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GOURDS


  How To Grow Gourds


PLANT TYPE: Annual
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cucurbita spp./Lagenaria siceraria
LIGHT: Full Sun
SOIL TYPE: Well-drained, high organic matter
pH RANGE: 6.5 - 7.5
MOISTURE/WATERING: Keep moist, not waterlogged
MATURITY IN DAYS: Possible To first fall frost
KNOWN PESTS: Not affected with any noteworthy insects.
KNOWN DISEASES: Not affected with any noteworthy disease problems.



OVERVIEW:

Gourds are a fun vegetable to grow. Gourds will grow and spread like pumpkins and need plenty of room to spread. Smaller gourds can be trained to climb up a trellis. Gourd plants can be grown by almost everyone. When gourds are mature they will dry and have a pretty hard shell making them perfect for crafts. Many gardeners recommend harvesting gourds after the first frost in the fall. Gourds are great for crafts and many other decorative items.


PROPAGATION / SOWING OF GOURDS:

The small miniature gourd can be direct seeded after all risk of frost. It is advisable to start larger gourds, siphon and bottles indoors about 3 weeks before transplanting. Provide a warm soil temperature of 27°C (80°F) and a constant, even moisture. Individual peat pots are ideal for gourds since the plant roots will not have to be disturbed at the time of transplanting. Plant gourds outside after all danger of frost in rows, hills or on a sturdy trellis. Rows should be spaced about 5½’ apart with plants 45” apart. Fertilizing with a starter fertilizer at time of transplanting is recommended.


COMPANION PLANTING OF GOURDS:

Celery, corn, melon, onion, radish.


CARE & GROWING OF GOURDS:

Gourds require full sun, a pH of 6.5-7.5 and good soil moisture, particularly during fruit set. Gourds are moderate to heavy feeders, they require plenty of compost and well rotted manure worked into the soil prior to planting.


HARVESTING OF GOURDS:

Small ornamental gourds should have a firm or hard skin. Gourds are ready for harvesting when you are not able to easily puncture the skin with your thumb nail. Large gourds should be pale in colour with a hard skin as well. Cut off the fruit with shears, leaving a 4” stem attached. Handle gourds with care to prevent bruising. Wash gourds in warm, soapy water and rinse in a strong solution of non-bleaching disinfectant. Dry with a soft cloth and store 4-6 weeks in a well-ventilated room. Hanging is best for maximum air circulation. Check weekly and discard immature or soft gourds. Gourds are cured when thoroughly dry and hard shelled. Apply wax and polish.












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Gourds don't like weeds, drought or bugs. Control most of the these problems by keeping your gourds free of weeds and having a good spray program for pests.






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