Chokos (Sechium edule) are creeping their way back into New Zealand gardens. Once common as a cover for backyard sheds and bare fences, this hardy fruiting vine is making a comeback and it’s more than the fruit that is sought after. Chokos are easy to grow and care for, all the plant requires is a support or trellis to climb on and away it goes!. The avocado shaped fruits can be eaten raw, like a cucumber, with the older fruits able to be steamed or stir fried. Go on, give a choko a go!


How to grow choko in a garden

  1. Choose a spot in your garden with well-drained soil that receives full sun to part shade. Enrich the soil with Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone with Seaweed
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the choko from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed.  Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.
  4. Mulch with an organic mulch, such as bark chips, pea or lucerne straw ensuring to keep it away from the base of the plant. 
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions. 
  6. Feed the vine once every autumn and spring with Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone with Seaweed. When flowering and fruiting, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Natural Fish Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate to help promote fruit production.  
  7. Harvest by snipping fruits when 5-7 cm long in autumn. 

     
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How to grow choko in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 300mm wide and deep and position in full sun to part shade. 
  2. Fill pot with quality potting mix, such as Yates Premium Potting Mix.  
  3. Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  4. Position in pot and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well. 
  5. Mulch with an organic mulch, such as bark chips, pea or lucerne straw ensuring to keep it away from the base of the plant.  
  6. Feed weekly with Yates Thrive Natural Fish Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate
  7. Harvest by snipping fruits when 5-7cm long in autumn.

Growing tips

  • Prune the vine each winter to leave two to four young shoots for the next crop to grow the following season  
  • Chokos love their space and heaps of room to grow. Ensure that you have a trellis handy to assist with the fast growth of the vine.  
  • Chokos are self-pollinating and only one vine is needed to get an abundance of fruit for your kitchen table.  

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