The sooner you start planting, the better! "Bottle Gourds," or "Birdhouse Gourds" need a long growing season- about six months and then a few months more to dry and to cure them! Gourds can be used for many crafts. They can be carved into succulents and teacups or transformed into birdhouses, useful tools, whimsical sculptures, and anything you can imagine!
We start with seeds! If you live in a mild winter climate as we do, sow “Bottle Gourd” seeds in the ground when temperatures are over 65 degrees. Everyone else can start the “Bottle Gourd” seeds indoors in peat pots 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost. First, prepare your gourd seeds for planting 24-hours before.
After the plants have been growing for a couple of weeks, it is time to plant them in the ground.
If you live in a cold climate, plant them when there is no more frost and the soil has started to warm up.
Don’t remove plants from their peat pots.
• The Pot will naturally decompose in the ground. “Bottle Gourds” don't like to have their roots disturbed!
• Dig a hole into a raised "hill" like this one I created. It's about 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide.
• Place the pot into the ground and cover with soil. WATER.
TIP: Avoid disturbing the roots; Peat Pots will naturally decompose
The “Bottle Gourd” Will Attach Itself the Trellis. You don't have to tie the plant to the trellis, it will do it on its own. All you do is provide the support.
For people in mild climates, you can start the seeds right in the ground.
Each Bottle Gourd can grow vines that stretch 10 to 100 feet depending on the variety, growing conditions and the length of growing season. Each plant grows 3 Gourds.
Check the seed package to find out when you should harvest them. The average is 150 days at which time the leaves on the vine will become brown. The gourds will turn from green to a tan color and as they dry, they will become less heavy
If you experience heavy frosts, use pruners to cut the gourd from the vine, leaving a 2-inch stem attached. Do not yank the gourd off the vine!
TIP: Turn the Gourd every three weeks
Shirley Bovshow, Gardening Expert, FoodieGardener.com
Shirley Bovshow's EdenMakers