 100 kilos of fruit yearly. 

The chayote plant is a member of the cucurbit household and grows as much as 8 years in a row. The vine grows 40 foot-long branches that emit slender tendrils. They’re lined in heart-shaped leaves, lined in trichomes. In late summer season to early fall, mild inexperienced to white female and male flowers bloom on the identical plant. When the flowers are pollinated by bugs, wind, or by hand efficiently, they produce pear-shaped fruit that’s puckered on the ends. The fruit has a brief shelf-life and sprouts inside 30 days as the middle seed feeds on moisture and vitamins from the fruit itself. That’s why cultivators plant all the fruit to propagate it. 

All elements of chayote are edible. A staple crop of chayote squash is superb uncooked, cooked into dishes, or grilled. The leaves are good for stir-fries. And the tuberous chayote roots are consumed very similar to a potato. The flesh of the chayote fruit yields to the flavour of the dish it’s in. Uncooked it tastes like an apple. The fruit is extremely nutritious and assists with coronary heart and blood sugar points, offering minerals and nutritional vitamins within the course of. The leaves have been used as a prophylactic in teas for hundreds of years, particularly by Mesoamerican peoples. Mashed fruit has been used to deal with pores and skin rashes as effectively. 

Planting Chayote

Plant a sprouted fruit, or transplants began from sprouted fruit in spring in a frost-free time and house. In the event you stay in a cool area, develop chayote squash first indoors after which transplant when it’s heat. In the event you stay someplace that doesn’t have many days above 55 levels Fahrenheit, keep away from cultivating this summer season squash open air. Choose a website with loamy, well-draining soil in full solar. Give your chayote squash a minimum of a 12-foot diameter if you wish to develop on an arched trellis, and a minimum of 3 by 12 ft in the event you’re rising on a vertical trellis or fence. Chayote vegetation are too prolific to develop in most containers, although you may need success rising them in a 30-gallon plastic container with a number of drainage holes. Once you develop chayote squash within the floor, plant the fruit or transplant into the center of the ready mattress. This enables the roots of the chayote vines to sprawl out with out obstruction. Mulch closely across the base of the plant to control the soil temperature and moisture ranges. Take into account incorporating companion vegetation into your chayote backyard. Peppers, pumpkin, and corn are glorious companions.

Care

Newly-forming chayote
Child chayotes begin out very tiny, not a lot wider than their nearest stem. Supply: UnconventionalEmma

Planting chayote squash is a cinch so long as you achieve this effectively after the final common frost date! Let’s cowl the essential care wants for these plentiful backyard squashes. 

Solar and Temperature

The chayote is a tropical plant, which has an prolonged rising season in heat areas. It prefers full solar, with a minimum of 6 hours of direct mild per day. It withstands much more than that and prefers excessive warmth and intense daylight. Rising chayote in partial shade is feasible, although this reduces fruit manufacturing. It’s hardy in USDA zones 8 by way of 11.

Zones outdoors this vary are fitted to climate-controlled greenhouse rising if the house permits. Warmth isn’t any downside for rising chayote, although chilly winter areas aren’t nice. Not solely does the plant must be frost-free for a minimum of 120 to 150 days, but it surely additionally shouldn’t be in an space that dips under 55 levels Fahrenheit. At this level, immature fruit drops from the plant. Chayote received’t produce fruit in chilly in any respect. Freezing temperatures will kill this fast-growing vine.

Water and Humidity

Water your chayote squash weekly at a fee of 1 inch per week. Maintain water in step with drip irrigation, which supplies a gentle provide, and prevents backsplash on leaves stopping fungal ailments. Take a look at the soil beneath the chayote squash to your second knuckle. In the event you discover the soil dry there, add water. The soil moisture must be damp, however not waterlogged. In hotter seasons, water the plant every day. If chayote wilts within the intensely scorching summer season afternoon, know that’s that is regular. Don’t overwater, particularly when it’s been wet. 

Soil

Chayote squash prefers loamy, sandy soil that’s well-draining. Chayote grows naturally in Central America and different tropical areas. It’s right here that the soil is usually claylike or volcanic in nature. In house gardens, chayote requires somewhat little bit of modification with wealthy natural compost, and doubtlessly some agricultural sand. Sand, and even perlite, is beneficial in areas the place the soil wants extra drainage. Peat moss is a good addition for soils that want moisture retention. In the event you plant the chayote in poor soils, it is going to nonetheless develop, however possibly not as prolifically. The optimum pH for rising chayote is 6.0 to six.8.

Fertilizing

Present a fertilizer that’s low in nitrogen and excessive in phosphorus and potassium, assuming your soil already has adequate nitrogen. Incorporate well-composted rooster manure to offer a nitrogen increase early within the rising season. In any other case, purposes of slow-release 8-24-24 or 3-4-4 fertilizers a number of instances to each two months of the rising season hold chayote producing so long as it will probably. If you wish to be fully natural, rising chayote with liquid manure offers your chayote squash a nutrient increase. 

Pruning/Coaching

Once you develop chayote squash, prepare the plant onto a trellis. Not solely does this produce extra chayote (one chayote plant produces on common 60 kilos of pear-shaped fruit), it retains the plant secure from ailments and pests. That being mentioned, you will want a sturdy trellis or fence for this very heavy plant. Plant chayote in a mattress with a trellis that has a base at a 45-degree angle. This enables the plant to maneuver up the trellis because it grows. Rising chayote on an arched trellis is a good possibility too. 

Take away broken or diseased leaves as they seem. After the fruiting section, chayote squash advantages from pruning to three to 4 brief shoots. In the event you stay someplace that will get chilly, prune the shoots down near the bottom. Mature tubers will ship up sprouts in spring when the air and soil are heat. 

Propagation

As a result of propagation by reducing isn’t one thing that has been completed simply outdoors of horticultural experience, we suggest propagation by seed. Plant the chayote squash (the entire fruit) both within the floor in spring in frost-free climate, or a container in a heat space in anticipation of transplant. The chayote seed is contained throughout the chayote squash and may stay so as a result of it attracts important moisture and vitamins for germination from the flesh. It’s simpler to propagate from sprouted chayote which accommodates fertile chayote seeds. They sprout inside 30 days after you harvest chayote squash. Use the planting part of this piece to find out in what circumstances to plant all the fruit.

Harvesting and Storing

Chayotes
Chayotes are very delicate in taste however could be eaten uncooked or cooked. Supply: Thiago Gama Oliveira

Recent chayote is scrumptious when eaten uncooked, or stir-fried. Let’s speak concerning the harvest course of for this scrumptious pear-shaped fruit, with a gentle style. 

Harvesting

Harvest chayote squash about 30 days from profitable pollination. The ripe chayote ought to have powerful pores and skin, and received’t yield to a thumb pressed into it. If it does yield, give it some extra time. If it stays on the vine too lengthy, the flesh will get exhausting and stringy, making it troublesome to eat. Take away the chayote from the vine with a pointy knife or hand pruners. Avoid wasting to eat, and use the remaining fruits for an additional staple crop. Harvest leaves by clipping the information of vines, as much as a foot or two. Take away tubers on the finish of the rising season. Keep in mind to depart some behind to get pleasure from one other crop subsequent 12 months. To overwinter the tubers, make sure to place a thick layer of mulch over the soil to guard them from chilly.

Storing

Retailer contemporary chayote in an open plastic bag at room temperature to extend its shelf life. Even in these circumstances, although, they’ll sprout inside 4 to six weeks. It’s not really useful you freeze or refrigerate uncooked or diced chayote. As an alternative, can, pickle, or course of chayote right into a jelly that can final within the fridge for five to six months. Strive storing chayote in dehydrated format – like chips – for a few weeks in an hermetic container at room temperature.

Troubleshooting

Chayote hiding in the vines
A chayote is barely seen amongst its vines. Supply: WinstonWong

Chayote is so prolific, it doesn’t appear to have lots of related points. Listed below are a number of to look out for, although. 

Rising Issues

Try and develop chayote in chilly climate, and also you’ll have problem getting began. Chilly isn’t one thing this squash can face up to. Equally, in the event you develop in an space that doesn’t have good drainage, it will probably weaken the plant and produce optimum circumstances for ailments. The identical goes for overwatered chayote. In the event you’re rising a couple of selection and wish to keep genetic purity, cowl the plant to maintain cross-pollination by bugs at bay. A lack of nitrogen will trigger yellowing on the leaves on the base of the plant. Merely incorporate some composted rooster manure, or nitrogen fertilizer to appropriate this. An excessive amount of nitrogen prevents flowering and fruiting, although. In the event you’re having points there, larger quantities of potassium and phosphorus might assist. 

Pests

Leaf-footed stink bugs feed on flowers and squash, inflicting bruising within the course of. Chickens are a wonderful solution to management bugs in your backyard. If that doesn’t work, strive purposes of neem oil below 85-degree temperatures. Pyrethrins are a extra intensive management that work in the identical circumstances as neem oil.  

Squash vine borers are both larvae or grownup moths. The moths lay eggs within the soil and on the bottom of the vines. Because the larvae hatch, they bore into the vine and eat the middle making their manner as much as emerge totally grown. Most backyard squashes deal with the SVB in some unspecified time in the future. Fortunately, chayote makes up for SVB harm with abundance. The grownup moths seem like a wasp with a crimson physique, and proof of larval feeding comes within the type of sawdust-like frass on vines. To regulate them, wrap the bottom of vines in foil. Examine every day for small disc-like brown eggs, and take away them. Permethrin or pyrethrin are pesticides that may be sprayed on vines, although its effectiveness is proscribed to the grownup moth if the larvae has bored into the vine. BT spray can be utilized as effectively.

Root-knot nematode is a pest that feeds on the roots of chayote, inflicting nutrient and moisture deficiency over time. They don’t kill a plant instantly, making them exhausting to determine. Rotate chayote each three years, and plant once more in an space that has been adequately solarized to stop deficiencies. As a result of helpful nematodes have a tough time in heat soils, they aren’t one of the best management for these pests in highly regarded climates.

Illnesses

Powdery mildew is frequent amongst chayote as a result of variety of leaves on a plant at one time. Take away affected leaves as quickly because the powdery look seems. To cease an an infection, use potassium bicarbonate sprays utilized each 7 to 10 days from the time an infection seems till it stops. Liquid copper fungicides are additionally efficient.

Crown rot is a fungal rot that happens when seasons are unusually moist, or the place the soil doesn’t drain effectively. To stop rot, mound up the soil on the base of your plant, and incorporate agricultural sand. Then hold a watchful eye out for browning and spongy plant matter on the plant’s base. Sadly, there’s no management for this fungal illness. Take away affected vegetation and eliminate them within the trash.

Steadily Requested Questions

Immature chayote fruit
Some heirloom chayotes have small spines, as seen on this immature fruit. Supply: UnconventionalEmma

Q: How lengthy does it take for chayote to bear fruit?

A: Simply 30 days from flowering!

Q: Is chayote simple to develop?

A: Sure, it’s a really easy-going and ample plant. 

Q: How lengthy does it take for chayote to sprout?

A: The seed will sprout from the buried squash inside 4 to six weeks.


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