Unique Gourds – History and How to Grow Gourds

As it nears gardening time I turn to seed catalogs to order any new or unique seeds, preferably heirloom seeds.

This Winter I have found one new gourd seed variety I have not grown yet. So it looks like I will be expanding my gourd patch.

I will also be ordering several gourd seeds.

Caveman’s Club (Lagenaria siceraria)

The Caveman’s club also called the Maranka gourd is not new to me but I need new seeds. I really like this gourd. It has a unique look and usually grows to about 18 inches long. I did raise one that was over 2 foot long one year. I used a lot of fertilizer and compost tea on the plant and pinched the end of the plant to encourage big gourds.

What I like about the Caveman’s club is the shape. It’s green with light green markings and looks like a primitive club but has a rough shapes texture to the club part of the gourd. This gives it an arty look, which I like for creating gourd pieces with. This also makes a great birdhouse.

The Caveman’s club is ready to harvest in 125 days. If you live in a cool growing zone like I do you may want to start the gourd seeds indoors. Here’s a way I start my gourd seeds,
http://thegardenersrake.com/gourds-a-different-approach-to-growing-them

Corsican Gourd (Lagenaria siceria)

The Corsican gourd also takes 125 days to mature. I start these seeds indoors to get a head start on my crop. These gourds are usually 12 inches by 6 inches and resemble a wheel of cheese, round diameter and flat.

I like to use these to make gourd bowls, lined boxes and drums. They are probably my favorite crafting gourd. This gourds origin is from Peru.

Bule Gourd (Cucurbita siceraria)

This is a gourd I have not grown before. It says it takes a125 days to mature and the vines will grow to 15 foot or as long as 35 foot. If I want larger gourds I nip the end of the vine at 15 to 2o feet and let the growth go into the gourd. It will grow to a size of 8 inches by 6 inches and is an apple shaped gourd.

What interested me in this gourd was the warted bumpy gourd skin. I saw a drinking pitcher that had been made from this gourd and it was stunning! The grower took the time to shape the gourd stem as it was growing so that it could be used later as the pitcher’s handle.

Gourds have been used for both practical and decorative purposes since biblical times and even before. They have been used for masks, sun protection, and to bury and store food in. More common uses today include making bowls, pipes, musical instruments, and birdhouses.

There are a few edible gourds but most are non-edible and can be toxic when cleaning, carving and crafting.

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Denise

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