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Growing Choko/Chayote, also Chayote squash, christophene, chouchou, mirliton

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                       

Not recommended for growing in USA - Zone 5a regions

  • Easy to grow. Plant whole mature fruit when one produces a shoot at one end.. Best planted at soil temperatures between 59°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 39 inches apart
  • Harvest in approximately 17 weeks. Best when fruit is light green and not more than 6cm long.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Cucumbers

Your comments and tips

07 Apr 17, Leonie Diran (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Is there any way you can grow them in cold atead
08 Apr 17, Jack (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I see you are in a cool mountain climate and want to grow choko's. This challenge would be affected by how many frost-free months you have. I have seen them in Sydney 12 metres (40') up in a gum tree and have grown them in Bairnsdale on the South Coast of Victoria where they covered a shed. It's worth the challenge. Buy one or two choko's from a fruit shop and keep them inside on a bench until they start to sprout then plant the whole choko in a pot with the sprout base just under the soil. Keep them inside until all risks of frost are over. Select a spot in the garden that gets the maximum amount of sun for the day. Against a North or North-East facing wall or fence would be ideal. Dig a good sized hole and add horse or poultry manure in the bottom then cover that with soil. As the manure rots it will generate heat which will help get the choko growing and also provide fertiliser when the roots get down. Some aluminium foil or a piece of builders insulation fixed behind it will reflect heat and help as well. You will have to hope for a long hot summer to get chokos for harvest but it won't have cost you a lot if it doesn't work. Choko vines die back in the winter so you could give it a good blanket of hay or straw to protect the root from frost and hopefully a better season next year. All the best, let us know how you go.
11 Dec 16, Paul (Australia - temperate climate)
Why are the leaves on my choko vine turning yellow? I water every day & give it flourish once a week. Hope you can help, Thanks Paul.
14 Dec 16, Bret Hemberg (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Paul, Given that choko have little problem with diseases there could be 2 reasons for the yellow leaves. The first is that the soil pH is wrong for it. If the plant has a pH soil outside the range of 6.0 to 6.8, it will not be able to take up the nutrients present in the soil. Which brings me to the second reason; chokos like sandy loamy soil, so while they need good water, it has to be in a medium where the soil doesn't get soggy otherwise it can kill your plant. Your plant may wilt during the day from the heat (through transpiration) but that is not necessarily a bad thing and doesn't mean they are dry, and they will pick up again in the evening. To see if there is a problem with this you can check the soil up to 12 inches from the base of plant. Hope that helps Bret
29 Dec 16, Paul (Australia - temperate climate)
Thanks Bret, i think it's my soil, i will have to add some nutrients. Thanks again for your help. Cheers Paul.
31 Oct 16, robert rowen (Australia - tropical climate)
can you freeze peeled choko for chips or baking thankyou
18 Nov 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
I haven't tried it but would imagine it would thaw out soggy because of its high water content. Frozen Choko would be ideal to use in soup though. Chop it smll enough first.
03 Oct 16, Sofie (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I live in tassie, but live on the east coast. I'm really wanting to get some chokos. Please help, thanks
08 Oct 16, Ben (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Salamanca Fruit Market often have them if you happen to be in Hobart.
04 Oct 16, Chris (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
You can plant any chokos you get from the supermarket. We see them in Coles all the time.
Showing 11 - 20 of 126 comments

I haven't tried it but would imagine it would thaw out soggy because of its high water content. Frozen Choko would be ideal to use in soup though. Chop it smll enough first.

- John

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