'Volunteer' gourd, now what?

ccox(z8)July 7, 2005

Hi all,

I spend most of my time at the Farm Forum, but was thrilled to find Garden Web has a Gourd Forum.

An unidentified vine came up in my garden earlier this spring. It could have been anything, but I let it grow just for fun. It turns out it's what I believe is called a Gooseneck Gourd (green and white, large 'head' at the top, curved 'neck' and bigger round bottom). I bought one last year for decoration and my daughter evidentally saved a few seeds when it got moldy and needed to be thrown away.

My question: When to harvest it, and how to keep it from getting moldy like the one I bought last year? It's now easily as big as the one I bought in October of last year. I seems early for it to be ripe.

Any help you can give would be much appreciated.

C.

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gourd_friends(z5/6 IL)

Congratulations on your "surprise gourd".
Is there only one gourd growing on your vine? You may have more than one, they might be hidden by the leaves.

In answer to your questions, you should leave it on the vine until the stem is brown, hard and dry. That should be much later in your growing season. Here in zone 6a, that would be late October.
As for the mold........that's what their supposed to do as part of the drying process. Once the gourd is completely dry, it will feel hollow and you will hear the seeds rattle. The drying process could take several months. After it is dry, you can clean the outer layers of moldy skin off and have a beautiful dried gourd.

If you choose to use it as a fall decoration as a green gourd, just cut it from the vine when you are ready to use it. It will still mold after a few weeks and might even dry properly.

Look through some of the postings here at the gourd forum, you might even want to grow more gourds....they are addictive!

Jan

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 5:20PM
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