Several Gourd Questions (soil, sun, wall thickness, , shape
Before I ask about specific gourd varieties, I would like to ask three questions about gourds in general:
1:Will gourds grow in clay soil?
2:What is the minimum amount of sunlight required?
3:What are the pros and cons of growing Gourds on a trellis vs on the ground?
4:Now, about the specific Gourd Varieties:
I'm thinking of getting two different gourd varieties to use, one for Purple Martins and one for smaller birds (Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren).
I know the traditional variety of gourd used for Martin houses is a birdhouse gourd, but given the latest recommendations by the Purple Martin Conseration society (Gourd width 12-14 or more inches wide with walls 1/4-3/8 inches or more thick) I'm thinking maybe it would be easier to reach these dimensions with a larger gourd variety.
Possible alternative varieties:
African Wine Kettle Gourd?
Bushel Basket Gourd? (Smaller than African Bushel, most likely still too big?)
Corsican flat gourd? (Might be too low?)
Zucca Gourd? (probably too tall?)
4A:what are the approximate average wall thicknesses (in inches or millimeters) of the above gourds, and which ones have the most durable shell?
For the smaller houses, I was thinking a gourd at least 6" wide,(preferably closer to 8"-9") as thick-walled as possible, and possibly with a thick curved neck that's 4-10" long and no less than 1&1/2 inches thick on the inside of the thinnest portion of the neck (preferably closer to 2"). I think if I put the entrance hole on the underside of the end of the neck, it would make a great built-in (Grown-in?) predator guard for everything exept snakes.
Water Jug Gourd?
Apache Dipper Gourd?
Lump in the Neck Bottle Gourd?
Indonesian Bottle Gourd?
4B: Which are the most durable of the above gourds , and how thick are thier necks on average?