Chayote is a warm weather crop. Therefore, 150 frost-free days will be needed to reach its full potential in autumn.
This vegetable grows on a vine and produces pear-shaped fruit. You can eat almost all parts of the plant including the root, leaves and fruit.
Land preparation and planting for Chayote Squash Growth:
Before preparing the land the weeds and stones should be removed from the land. Land should be well prepared by mixing manure with the soil. Shallow holes should be prepared of 1 square feet wide and the distance between the holes should be 3 m between the hills and the rows. Now the land should be supplied with the organic fertilizer to make the soil fertile. 3 fruit seeds should be placed in one hill, leaving 1/3 of the seed exposed. In the rainy season the planting should be done so that not much irrigation is needed.
The seeds are what make the Chayote plant propagate. The seeds usually germinate within the fully ripe fruit. In fact, it is customary to keep the fruit to sprout, but some people take it to eat it as fruit.
Planting Chayote Squash from Seed
Start with two whole unsoaked squashes (often available from Asian markets). Put them in a cool, dry, dark place, like a chest, and wait until they sprout (about 3-5 weeks). Continue to store them in the dark until the sprouts are about 5-8 cm (2-3 inches) long.
Soil to Grow Chayote Squash
Chayote needs loose and well-drained soil, which retains moisture and is rich in organic matter. You can prepare the soil before planting with manure and well-rotted compost.
The ideal soil pH range from 6.0 to 6.8.
Water and Moisture
Water your chayote squash weekly at a rate of 1 inch per week. Keep water consistent with drip irrigation, which provides a steady supply, and prevents backsplash on leaves to prevent fungal diseases. Test the soil under the chayote squash until your second knock. If you find the soil dry there, add water. The soil moisture should be moist, but not waterlogged. In warmer seasons, water the plant daily. If the chayote gets hot on a hot summer evening, know that this is normal. Do not over water, especially when it rains.
Chayote squash prefers loamy, sandy soil that drains well. Chayote grows naturally in Central America and other tropical regions. Here the soil is often clay or volcanic. In home gardens, chayote requires a little amendment with rich organic compost, and possibly some agricultural sand. Sand, or even perlite, is useful in areas where the soil needs more drainage. Peat moss is an excellent addition to soils that require moisture retention. If you plant the chayote in poor soils, it will still grow, but it may not be as prolific. The best pH for growing chayote is 6.0 to 6.8.
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