They Will Be Gourd-geous!
Gourd Growing Guide
Gourds belong to the same family as squash and pumpkins and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, offering an amazing range of culinary and decorative uses. Most all grow on vines that can be left to sprawl on the ground or encouraged to grow vertically with the support of a trellis or fence. Some gardeners find the vertical method preferable, as when the gourds are left to hang versus growing on the ground they have a more symmetrical shape and no flat side.
Most gourds require a long, warm growing season and take a long time to germinate (usually at least 3 weeks). To enhance the possibility of germination, gourd seeds should be soaked for 24 hours before planting. The seeds should be started indoors in flats at least 8 weeks before the last frost date and then transplanted outside about 3 weeks after the last frost.
In gardens, plant gourds in hills with 3-4 seedlings each spaced about 12 inches apart. The hills themselves should be 4-6 feet apart. For containers with trellis or fence support, plant up to 3 plants per half barrel.
Gourds need to be watered regularly as drying out will stop flower production and growth. About 4 weeks before the first frost, stop all watering except what is provided by nature. Gourds should be harvested in the fall after the first few frosts.
Did you know? Many varieties of gourds can float for more than 300 days in sea water, amazingly without destroying the viability of the seeds inside.