How to Grow Gourds and Conserve Them Properly

Gourd varietals, such as “bicolor pear,” “cannon ball” and “Aladdin’s turban,” have served several purposes through the centuries, such as storage containers, utensils as well as music instruments. Although gourds are now commonly used for ornamental purposes, the process of growing and conserving gourds hasn’t changed much. After growing and harvesting, they need to be cured and dried to preserve. Coating a maintained gourd using shellac, wax or paint is a common practice which adds a decorative touch for the member of the Cucurbitaceae family. It’s possible to grow gourds at the same method utilized with pumpkins, because they’re in the same family.

Till the soil 1 foot deep and 2 feet wide using a hand tiller or mechanized tiller. Don’t until close any trees when planting gourds; the root system of trees extends outward as far as the tree is tall, and you risk damaging the roots. Space the places you until 5 to 6 feet apart.

Cover the tilled soil with 6 inches of compost and then integrate it using a garden spade. Make a mound with the 6 inches of the tilled soil to make the “hill” you will plant the seeds in. If putting a vining gourd you need 100 square foot of ground for each. Space the hills 5 to 6 feet apart and the rows 10 to 15 feet apart to adapt the vines. Semi-bush gourd varieties require 4 feet of space between hills and 8 feet between rows. Miniature gourd varieties require 2 feet of space between hills and 6 to 8 feet between rows.

Plant four to five semi-bush or vining-gourd seeds 1 inch deep in each hill. If planting mini gourd seeds, plant two to three of them 1 inch deep in each hill.

Water the seeds daily to begin germination, using just enough water to keep the seeds moist. After germination, use your fingers to eliminate the poorest seedlings and permit the safest, hardiest ones to stay. If the seedlings you have to eliminate are grouped close together, use your fingers to pinch out them or cut them together with garden shears to prevent disturbing the roots of the plants you are keeping.

Water the gourds after a week after the seeds sprout. Gourds require 1 inch of water for each square foot of area. One gallon of water equals 1 inch per square foot; thus in case your gourd takes up 10 square foot of area, it requires 10 liters of water per week to satisfy its irrigation requirements.

Turn the soil around the gourd shallowly 2 to three times a week using a garden spade, taking care to not disturb the vines or root system. Turning the soil eliminates weeds until they threaten growth. Remove weeds by hand when turning the soil is no more effective.

Harvest the gourd in the vine with lopping shears, leaving 2 inches of stem, once the stem ends brown and difficult. After harvesting, set the gourd in a place with a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 to 70 percent humidity for six weeks to cure. During this period, the gourds lose moisture and frequently develop a crust.

Wash the gourds in tepid water and gently scrub using a scouring pad to remove any crust.

Wipe the gourd with rubbing alcohol and let it dry. You can now shellac or wax the gourd for aesthetic purposes.

Store gourds in a place with a temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 to 70 percent humidity. The gourds will keep their color approximately three to four months.

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