Gourd tips

Gourds are amazing plants to grow in the garden. But in my zone 5 climate I need to start my seeds early for the larger gourds that take 100 to 125 day to mature.

There are many mis-conceptions about the gourd and what they are. Yes, some are edible and some are not. As a matter of fact many are quite toxic, particularly when cutting and sanding for gourd crafting.

In my 15 plus years of growing gourds I have grown more than 35 varieties. I have dried them, painted them, engraved on them and made tables from them. I have even made paper from the dried fluff collected from the interior of the gourds.

Here are a few helpful tips about growing gourds.

  • Start the gourd seed indoors. They will germinate faster and with a better success rate.
  • I use Styrofoam cups and wet paper towels to start my gourd seeds. I will have seedlings in 3 to 7 days from most gourd seeds.
  • Grow you gourds vertical. They will grow with a better shape and have less insect problems.
  • Make sure your gourd trellis is very strong. Gourds get very heavy and will pull down many trellises. (An old swing set makes a great gourd trellis and has a unique look.
  • For bigger gourds remove all but 4 blossoms from each plant and them clip the end of the vine to stop plant growth and direct all the growth to the gourds.
  • If you want a really big gourd, such as the bushel gourd, remove all but one blossom from the gourd plant
  • It takes six months to a year for a gourd to dry.
  • There are many crafting ideas and uses for a gourd.

Add a few gourds to your garden area. They will add color,  interest and laughter  to your backyard garden area.

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