Grow your own sponges and scrubbers. Harvest when skin hardens, changes to brown, and the weight decreases due to drying.
Germination: 7-10 Days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 70-90ºF. Planting in soil under 70ºF may result in poor germination.
Seed Sowing Depth: 1” deep
Sowing Indoors: 3-4 weeks before the last frost. Sow 2-3 seeds per cells/pots, thin to the strongest seedling. We like to use individual biodegradable paper, peat, or cowpots because it provides the least amount of stress to the roots when transplanting. Transplant after last frost when the soil warms to 70ºF. Space 36-48” apart, in rows 48-60” apart.
Sowing Outdoors: After the last frost when the soil reaches at least 70ºF. Sow 2-3 seeds per space/hill, 36-48” apart, in rows 48-60” apart.
Cucurbita Gourds: Harvest mature gourds before cold weather. Color deepens and skin is hard. Frost or freezing conditions causes injury to skins. Keep in a cool, dark, dry place for curing.
Lagenaria Gourds: Harvest in the fall after a few frosts. Leaves and stems should be brown and dried and skin color faded. Require a long drying period; 3-6 months in a dry area with good ventilation. 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: Heavy feeders, requiring high nitrogen. Plant into fertile soil or amend with compost or manure. Heavy water needs, mulch, and supply adequate water, at least 1” per week for optimum growth. Vines can grow 15 feet or more. Grow on a trellis for more uniform, straight gourds, and for more garden space.