How to Grow Chayote
Instructions for Growing Chayote
in Your Vegetable Garden
*** Easy to grow! ***
Chayote (also known as choko) is a greenish fruit that grows on very enthusiastic and wandering vines. The vines produce both male and female flowers, and are heavy enough that they will need support.
Contains: Dietary Fiber, Vitamin K, C, B6, Folate, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Panthothenic Acid, Magnesium and Potassium.
Growing chayote works best in subtropical climates and areas with hotter temperatures. Severe frosts will kill the vine. In many areas with cooler temperatures, the vine dies down over winter, but will grow anew in the spring.
This plant prefers to be positioned in warm sunny spots against a wall.
Gardening Tip for Growing Chayote - During cold snaps, you can keep the plant in a pot inside. Then plant (or move) it outside again in your garden, when the weather warms up. It is also a good choice for container gardening.
Note: Growing chayote requires a warm 6 month growing season.
Provide the best situation for growing chayote by preparing the soil ahead of time. Dig in a generous portion of organic matter (compost, well-rotted manure) and fertilizer, and make sure that the garden bed is well drained.
Keep weeds down during growing period. Chayote doesn't do well with competition from weeds.
After harvesting and before winter arrives, cut the vine back to 4 shoots. If you're leaving the plant outside for the winter, mulch heavily to protect the roots.
Growing chayote is actually pretty simplr. Select a mature chayote fruit from your grocery store. Plant the whole fruit about 4” deep in damp soil in your garden. Position the fruit at an angle, so that the shooting end points downwards, and that the other end peaks above the soil level.
Plant near a fence or other strong supporting structure in your garden. If planting more than one, space approximately 1 yard apart to allow plenty of growing room for the vines.
Chayote requires a lot of water, to keep the vine growing. For it to grow appropriately, plan to water it regularly (esecially in dry periods and in late summer).
Several weeks before planting, add a dose of compelte fertilizer. Halfway through the summer growing season, apply another dose of the complete fertilizer to the plant's garden bed.
During second growing chayote, fertilize again around the new shoots (during early spring).
Chayote is normally problem free. You may see some aphids or pumpkin beetles.
Gardening Tip for Growing Chayote - Practice good vegetable gardening by rotating your crops within your garden space with each new season. This will prevent many plant diseases.
Harvest the chayote fruit when light green and about 2” long. The larger the fruit, the less flavor.
Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.