Hello from East Texas

baymule

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So you plant one and it produces 150 squash a year, dies back, overwinters and comes back out in the spring? That sounds like the ultimate survival food. Either that or it makes so danged many that you never want to see another one ever again and you feed them to the chickens/pigs/sheep :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

And you can eat the tubers....... and the leaves too? Ok, now I am impressed. Do you just buy one at the store, get the seeds and plant them?
 

Just Don

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So you plant one and it produces 150 squash a year, dies back, overwinters and comes back out in the spring? That sounds like the ultimate survival food. Either that or it makes so danged many that you never want to see another one ever again and you feed them to the chickens/pigs/sheep :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

And you can eat the tubers....... and the leaves too? Ok, now I am impressed. Do you just buy one at the store, get the seeds and plant them?
yes and there is that! Pass them out to the neighborhood till they vote you out.. Poor grandma might pray you don't come by any more cause she's has so many canned ch cha chay chayo chayote!
 

Zeedman

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So you plant one and it produces 150 squash a year, dies back, overwinters and comes back out in the spring? That sounds like the ultimate survival food. Either that or it makes so danged many that you never want to see another one ever again and you feed them to the chickens/pigs/sheep :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

And you can eat the tubers....... and the leaves too? Ok, now I am impressed. Do you just buy one at the store, get the seeds and plant them?
You might not get that much the first year. Mine produced about 50 per plant the first year (which with 2 plants, is still a lot). When frost arrives, it will kill everything above ground; but provided that the ground doesn't freeze, the crown & roots will go dormant until warm weather returns. It is not a bad idea to protect the crown & surrounding area with much.

In following years, the yield will increase. Provided that the trellis is strong enough to support 15-20' vines in all directions, 100+ per plant is easily possible. The large root system is close to the soil surface & needs to be kept moist, so a thick layer of leaves, straw, or other organic mulch at least 6-10' from the base is helpful. That mulch will also feed the vines as it breaks down, and it was not unusual for me to find roots reaching up into the decaying mulch. If kept well fed, the plants will produce heavily for years.

One of the good things about growing your own chayote is you control the size. Home-grown chayote can get much larger than those in the supermarket, which are harvested young. At full size, they might be 12 ounces to a pound each. Don't be surprised if home-grown chayote have soft spines, even if the ones planted were smooth; that was the case both times I planted.

A note about storage. Chayote squashes are very sensitive to chill damage, even if refrigerated. So while it may be tempting to store some of those large numbers in the fridge, that would severely reduce their storage life. A cool, well ventilated shelf works well, and they will even store for a month or two on a kitchen counter. Eventually the fruit will split on the blossom end, the seed will protrude, and a sprout will emerge. They should be either eaten or planted at that time. To plant, the whole fruit is buried halfway, blossom-end down at a 45 degree angle, with the stem end above ground. The best way to grow your first plants is from mature fruit from another gardener; but if you can't find that, look for large squashes where the seed has begun to stick out.

Chayote is one of two sub-tropical perennial squashes that I wish I could grow here. The other one is Malabar squash, a.k.a. Fig Leaf squash, Chilacayote, Shark Fin Melon, and many other names. It too is a rampant vine, which can cover a large trellis - or a small tree. (You are most likely to find good photos of the vines if you search "shark fin melon".) The young squashes are good in soups; the mature squash have incredibly long storage life. I have one sitting on a shelf that was given to me at a swap in February 2020, and it still shows no sign of spoilage. Great Lakes Staple Seeds sells Malabar gourd, listed as "Pastella".

Hopefully someone will find these squashes interesting enough to try, and post photos in the future. :fl
 

baymule

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Do rabbits eat the chayote vines? I have a garden fence where I could plant some and the sheep couldn't get to them, but rabbits can. What about using a grocery store chayote for seed?
 

Artichoke Lover

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Chayote squash
I definitely want to try growing those. The problem would be convincing the rest of the family it’s edible:gig
It would interesting to see what it does with a 180 day growing season.
My only problem might be finding seeds since it seems unheard of here including in stores. I might have ask around at a few of the Mexican grocery stores around here.
 

ninnymary

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My grandmother grew chayote but it was the smooth skin kind. Vines get super long.

One of my parents brings me some but it is the spiney kind. Her mom grows the smooth one and they started my parent's plant from one of those smooth seeds. Weird, you would think it would be a smooth one.

Zeed, I have to disagree with you. Those spines are not soft. They are so prickly you can't hold them with just your hand to peel and chop them. I have to cover them with a dish towel.

Chayote is very nutritious. I usually will add it to soups or chop and saute in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Mary
 

Just Don

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Do rabbits eat the chayote vines? I have a garden fence where I could plant some and the sheep couldn't get to them, but rabbits can. What about using a grocery store chayote fo
Do rabbits eat the chayote vines? I have a garden fence where I could plant some and the sheep couldn't get to them, but rabbits can. What about using a grocery store chayote for seed?
I bought mine from Wal-mart was a whole lot cheaper them other people on the web..
 

Just Don

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I definitely want to try growing those. The problem would be convincing the rest of the family it’s edible:gig
It would interesting to see what it does with a 180 day growing season.
My only problem might be finding seeds since it seems unheard of here including in stores. I might have ask around at a few of the Mexican grocery stores around here.
Go buy the squash at walmart coook some for your family and then watch youtube videos to explain how to sprout seeds very easy..
here are some videos

here are some recipes..


Internet searches is your gardening friend I promise...
 

Just Don

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My grandmother grew chayote but it was the smooth skin kind. Vines get super long.

One of my parents brings me some but it is the spiney kind. Her mom grows the smooth one and they started my parent's plant from one of those smooth seeds. Weird, you would think it would be a smooth one.

Zeed, I have to disagree with you. Those spines are not soft. They are so prickly you can't hold them with just your hand to peel and chop them. I have to cover them with a dish towel.

Chayote is very nutritious. I usually will add it to soups or chop and saute in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Mary
Mary great review make me more excited about them..
 
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