My achocha hasn't seemed to start setting fruit yet, and was wondering what tricks I should start trying in order to get fruit from the plant.

2 Answers 2


There are two primary methods to force flowering; shorten the day length of light to 12/12 average...and do not over do the nitrogen.

Your fertilizer is important. N-P-K a balanced basic fertilizer is critical. If these numbers are out of balance you aren't in 'control'. N-P-K with N as the largest number meaning the percentage of that chemical in that bag is higher than Phosphorous and Potassium. This combination promotes vegetative growth not flowers and reproductive growth.

For flowers and fruit that Nitrogen needs to be lower in relation to the Phosphorous and the Potassium or you will not get flowers or fruit. When people start using a little of this and that and compost they need to keep track of the amounts of these chemicals (some erroneously call them nutrients...) so they know what these percentages are. Check out your Nitrogen ratios to P and K. Manipulating the day/night hours is tough out of doors so the N-P-K ratio is where I'd start. What have you been using? Chicken poo? Grins! Too high in Nitrogen.

  • woodchips, and grass clippings :D Sep 6, 2018 at 4:41
  • The day and night cycle and then lowering the N in relation to P and K is how one pushes reproductive growth. You gotta know what you've done to talk to your plants and help them help you. I mean, not really talk to them but understand what it is they need and what it is you've done. Woodchips use up nitrogen, grass clippings add a bit of Nitrogen and chicken poo raw adds too much nitrogen. Just a little math and it seems you've over done your Nitrogen. Lots of vegetative growth with little reproductive growth.
    – stormy
    Sep 6, 2018 at 6:06
  • I'd like to know what it is about wood chips you've fallen in love with. I know why you've fallen in love with chickens! I even have a chicken named after ME! I don't have them now because I am dealing with cats and bunnies galore. A friend got chickens and one of them reminded him of me; how I growl, put my chin down and stop my foot! Too funny!
    – stormy
    Sep 7, 2018 at 22:28
  • Back to Eden, as well as composting right into the soil you want to put the nutrients in. Sep 9, 2018 at 0:40
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    O2 and CO2 come from the air; what else are you calling nutrients? The chemistry has to be added in the proper amounts to the soil, chemistry (normally called nutrients or food) for us humans to grow the plants we want to grow, on the scale we want or need and when we want to grow it. Our gardens are artificial. We have to know enough to work with the plants and soil. There are no free lunches in the natural world.
    – stormy
    Sep 10, 2018 at 5:05

Sometimes all that is necessary is patience. One way to look at these plants is to compare them to an engine starting up. Coughing, spluttering, lumpy running, stop, restart, slowly warming up to a state where it runs smoothly and happily producing fruit. The plant needs to get some leaf area established, a critical amount of biomass established with all the plant hormones and other internals running harmoniously. You don't say how old/large/where the plant is, light conditions, type of soil and so on, so this may not apply but is sometimes the case.

  • mn is a usda zone 4a, it's outside, and I started it on mothers day weekend. It's covering most of a remesh fence. Soil type is kind of sandy with woodchips/grass in the trenches (1'X1'). Sep 6, 2018 at 3:52
  • So my suggestion does not apply in this case. It sounds rather like heat - my luffa vines also at similar latitude have produced about half the usual crop this year. Lots of flowers, both male and female, visits from ants and bumblebees, but fruit set not good at all. It was a hot summer here this year, with much humidity. Sweet potatoes doing well. Sep 6, 2018 at 4:27
  • I like how you write, Colin! Fun and colorful analogies.
    – stormy
    Sep 7, 2018 at 22:23

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