You’ve Gourd-a Be Kidding Me!

     I thought we had already planted everything that was going into the garden this year.  When Mom and I happened upon a home/garden center we’d never been to before — and their very large selection of seeds this late in the season — I couldn’t resist buying some gourd seeds.

No, that's not a weed! It's a baby gourd plant.

I can’t believe how many different varieties of gourds there are!  There were seeds for swan gourds, baby bottle gourds, snake gourds, apple, nest egg, dipper, turk’s turban, ornamental, dragon, bushel and banana gourds.  I bought a packet of birdhouse gourd seeds and planted them in the corn rows.  They had just begun peeking their heads above ground when Dave tried to be helpful and hoed the “weeds” in and around the corn.  Oh no!!  I ran out to the garden to survey the damage and was relieved to see that I had at least four gourd plants left.  That was enough, because to be honest I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the gourds anyway.

     Drying gourds is a fairly simple process — it just takes a long time.  You lay the gourds on wire racks and leave them alone for up to several months, turning them occasionally, until the seeds rattle inside when you shake them.  The hardest part for me will be finding the space to lay out dozens(?) of gourds to dry.  At last count, I had eleven gourd plants growing.  If the raccoons that have been feasting on our corn don’t destroy the gourds in the process, then I will have more gourds than I know what to do with!

Have you ever decorated a gourd?  I’d love to get some ideas!

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7 responses to “You’ve Gourd-a Be Kidding Me!

  1. Gourds are a blast! It looks like you just planted yours pretty recently? I grew birdhouse gourds last year and had the seeds in the ground by early June. Six plants yielded 12 gourds. You’ll definitely need room for those guys to spread out… or you could trellis them. They grow like pumpkins or squash–just spreading out everywhere. I have just started exploring the decorating side of gourds, and since I plan to use mine as birdhouses, I decided to burn my decorations instead of painting them. I think it’ll last longer, and I won’t have to worry about the paint chipping off. I bought a super-cheap woodburning tool at Hobby Lobby for about $15. It works well enough for my skill level. If you’re interested in seeing my last year’s gourd growth, I just posted about it at unperfectgardener.wordpress.com.

    I hope you great success! Keep on growing!
    ~Jill

    • Jill, the gourds have plenty of room to spread out, since the raccoons completely annihilated the corn! Not a single stalk went untouched. We have a second planting of corn, which is waiting to ripen enough for the raccoons to decide to destroy it. I give it two weeks.
      Thank you so much for your comments! I think the woodburning is a great idea; I had considered it myself and the durability argument is a good one. I’ll have to drop in on your blog and check out what you did with yours.

  2. Glad to hear about space for gourds, but sorry about your corn. Might you think of fencing your garden? Well, then again, those little rascals would probably just climb on in, huh? A big dog. Maybe a big dog would do it. I’ve heard of people using motion lights and motion-water-sprayers to deter animals.
    As far as woodburning gourds, I have my practice-gourd, but no finished gourds yet. I’ll post a quick pic so you can see what’s possible with an inexpensive woodburning tool.
    BTW, my gourd vines grew about 3 feet in a weekend! Yeehaw!

    • I recently read an article about corn, in which the final paragraph discussed raccoons. It basically said that any number of solutions work briefly, but nothing works forever. Great. That food auction I went to last week had huge lots of corn, so I’m tempted to just buy it there and be done with growing it myself.

  3. Pingback: Deziner Werx- Gourds From Halloween To Wuthering Heights As Lights | Bloggo Schloggo·

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