CAN I GROW GOURDS?
Ornamental gourds are very easy to grow, sowing seeds directly in the garden.
Gourds prefer full sun and rich well-drained soil that is rich in organic material. Sow the seeds outdoors after all danger of frost has passed and the weather is warm. Sow seeds 1-2 inches deep in groups of 4 seeds, spacing in groups 5 feet apart in rows spaced 8 feet apart. Thin seedlings to 2 or 3 in each group when leaves develop. Gourds grow well on trellises or supports, keeping the fruits off the ground.
SEEDS OR PLANTS
Gourds are best grown from seed planted directly in the garden. You can start seed indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost in areas with shorter seasons.
Gourds need very little attention except to keep the plants from overwhelming each other and other garden plants.
Squash plants need extra water during dry and hot periods. They grow quickly and will train nicely on a trellis, fence or other tall supports.
INSECTS & DISEASES
Large gourds are rarely bothered by insects and diseases. Small gourds can be susceptible to the same problems as cucumbers and pumpkins. Avoid planting in the same spot 2 years in a row to minimize the chance for disease.
Harvest small gourds as they begin to develop their full color and become hard to the touch. Many small gourds will dry and preserve. Harvest large gourds at frost time for decoration, they will not keep for drying.
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