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All About Gourds

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.
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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.
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CULTIVATION


Gourds need very little attention except to keep the plants from overwhelming each other and other garden plants.
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GROWING TIPS


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.
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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.
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HARVEST TIPS


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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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Veteran gardeners often claim a drop of mineral oil placed on the end of a developing ear of corn will discourage earworms. But Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) sprinkled on the emerging corn silk is more effective. The best way to avoid earworms altogether is by planting a short-season variety like ‘Early and Often’ or ‘Early Choice’ as early as possible. Earworms usually cause the most damage in late summer. So, if you can harvest early, the corn will be on the dinner table long before the earworms have a chance to damage the crop.