I call it a Cho-Cho but each to their own. I planted one at my allotment last year and it started to bear fruit but as it was a little late in the season, the weather turned a bit too cold and there was less sunlight so it didn’t do half as well as this year.
In March this year I started it off at home placing the whole cho-cho in a freezer bag and putting it on the utility room window sill – as far as I’m aware this type of squash isn’t generally grown from seed.
After a few weeks it started to sprout and once it reached about 4 inches high and the weather had warmed up a bit more I moved in into my allotment shed which has a large perspex window which helps it to get a lot of light and kept it quite warm. At this stage I placed it in a plastic flower pot in some compost, so about 1/3 of the Cho-Cho was still visible.
I kept it well watered and before long the vine had grown to about 2 ft so in June I planted it outside, again planting it so part of the Cho-Cho was exposed. I also planted an additional one which was given to me by one of my plot neighbours.
The weather in June was a complete washout in South London and I was concerned that the constant rain and lack of heat would negatively affect the vines, but it didn’t and they started to grow quite vigorously. I had to find a way of creating some kind of make shift trellis to support them, I didn’t want to build a permanent trellis there as I’m hoping to have a green house/poly tunnel in that space next year so I got a couple wooden stakes and some clothing line wire which I attached to the top of my shed to the wooden stakes and along to my compost bin so I could train the vines around it.
The vines also have tendrils which attached them self to whatever is in their path – e.g. my grape trellis and the wall at the back!
I kept the vines well watered especially as the weather in July and August really started to heat up, I was also advised to sprinkle some water over the actual vines too. The vines seemed to take forever to fruit but eventually at the end of August there they were…tiny Cho-Cho – smaller than my little finger nail! I also saw an increase of bees on the vines…doing what they do best!
What surprised me was the speed at which they developed from the initial sighting
A few days ago I was able to harvest the largest one and it seems that so many are developing. I eat Cho-Cho regularly and thankfully for or the time being I won’t need to buy any, I’ve been told that you can get well over 100 from one vine (I’m hoping that’s true) I can’t wait to cook it and taste the fruit of my labour!
I’ll definitely be growing this again next year, it requires minimal work, just regular watering and initial training of the vines.