Small gourds and dead female flowers!
Hi! This is my first year at growing anything at all, and I tried "hulu gua," as they are called in Manderan Chinese. In English, I think the name is "Calabash Gourd," or simply the bottle gourd. Now I know that these are usually grown for decorating and the like, but I'm planning to harvest these for the pot!
I went on vacation for two weeks, trusting one of my friends to water tham every day, and came back to two lovely little gourds, one for each plant. Unfortunetely, one grew a tinsy bit bigger, and the other didn't seem to grow at all. The bigger one we finally cut and ate, and it wans't bad. THe seeds were fully formed on the inside, but were white instead of the brown color the ones we'd originally planted were. The other one we decided to allow to grow on the vine a little longer, but nothing seems to be happening. It's been on there for about three weeks.
Second problem is, all my female blooms are dying! They turn black and dry up almost as soon as they form, long before they even have a chance to open and get pollenated. For a long time I thought that I was simply unlucky and was getting nearly all male blooms, before looking closely and seeing all these little dead females! I can't imagine what's wrong.
I did cut off some leaves, as everyone keeps telling me to, but didn't hack off too many, for fear that the vine wouldn't get enough food. It's terribly hot here in GA, so I water the whole plot about two one-gallon milk jugs a day.
Anyone know what's wrong? Here are some pictures--the first is just one of the whole plot (very, very small). You can see the little gourd hanging there. THe next three are of the dead female flowers.