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Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

Posted by macaronicat z7aNM (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 21, 05 at 14:22

How do you make the squash sprout from its seed? Do you cut out the flesh and put the seed in water, such as growing an avacado seed? Or do you leave the squash alone until it starts to sprout on its own as in potatos? Any help would be appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

If I remember correctly, my mom left them alone, and they sprouted on their own like potatoes...


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

Thanks Barbara, I'll leave them alone and see what happen, right now they are kind of wrinkle and dry, no sign of sprouting, wonder it has past its prime.


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

  • Posted by bellie 7-B ..Va. Beach (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 26, 05 at 6:41

Barbara in La is right or just go to the oriental store and but the ones that are sprouting. I grow them every year. Good luck. Bellie


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

It's quite true that chayote fruits will sprout just sitting on a shelf, but . . .

1. they probably need to be mature, whereas the stage at which thay are best eaten is when not fully matured, so the single seed is not fully developed

2. they probably require a certain minimum temperature


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

I've sprouted them on my kitchen windowsill. Once it's spouted, just plant the whole thing. It will want a trellis to climb, tho, or even an arbor.


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

Thank you all for answering my question. My chayote finnally start to sprout a little bit, but it's too cold to plant it outdoor this time of the year. Maybe I should plant them in pots, I hope they don't die when it's time to transplant outside.


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

  • Posted by Baci z10Ca (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 23, 05 at 22:44

Chayote does not do well in pots. If you are going to pot them, transplant them out as soon as possible. Another option is to wait a bit longer (they will continue to sprout), or plant them out & protect them. I planted spiny chayote last winter (I know this was the wrong time) & covered them. They survived & are starting to grow with the spring heat.


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

Here in Florida the advice is to plant them whole, stem end up and just under the surface.


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

Mine sprouted very well on the kitchen counter. I moved it to a sunny windowsil and did nothing. When I moved it outside the vine was about 2 feet tall. I had no choice but to plant it in a big pot. 2 weeks later it is now wanting to trellis. Thanks for all your info.


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

They sprout easily and quickly on the kitchen counter. Buried with the crease just at ground level, the plant grows great and starts to climb immediately. The rest of the fruit turns to goopy fertilizer.
-Bob


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

I planted the sprouting squash into the ground last Spring; the vine grew about 3-4 feet all summer, then stopped, nothing happened for a while; it finally died in the Fall. I was disappointed.


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

I grew chayote (Sechium edule) when I lived in San Jose, California. The tips given above for planting the fruit (bottom half buried) will work. You can also start the seed early in a large pot, but like most gourds, take care to disturb the roots as little as possible during transplanting (a lining of newspaper inside the pot will help hold the root ball together during transplant). Other facts you should know:
(1) Chayote does not always come true from seed, so the fruit from your plants may be different than what you started with. Mine was more spiney than the original (but larger).
(2) Vines are perennial, as long as the ground is not allowed to freeze. Mulch may be required for protection. The tops are killed by frost, but the roots will go dormant, and the vines will resprout from the roots when weather warms. Keep the soil moist during dormancy, the roots are shallow & tender... in dry desert areas, mulch is a _must_.
(3) Expect ENORMOUS vines, and trellis accordingly. If you have the space, the best method is a "T" trellis like that used for grapes, or a large 2-by-4 box frame with chicken wire across the top. Train the first runners to the top with string, then just let them run. My trellis was a 15 X 30 foot area mounted 6 feet high; 2 plants covered it densely - and beyond.
(4) It is recommended that you have at least 2 plants, for proper pollination and higher yield.
(5) Chayote is very daylength-sensitive, and will not blossom until days are short (at which time the entire vine begins to flower). Unfortunately for most of us in the U.S., that is not until late August - early September. So you need a long season to be successful, unless the vines will be protected. With the cheap "hoop house" greenhouses, protection may be worthwhile... the vines get stronger, and yield more, each year. With 2 vines, I went from 50 fruits the first year, to over 150 the second, and 200 the third!
(6) Try to pinch back all but the strongest 2 or 3 runners. Don't throw them away, the vine tips are very tasty as a vegetable. Good luck!


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

Thank you Zeedman for the very useful information. I'll try again next year. I think it is too late to start now.


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

  • Posted by kayan Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Wed, May 10, 06 at 16:54

Wow, thanks for starting this thread, macaronicat! I was just outside staring blankly at my dad's two Chayote plants wondering what to do with them. He randomly takes care of his plants, so I usually have to jump in.

I've got a question to add...

My dad's planted his two Chayote about an inch apart from each other. One is a good foot or more high, the other is about four inches. Can I still carefully dig and transplant the shorter plant? And if that can be done, how far should I plant them from each other?

Thanks a lot!


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

One is a good foot or more high, the other is about four inches. Can I still carefully dig and transplant the shorter plant? And if that can be done, how far should I plant them from each other?

Of course. Space about 2 feet apart.

How to Transplant
Tips to use for optimum transplanting assuming your destination soil is prepared and ready to go:

1) Prepare your destination location. Dig the destination holes. Make sure it is ready to go.

2) Make sure the plant is hydrated.
If in a container, submerge the continer in a bucket or tub of water and hold it down until all air bubbles are out. Then leave it there for 20 minutes so it can take a good, long drink. Do not soak overnight. You'll smother your plant if you do that. Please do not keep roots underwater overnight. More plants die from too much water than from dehydration. Plants recover better from dehydration than from the roots being deprived of oxygen. Keep in mind that roots need equal parts water, oxygen, and nutrients.

If in the ground, water well a good 2-4 hours before moving.

Want to make it even better? Fill the bucket of water early in the day in a sunny area so it can warm up resulting in sun warmed water.

3) Move plants in the evening when the sun is less direct. Don't disturb plants until you are ready to transplant in the new location. Get them transplanted before dark and they will have one whole night to relax and adjust to their new home before dealing with light. Never let roots sit in sun or wind.

4) Move plants when it is not windy. Sun and wind are hard on roots, if even for a few minutes so avoid it if at all possible.

5) Transplant before a rain. This is the most recommended and has the highest success rate. Especially if it's going to rain the next day and you can plant the evening before. Try it... you'll see.

6) Dig around the plant at least as wide as the edges of the outer leaves and depending on the size of the plant, 6-8 inches down - less if the plant is smaller, more if the plant is larger. If the plant is a small shrub like rosemary, dig around the plant a few inches further then the outer edges of the leaves. You can quickly determine where the majority of the root system is and what is best to dig out.

7) Be Gentle. Never handle young plants only by the stem (you wouldn't want someone picking you up only by your neck), always support the base. Keep as much of the soil around the root in tact as possible. In addition to the root system you can see with your eye, there is an entire system you can not see called mycorrhizas which are anatomically intimate associations between fine (feeder) roots of plants and some special soil borne fungi. If you disturb the soil around the roots, you disturb this delicate system.

If it is rootbound, then you'll have to gently loosen the roots so they don't continue to strangle themselves.

8) Once you get your plant where you want it, fill in with soil, and water it in (again, best with sun warmed water) so the surrounding area is moistened.

That's it! You're done and you can feel confident you gave your transplant the best chance of a stress free change you could possibly do.

Your plants will reward you because they've received the best TLC they could get from their caretaker.

Extra Details:
Do not soak overnight. You'll smother your plant if you do that. Please do not keep roots underwater overnight. More plants die from too much water than from dehydration. Plants recover better from dehydration than from the roots being deprived of oxygen. Keep in mind that roots need equal parts water, oxygen, and nutrients.

The above tips were given assuming your soil is "ready" meaning you've had your soil test and made any necessary amendments. I do not recommend fertilizing at the time of transplant (WHAT?!). "Many gardeners make the mistake of overfertilizing. This practice can lead to nutrient deficiencies because of nutrients binding to the excess elements. Restoring nutrient balance after applying too much fertilizer is nearly impossible in the short run."

1) Get your soil tested by a lab. This is the only way to be 100% sure. Don't guess. You actually save time, money, and work by only adding what you need. Check with your state's Extension Service. They'll tell you what you need to do to get it tested. It's usually only $6.00 -$12.00 (mine was $9.00) which is what home kits cost but don't tell you nearly as much as a lab can tell you. Then you won't be guessing as to what state your soil is in or wasting money on amendments you don't need. They'll tell you exactly how much of what elements you need to add to your soil per square foot (if any). Stick with compost and natural sources of organic matter instead of fertilizers which can render your soil sterile in the long run. If you have more soil questions, browse the Soil Compost Mulch Forum Is there another way? Yes, raised beds or container gardening where you add the growing medium used in #5 below.

2) Incorporate real organic matter and shredded newspaper (not just compost) into your soil. Worms love it. If you don't have worms in your soil, the worms don't like your soil and the plants won't like it either.

3) Read about Building Fertile Soil.

4) Read about Fertilizing a vegetable garden, not so you can apply more, but so you're informed on the topic. A little goes a long way. Most experienced gardeners will dilute any fertilizer to half of the recommended strength if they use it at all.

5) Eliminate the use of anything but compost made from a variety of organic materials. Lay off the fertilizer - you don't need it if you have enough compost. If you don't believe me, look here.

Then look here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

So when I say "I do not recommend fertilizing at the time of transplant." This means get informed. Read the info provided at the links above and prep your soil well before you ever plant anything, then you won't need to fertilize. If you do - be *sure* you are not guessing or adding because it makes you feel better. If you had your soil tested, made the proper adjustments, and added plenty of compost made from multiple sources, then research the specific needs of the plant you are putting in to see if it prefers anything specific. And never add chemical fertilizers, stick to things like diluted solutions of fish emulsion, liquid kelp, compost tea, etc.


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

Kayan, I just dusted off my vintage 1984 Sunset "New Western Garden Book" (I knew it would come in handy someday) and found that I once gardened in your zone, during my California years. I was living in San Jose at the time (Sunset 15), but gardening a large plot on utility land near the NASA wind tunnel facility.

One of the local Master Gardeners got me interested in chayote. There are (or were?) information pamphlets on chayote available through the U.C. Extension (U.C. Davis had them, if I remember correctly). The pamphlet was very detailed, and would probably be of great help to you.


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

  • Posted by kayan Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Thu, May 11, 06 at 17:44

violet, thanks for the info. Definitely saving the transplanting guide to my HD.

zeedman, cool! Thanks a lot! I've got a friend attending Davis so I'm gonna ask and see if he can get me those pamphlets.


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

Hmm, I think I have a chayote rotting in the fridge...had I known that I might be able to plant it, I would have left it on the counter...oh well. I love chayote. It holds up really well in the crock pot!


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

cyumickey,

Even if it is rotting, there is a good chance your seeds are just fine. Go ahead and try...

;)


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RE: Anyone try growing chyote or 'Budha's palm' squash?

hmm maybe I will! it will depend on if I can find a place for it!


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