Hello from East Texas

Just Don

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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
Darn zeedman now I need to try one of those.. :bow
 

Just Don

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Found some Chilacayote for a very good price.
 

Zeedman

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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?

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.

Rabbits would almost certainly eat the young vines, so they would need protection. A cylinder of chicken wire around each plant should be enough to start with... but if grown on a low fence, the rabbits may be able to reach the lower vines. It would need to be a long fence too, since a single healthy plant will cover 20-30' of fence.

I had not mentioned it above, but chayote makes an excellent arbor cover. I grew mine on a 10' X 30' horizontal trellis mounted 6' above the ground. The dense leaf cover made it a nice shady place to sit in late summer. Wish I could post a photo, the trellis was really beautiful with all of the squash hanging down from it - but no digital photos in the 80's. :(

A store-bought chayote will grow, provided it is large enough to have a mature seed. You would be most likely to find larger ones in an Oriental or Hispanic market. They could be found under one of their alternate names, "merliton". Ideally, you should be able to see the seed poking out slightly from the blossom end... but any large squash should begin to sprout if left on a shelf to mature.
 

Zeedman

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This video shows the overhead trellising system I used, which was recommended to me by UC Davis (who used to put out a growing guide, when they were promoting chayote as a market crop). It shows several different types of chayote, and shows how thickly the squash can grow. Think of it as eye candy for vegetable gardeners. ;)

I really like the part where the growers are trellising chayote & kiwi together. If only I lived in a slightly warmer climate (sigh).
 

Just Don

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This video shows the overhead trellising system I used, which was recommended to me by UC Davis (who used to put out a growing guide, when they were promoting chayote as a market crop). It shows several different types of chayote, and shows how thickly the squash can grow. Think of it as eye candy for vegetable gardeners. ;)

I really like the part where the growers are trellising chayote & kiwi together. If only I lived in a slightly warmer climate (sigh).
I agree that is really neat video
 
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