Planting, Raising, and Using Slipper Gourd
Now and then, I discover a vegetable that makes me wonder why I hadn’t heard of it before. Cagua is one of those plants. I have fallen in love with this delicious vegetable, and I think everyone should grow it.
Eventually, this amazing plant was grown and nurtured in South and Central America for hundreds of years and was a major center of Incas.
Let’s delve into this magnificent historical plant because once you grow it, you will want to keep planting it after the season. believe me. This wonderful plant will not disappoint with its abundant, continuous harvest.
What is cagua
Cyclanthera pedata Known by many names, including caigua (pronounced kai-waa), caihua, wild cucumber, sandal gourd, cucumber and achocha.
This member of the Cucumber family was valued by the Aztec, and it is easy to see why. It has a delicate taste of cucumber mixed with green beans, and produces plants.
The whole plant is edible from the trilling vine that loves the green beans to the trilis. Leaves and sprouts are delicious, but the prized taste comes from immature and hollow old fruits.
The pod is succulent and tender and can be eaten raw like cucumber, or cooked like green beans after the seeds are peeled.
Cagua produces a six-inch fruit with slight curls at the end. It looks almost wrapped around the skin of a pepper.
It is an annual creeper that self-seeds easily – so much so that in some areas it is considered an insect.
Cagua are of two types. The most common is the most common, with its slightly bumpy skin. It also has Zapatila Gorda, which has smooth skin.
How to plant cagua
A wonderful thing about Cagua is that it will grow in almost all areas except in the coldest areas which are prone to late frosts.
Aim for a pH of 5.0 to 7.1, and the caigua will be happy. Most soil types are fine, including loam, sandy, or clay, until they are well drained.
Cagua prefers a sunny position but will tolerate partial shade. If you plant in full shade, the plant will not produce fruit. In full sun, you can struggle and struggle to flourish it, especially if you live in a hot area.
I like to use a trellis or something else to climb Carigua, but the bales may be allowed to trail along the ground in dry areas.
I love a trellis because I found that I have some problems when the ground suddenly becomes wet. The vines can reach 20 feet or more, so controlling them with a climbing frame can save you room.
It is also easy to harvest when the fruits are hanging.
In cold areas, sow mid-spring when there are no more frosts. In warmer areas, plant at the beginning of spring, as long as you are confident that no cold tip will surprise the frost-tender.
I have followed the rule of thumb that the temperature should be consistently 77 orF or higher in the daytime and not less than 60ºF at night, but this will vary depending on where you live.
The most important thing is that you should make sure that your plant is not prone to frost, so start them indoors if necessary. It may take 90 days or more from germination to fruit selection, so plan ahead.
Cagua seeds are reliable, and about 95 percent will germinate successfully. You can start seeds from early spring to late winter, but I like to plant them directly in the soil where I intend to grow them.
I plant directly in the soil because the seeds are so reliable and I can concentrate on other plants or fusier plants while the kagua seeds do their work in the ground.
Plant an inch deep, about three to four feet apart. Cover the soil lightly.
Water well for the first week, being careful not to wet over the soil. After that, keep the soil moist, but not soaked. Treat Kagua like a tomato and you cannot do wrong.
Care of cagua
Before sowing the seeds, dig in well-prepared manure. As soon as the flowers appear, use a good quality tomato-specific fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the box.
Keep the soil moist, especially as it gets warmer due to the growing season. Drink deep water at least once a week as the vine spreads larger and more.
As the fruit grows you need to provide plenty of support for the plant. Use a tomato cage, trellis, fence or any other type of support to keep the plant from breaking or falling from the ground.
The nearby structures of the plants have tendrils to help hold them.
As the plant grows according to the season, it cuts very minor parts, diseased or damaged sectional. You can trim back any parts of your caigua that are growing where you do not want them.
If you cut something away then the cagua is strong and you will not suffer, but if you plant it in the right place, you can leave it to do its thing.
Planting Partner for Growing Cagua
Try any of the following to plant with Cagua. It is not a difficult plant when it comes to peers.
Do not plant with:
Common problems and solutions to growing problems
Cagua faces some of the same problems as cucumbers, but is nowhere.
Caigua sometimes suffers from powdery mildew, especially in weather or in high humidity. We have a complete guide to identify and get rid of this common disease.
This is another issue common to both cucumber and cagua (not to mention a bunch of other plants). See our guide to this common disease.
When the temperature exceeds 55 temperaturesF, the cucumber beetle is released. They are one of the few pests that disturb Cagua during the growing season.
Symptoms include developing growth, especially when young, scars on the fruit, and damage to leaves and stems.
Keep an eye out for beetles because they are easy to control if you catch them early. Floating row covers are effective, such as beneficial nematodes with spinosad-based sprays and treatments. B. Bisiana.
This is where the fun begins. Choose cagua when the fruits are small to encourage fruit growth throughout the season.
If there is no fruit on the plant, do not be discouraged. Cagua can thrive quite late in summer and also in late fall.
Unripe or young fruits can be eaten raw, pickled, or in salads and stirring.
As the fruit matures, it becomes hollow. They are delicious with meats like chicken, rice, spices and cheese.
Cagua is one of the easiest plants to grow and re-grow in the next season. In warmer areas, you can allow the plant to seed and self-sow it for the next year.
The downside to this is that you cannot control the number of plants in the following seasons. It is a plant that, if given half a chance, will take control of the area.
In Florida, cagua is considered a weed pest, so beware of it.
The best method of planting for the next year is to take a pair of hollow ripe fruits and take out some seeds. As the fruit grows older, the seeds change into the shape of a black arrow.
Dry the seeds and store them in a paper envelope.
Eat while you go, and if you have any left over (which is rare in my house because of its sweet taste), you can pickle or sterilize them. You can freeze them in the same way that you will freeze chilis.
Slice in half, deseed, and lay on a tray in the same level. Once frozen, place in a plastic bag and seal.
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Idea Source: morningchores.com