(LAGENARIA SICERARIA & CURURBITA PEPO)
Includes all varieties listed plus some others in a ratio of 40% small to 60% large. In Native American culture gourds were grown for eating and utensils. When cured, they were made into dippers, bowls, even baby rattles. Plants are extremely vigorous, covering a lot of ground--some of our vines even took to the trees. In general, these gourds require a long, warm growing season, ranging from 95 to 120 days to maturity. Gourds are ready for harvest when the stems dry and turn brown. Harvest before a frost. See individual gourd descriptions for drying instructions.
Germ 7-10 Days
Indoors- Individual biodegradable peat/cowpots 1” deep, 3-4 weeks before last frost with soil temperature at 70 degrees. Transplant after last frost without disturbing the roots.
Outdoors- Plant 1” deep, after last frost, when soil warms to 70 degrees. Plant 2-3 seeds every 18-36” apart, with the large varieties the furthest apart.
Harvest- When the skin is hardening and the stem is shriveled, brown, and dried. Cut the stem off closest to the vine.
Cucurbita Gourds- Harvest mature gourds before cold weather. Frost or freezing conditions causes’ injury to skins. Keep in a cool, dark, dry place for curing.
Lagenaria Gourds- Harvest in the fall after light frosts, when leaves die but before heavy frost arrives. Require a long drying period; 3-6 months with good ventilation and the gourds should not be touching each other. Check often for soft or rotten ones, discard them and if mold forms, wipe it off. When the seeds rattle inside and feel light they are dried.
Tips- Vines can grow 15 feet or more. Grow on a trellis for more uniform, straight gourds and for more garden space.