As gardens wind down for this year the gardeners who grew gourds are looking at their crops and planning what to do with their harvest.
The small ornamental gourds can be used for fall holiday decorating or dried and used for crafting. And the larger gourds will take anywhere from four months to a year to cure or dry.
There are so many uses for the dried gourd. One of the most popular uses is the bottleneck birdhouse. Birds love gourds for homes as long as a very small hole is cut for entry and to keep out predators. And the Purple Martin looks for gourds as housing. Many farms and gardeners raise these gourds for the purple martins.
The numbers of different shapes gourds can grow into are what make this fruit so versatile. You can easily make pots, plant hangers, bowls, masks and musical instruments. The gourd wood can be carved or painted and makes a beautiful accent in any room.
And many creative people carve, paint and assemble them to create even more works of art. I have used jewelry and beads on my gourds along with carving them for a unique artistic look.
Gourds have been a favorite of mine for years. Between their uses and beauty in the gardens they are a “must have” in my gardens.
So even now, as the gardens are dying down, I am looking up new gourd varieties and looking for gourd varieties I have not grown before.
The Gardeners Rake Gourd growing tips:
- Check the growing season you have. You may have to start your gourd seeds indoors.
- Plant flowers near your gourds to help with pollination.
- Make sure your gourd trellises are very secure. Gourds weigh a lot.
- If your growing a gourd for size remove all the fruit but one from a vine and clip the ends of the vine so that all growth goes to the gourd.
- Grow a radish and let it go to seed by the gourd. You will not have squash bugs if you use this old fashioned gardening tip.
- Use plenty of manure or compost on your gourd plants.
- Be prepared for the large gourds, like a bushel gourd, to be so heavy you need a wagon to move them after harvest.
- Talk with your gourd gardening friends and make plans for trading gourd seeds.