Gourd Spacing

fruity101(z8 Portland, OR)June 30, 2005

Hello! I am a first-time gourd grower and I have a question about mixing gourds. Is it ok to have different gourds (bowl and birdhouse, specifically) growing on the same trellis? If not, how far away should different gourds be? All my gourds were started from seeds, and now I find my garden is shrinking! Help!


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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

If you're afraid the types of gourd will cross, the answer is NO to this first generation, and probably YES to the next generation. If they both have the same color flower (yellow-orange day-blooming, or white night-blooming), they can cross.

But the type of gourd you will get this summer is already embedded in the seed you planted -- that won't change no matter what.

If your gourds ripen this summer/fall, and you were to save the gourds & harvest/plant their seeds, there is no telling what you will get, as they cross quite freely. If you want a specific kind of gourds for next year, it is better to buy fresh seed of the type(s) you want. It's a real pain to spend time and effort growing mixed-type gourds just to get something that isn't suitable for what you want. Of course, you could get something that really sparks your imagination, but as the song says, "it ain't necessarily so".

If you wanted to grow two or more kinds of gourds AND keep the types pure... well, that can get tricky. A bee can easily fly a mile (not that he necessarily would, though), so theoretically, you would have to keep them QUITE far apart, probably a minimum of at least 100 yards.

But there is better info elsewhere that can instruct you on how to hand-pollinate gourd flowers. You have to do it as soon as the female flower opens, then close the flower immediately, taping it closed with masking tape or some other method so no bug that has visited another gourd can get in and cross-pollinate it. You might do a search of this forum on HAND POLLINATE.

Heehee! Yes, they DO tend to take over, don't they? My mom said they were trying to get into her bedroom window.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 10:18PM
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