I've seen gourds displayed in the primitive home as a part of fall decor ~ strung over a hutch or a mantel, hung on the door with some bittersweet, or just sitting on a shelf or in a basket. They are unique and interesting, and having a garden, I've always wanted to try growing some.
I planted some old birdhouse gourd seed this past spring. I wasn’t sure how they would grow in my part-shade garden, and never growing them before, I had to learn some things about gourds – such as pollinating them at sunrise or sunset. I planted them in my vegetable garden by the fence thinking they wouldn’t grow too big because of the part-shade, but to my surprise they took over a lot of area…went overtop the tomatoes, attached to the bean trellis, and are still producing today! I’m not upset about the vines covering my veggies because this is an experimental garden and learning is part of the garden experience. Next year though, I’ll create a separate area for gourds, and I want to try different varieties. That’s something I can think about over the winter!
Some weeks ago I read, when the vine is brown, cut the gourd off. So, I brought in four small gourds thinking that was all the harvest, but I’ve been surprised to see that there are more on the vines! Yay! After some weeks, molds and discoloration started to appear on those little gourds, and I thought I’d better research. That’s the maturing process, but not for inside the house! So, outside they go!
This week I read to let them dry and mature on the vine. That’s a lot easier, but my gourd vines are in way of fall crops, so I’ll probably remove the rest so I can clear the area. I also thought maybe they could dry in a couple of months, but it could be March before they are completely dry. Wow! That’s a long time! Who knew!?!
Then there’s the process of cleaning, and what a difference before and after that process.
Overall, I’m so glad I planted those six gourd seeds. They’ve been so interesting, and I’m looking into maybe doing gourd art. I purchased a beautiful Thanksgiving gourd from a crafter at a fall festival last year ~ I’ll have to share a photo. The art is amazing!
Gourds ~ what a blessing!