Birdhouse gourd

chopperthedogDecember 9, 2008

I have a few birdhouse gourds that grew rather large, and have a few questions:

Should I let them stay on the vine until they dry and turn brown (they are still green)?

Should I let them completely dry before collecting seeds?

What can you do with a gourd (other than a birdhouse, water jug or bowl)?

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bigred(z8 Ark.)

it was always my understanding that they should be allowed to stay on the vine until it died...vine not the gourd then but the gourd in a dry loacation with good air circulation to dry until you shake it and hear the seeds rattle inside.

I have seen gourd that had beautiful designs burned into them and varnished...just for show.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 7:30AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

There's lots of nifty ideas at the link below.

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: Amishgourds.com

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 10:33AM
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chopperthedog

Thanks for the advice.

That web site gave me an idea. Maybe I can make giant Christmas ornaments out of them.

Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 5:09PM
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plant-one-on-me(MI 5b)

This year was my first experience growing gourds and drying them. I had to pick mine right as the gourd vine started to die and I placed them in the basement. I did a search and many sites recommended washing the gourds with a light bleach solution, which I did. I then had surgery and didn't check on the gourds for over a month. The gourds were covered in black moldy spots and the green outer layer of skin was kinda slimy but the very tops were dry. I washed them again with the bleach and left them alone. They fully dried out and the seeds rattle AND the moldy, slimy skin is gone. The only problem is that they have black spots all over them. I plan on painting them next spring so the spots should be covered.

Anyway, just wanted to share my first experience trying to dry gourds...I wonder if I was able to let them ripen on the vine longer or washed them with the bleach more often if they would have gotten moldy.

Kim

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 10:04AM
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sundance(z6 KY USA)

Rule of thumb is to harvest the gourds when the stem has turned brown 3" up the vine. I let mine stay on the vine all winter as it saves me storing them to dry - works great. In April I will harvest, wash the mold off and open a few for the seeds. Let the seeds dry a week or so then put them in a paper bag for storage. There is no limit to what you can do with gourds, a google search for art gourds will give you lots of ideas. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 12:13PM
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