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.