Rookie growing purple martin gourds
..completely new at this, the proverbial babe in the woods, so any advice would be appreciated.
I'm a 6th year martin landlord trying to grow my own gourds this year. I am having difficulty getting many of my seeds to germinate. I have received seed from martin landlords in Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee..as well as seed from gourds grown by a local friend. So far only the seed from one grower has germinated. Ohio's frost danger has almost subsided, so I have already planted 12 of these large purple martin gourd plants.
...my problem is getting the rest of the seeds to germinate. I know the gourds I cured last year were exposed to severe temperatures last winter, so the seed may be ruined. I also have seeds ordered from a gardening catalog, as well as some large bottle gourd seed that I just picked up at WalMart. No luck getting these to sprout either.
Here is the method I'm using to speed germination:
I have place the seeds in a folded towel which sits atop a man which is partially submerged in the center of a larger aluminum pan with a few inched of water. The seeds are up on the dry island, but between the halves of the folded towel. The capillary action worked like a charm with the first seeds, but no luck since. Any suggestions on speeding up germination? Should I just plant them and hope for the best??
Finally, I seven dust good enough to repel the various pests that prey on gourd plant leaves?