Sometimes gardening seems like the slowest of sports. Like tennis that you play by hitting a ball and then waiting a few months for it to come back. Last March, I planted four chayote fruits in a greenhouse. Three of them sprouted. Whe I tried to harden them off in a lathe house, they were damaged by cold, or wind, so it was back into the greenhouse for them. Then back to the lathe house in May. On the day I planned to plant them out, it was so windy that I had to put the pots in a protected spot so they wouldn't blow over. Didn't seem like an auspicious day to plant them. Finally, last week, we put them in the ground! They are at the base of the nylon trellis I put on the frame of the beautiful arbor that the City College construction class built. There are two bamboo stakes for the plant to climb as it angles its first branches toward the trellis. But I keep talking about two plants. You may ask, where is the other one? It is on the other side of the arbor. They aren't very impressive right now. In fact, you can barely see the second plant in the following photo. It feels sort of silly having all of that trellis, and that huge arbor, but the last time I grew chayote, it was thirty feet tall and wide, so I have great expectations. I had this arbor built as a defensible space, a structure the chyote squash plants could climbe without being able to find anything else to climb into.
Here is the whole arbor. The above chayote is in the front, next to the rather ugly hose bibb. The other one is way off in the distance, behind the arbor. The plan is for them to meet in the middle at the top. I'm hoping for many chayotes to share wtih students in November and December. (For more photos of the chayotes starting to grow in the greenhouse, and of the arbor, use the search feature at the right side of my blog to search for "chayote" and for "arbor" elsewhere in the blog.)