How to Plant a Spring Sprout to Prepare for a Fall Planting
Mirliton Blog
by Lance Hill
3w ago
Here’s a proven method of planting a spring sprout that you got too late for ground planting. Homer Baham told us about this simple method of container planting the mirliton for the summer and transplanting it into the ground in the fall.  Then he mulches it for the winter and it comes back and produces a spring crop. Here’s what Homer writes: “I have successfully done this many times,  including last year after losing my 6-year-old vines in the heat dome. You should plant the sprouts in two-gallon pots and let them root and grow in the pots throughout the summer (they can be pruned ..read more
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Mirliton Water Uptake Root Diagram
Mirliton Blog
by Lance Hill
3M ago
Mirliton Root Structure: The roots extend about 12” deep. This diagram shows water uptake in increments of 4″ and you can see that 70% of the water uptake occurs in the top 8″.  There are shallow, superficial roots that extend laterally for up to 6 feet, but they only uptake a small percentage of moisture and nutrients. _________________ The post Mirliton Water Uptake Root Diagram appeared first on Mirliton ..read more
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How To Grow a Mirliton in a Container on the Gulf Coast
Mirliton Blog
by Lance Hill
4M ago
Many people don’t have access to yard space, so they are attempting to grow mirlitons in containers. That’s difficult to do along the Gulf Coast–but not impossible. In 2020, James Cobb in Houma, Louisiana, was the first person I knew of who grew a mirliton to fruition in the state. In 2023, Bonnie Landry Palumbo and her husband Butch also successfully got mirlitons to set fruit in pictured 22 ½ -gallon containers in Jeanerette, Louisiana.  I don’t know anyone else in Louisiana who has grown one in a container, though it’s a common way to grow them in drier climates like the West Coast.&n ..read more
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Corking: Another way to Verify You are Getting An Authentic Heirloom Mirliton
Mirliton Blog
by Lance Hill
4M ago
Did you ever notice the brown lines on some mature mirlitons? They’re a fairly reliable way of knowing if the mirliton is a locally grown Louisiana heirloom. Dr. Jorge Cadena Iñiguez, a leading world expert on chayote (mirlitons), recommends we use the term Corking or Cork lines for the brown, cork-like lines that sometimes appear on the skin surface of mirlitons.   Corking in mirlitons is a form of “lignification” and is composed of lignin, the same substance that comprises bark cell walls. It probably develops to protect the fruit from pests and disease. What is important for us is tha ..read more
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Made In the Shade
Mirliton Blog
by Lance Hill
4M ago
  In 2023, we learned that mirlitons need partial shade when there is prolonged, intensive heat above 95 degrees.  That, along with substantial ground irrigation, can get us through another Heat Dome.    If you are not lucky enough to have natural shade, a good shade cloth is the answer. It can be thrown over the vine or mounted over it. Shade cloths come in different shading percentages, and we recommend 40% cloth with grommets so it does not blow away. They are available at Amazon and most big box stores.  Shop around online to find one that will last for years. An ..read more
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How to Use a Soil Sampler to Prevent Watering Problems in Mirlitons
Mirliton Blog
by Lance Hill
5M ago
The soil sampler is the simplest way to see how much moisture your mirliton roots are getting. It’s the only quick, inexpensive way to see if you have over-watered or underwater your vine. James Leblanc shows you how to take a sample and check the moisture levels at root zone levels. See the video here Buy a soil sampler here. The post How to Use a Soil Sampler to Prevent Watering Problems in Mirlitons appeared first on Mirliton ..read more
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Preventing Cross-Pollination in Mirliton Varieties
Mirliton Blog
by Lance Hill
5M ago
There are no scientific studies on cross-pollination in mirlliton varieties.  They are self-pollinating plants, so generally you can grow two different varieties and not risk cross-pollination. But if you want to ensure that the offspring of a plant will be true-to-type, there is a simple way to do that: controlled pollination. Using controlled pollination will guarantee that the specific fruit you picked from your vine will grow the same variety. Click here to see how to do it.    The post Preventing Cross-Pollination in Mirliton Varieties appeared first on Mirliton ..read more
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Mirliton Seed Online Store
Mirliton Blog
by Lance Hill
7M ago
  Lee Flynn created and manages the Mirliton Seed Online Store, which she does as a volunteer. The store sells only certified Louisiana Heirloom Mirlitons. They are sold at cost, depending on the price that the grower charges (some are donated). Mirlitons are only available in season and the quantity per order may be limited. If we are our of stock, you will be put on a waiting list and be notified immediately when available.  Click here for the store.   The post Mirliton Seed Online Store appeared first on Mirliton ..read more
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Frost Protection
Mirliton Blog
by Lance Hill
9M ago
Frost Protection There is a possibility of a damaging frost whenever the temperature drops below 38 degrees. You can protect your mirliton with either a minimum or maximum plan. Minimum plan: Tent the vine the day before with a tarp or 4mil plastic cover. A FEMA tarp will work well. Weight down the edges of the tarp with bricks (you are trying to trap the heat from the soil inside the enclosure). This will raise the temperature a few degrees and may avert the frost. Maximum plan: Add heat to the tent. You will need a 50’ extension cord and a small space heater. A space heater will raise the t ..read more
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Rethinking The Mirliton Planting Schedule: Winter Vines and Summer Shade
Mirliton Blog
by Lance Hill
9M ago
The Louisiana Mirliton Two-Step Because of increased extreme weather events like Heat Domes and frequent hurricanes, we need to think entirely differently about when and how to grow mirlitons. We have two chances at a mirliton crop: Spring and Fall. We need to especially take advantage of our cool months, October through May. Step One Plant your mirliton seed or container plant in the fall and build a trellis for the vine to grow on all winter. When necessary, temporarily cover it with 4-mil plastic and warm it with a portable heater to protect it on frost/freeze days. By the following sprin ..read more
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