Gourds are one of my favorite crops to grow. I grow them for the surprise, color and for crafting. They also have an amazing history that spans many countries and civilizations.
The smaller ornamental gourds I have already harvested. They have been cleaned, rinsed with a thinned down bleach to help with any diseases that cause the gourd to spoil and dried. I varnished a few for table decoration and Halloween. The rest will dry later in the winter and turned into crafting items or instruments.
The larger gourds are being harvested now. It takes about a week to collect and clean them all. This year my crop totaled over 200 larger gourds and 10 bushels or the decorative gourds. I will leave them outdoors on tables on a sunny day to take stock of the crop and sort them according to how they will be used. These gourds will take anywhere from four to nine months to dry and need to be stored properly to dry well.
How to dry a gourd.
- Clean the dirt and soil off the gourd.
- Check for damage to the gourd.
- Clean with a watered down bleach solution to prevent mold and gourd rot.
- Place the gourd in an area that get air ventilation and make sure the gourds do not touch.
- In my area I have to make sure mice cannot get to the gourds.
- Gourds should be turned while drying to make sure air is getting to all the surfaces of the gourds.
- When dry they need to be cleaned a stored until they can be used.
I usually let my gourds dry until spring then start to create with them. I have made jewelry boxes, musical instruments, plant hangers, wall décor and much more.
Tags: drying gourds, harvesting gourds,