28 August 2013


I'm in heaven, or at least heaven on earth, this morning.

I had a quick trip to the doctor and then the chemist with Mum yesterday and while we were waiting for the scripts she wanted to go into the Woolworths next door to get some bread. To kill time I was wandering around going slightly nuts over the price of the fruit and vegetables - and where they'd come from (nectarines $9.98/kg - straight from the USA!).

Anyway as I was browsing I found a tiny, tiny basket of chokos tucked in the corner of a top shelf of the chiller cabinet. $2.98/kg!

I love choko. I have tried and tried to get a choko vine to grow here in Melbourne without success and I must say I think this is my biggest gardening disappointment.

So, even though I hadn't planned to buy anything and choko certainly wasn't on my shopping list and the food miles are probably enormous, I bought two.

Tonight I am going to have steamed choko in curry sauce with my dinner and tomorrow night I'm going to have crumbed choko with dinner. The leftovers I will add to some cauliflower, make a cheese sauce and serve it with our roast on Sunday.

My mouth is watering at the thought.

I only wish I had enough to make pickle - choko pickle is the best!

And I think I'm going to try another choko vine - it can't hurt.

They are so easy to grow - just put one in a warm, dark cupboard and wait for it to sprout. When the shoots are about 10cm or so long, plant it in a warm, sunny spot, shoots up. It will grow like a weed as long as it gets plenty of sun and you keep the soil moist but not soggy, and cover it for frosts. Choko is frost sensitive, which could be why I've not had much luck with growing it. We don't get a lot of frosts so I tend to forget to put the frost cloth over the garden until after the event!

I've put one in the bottom of the pantry in the potato box. Here's hoping it shoots and grows :)


  1. Im in Bacchus Marsh Vic and choko's grow on fences around town and even on the fence around the local shopping center. No one cares for them and they grow wild. :)

  2. My dad grew them in Gippsland and that is colder than Melbourne, so you should be able to get one to grow. Good luck!

  3. You can't grow chokos?? When I moved to Clayton, I discovered choko vines not only thick around the house, but in many unexpected places all around Clayton! I pass your post office on the way to work; maybe I should leave a few baby vines for you. :)

    1. No, I can't get a choko vine to take. Not much that won't grow for me, but chokos are my big fail in the garden.

  4. Hi Cath.....

    It's been a long time since the original post and I hope you have managed to succeed at growing a choko vine and indulged in marvelous mustard choko pickles on cheese toasties all year round!
    If not, the secret is temperature. Just fill up a one litre (or small/moderate) plant pot with potting mix. Then put the choko down buried 1/4 into the soil (the end that was attached to the vine goes soil first). Then make sure it's got some bottom warmth. The soil should be over 20 C. I've used electric blankets before or at least do it inside or only outside when it's reliably warm. Give it a good water and then wait. 10 days ago I put half a dozen down like this and I am 100% serious that the biggest vine is now nearly one meter and growing at five inches per day. I wish I could post photos, they are like triffids. At this stage repot it or put it in the garden near where it can grab onto something (preferably not a person or a pet). I'm in Brisbane and it's October but this was done inside so the plant was geo-blind. Good luck- choko's have a long and strong history for the battlers and the cheapskates. Keep up the good work!!


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