Tomato Late Blight Reports--and an idea
Tomato Late Blight Progress/Winter Garden Report

Chayote Report

In posts of last spring and summer, I wrote about starting chayote squash from the fruits and planting them on a trellis. I haven't shown photos for a while, but the plants covered the trellis and are beginning to set fruit, and I thought you'd like to see.

2008 December 038 copy 

As you can see, the plant on the right, which is the east, is thinner at the bottom than the other, but both did pretty well. I think the soil on the right needs a little more work. I have added extra fertilizer, but will add more compost and fertilizer to both sides in the spring.

To the right of the trellis, you can see the yacon plants. This is their first year in this location, and they didn't get as tall as they were where I had them before. These are South American mountain plants with edible roots. I will be digging them soon and will show photos.

2008 December 035 copy  Here is what happened to the chayote due to the hail we had recently in San Francisco. The leaves, especially the ones on the top of the trellis, were shredded. I took this photo the next day, but now, a week or so later, the ones with the worst damage have begun to shrivel. I guess I will have to pull some of them off, since they look awful and aren't helping the plant any. However, it has begun to set tiny squash fruit. Photos soon.

Keep sending tomato late blight reports--see last two posts--I want to figure out how bad the problem is in the Bay Area.


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Pam Peirce

Hi Clarissa,

Reports of success or failure are most helpful in they include the neighborhood or micrcoclimate in which the plants are growing. I planted chayote at City College and it also didn't bear well. It's a foggy neighborhood, and I suspect the site was too windy, and therefore cold, but don't really know. The plants bloomed in late fall, as they should, but only set one fruit in 3 years. I see other chayote plants growing in foggy San Francisco neighborhoods, but don't know if they are bearing. They were certainly immensely productive in the two Mission District sites where I've grown them.

Clarissa Kripke

I put in two chayote in San Francisco. They grew like crazy for two years--huge vines, but they flowered late-- February and no fruit. Right now the vines are dying back and there are a few olive size fruits. Am I doing something wrong?

Pam Peirce

That's an interesting idea. No, I grew chayote in the Mission District of SF for many years without cutting back any stems and had plenty of fruit. Sometimes, after I had been growing it for a few years, I cut a few stem tips early in the season to eat them (yum!), and that didn't seem to make much difference to production. Please tell how the past few years have been a challenge and how cutting back has related to fruit production in the past. That is, did production get worse when you started cutting off runners, or have you been doing it all along and production was fine until the past few years, or what?

L. Rose

I live in the SF Eastbay and have grown chayote for a number of years. These last few years have been a challenge. Ordinarily, I cut off many of the runners as they begin to proliferate in the late summer, so as to encourage fruit production instead of plant growth. Is this something that you do? This year, I haven't cut any of the shoots, so I can test whether or not there is a difference.


When I was in Thailand this winter I ate chayote greens and they were wonderful. I'd plant it just for that.

Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener

Quite a different experience than I who also grow chayote, but in the Virginian Northern Piedmont. As have to treat the vines as annual and I never get mature fruit. But I sure eat lots of stir-fry shoots.

I love your handsome arbor too, and posted a link on my narrative back to your picture. Mine is very rustic compared to yours.



Seeds of Change lists Matt's Wild Cherry.


Hello. How wonderful to come across a local blogger as well as an educator and author! I look forward to learning more about the Bay Area's gardening culture through your eyes. I will be back for more.

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