bird house gourds

cinjo(indiana)August 14, 2005

i have several bird house gourds growing on a fence in my back yard. i need some advise on how to clean them and dry them and carve them for a bird house. also can they be carved and painted for use as a dried flower vase in the home. thank you

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where do i get the answer to the questions that i post?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 5:29PM
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gourd_friends(z5/6 IL)

Congrats on having a good gourd crop. We have all asked the same questions as yours, and get the same answer.......

First you leave the gourds on the vine until the stems are brown and dry. The vines will also be dying and the gourds will beging losing their fresh green color and begin to turn tan. You will also see some of the skin beginning to loosen and peel.

When you cut the gourds from the vine...leave at least 4 inches of stem on the gourd. You can leave them on the ground by the fence, put them along side a garage or shed, or even inside a well ventilated building. They will need to be placed so that there is good air circulation.
You will have noticed the gourds are quite heavy at first, but as they begin drying, the heavy moisture will leave them. You can check them every few weeks and be sure to remove any gourds that are shriveled and soft. Just throw them away. Other gourds will be still changing color and some will have moldy skin. The mold is a natural process....don't panic and pitch these too.

Eventually...maybe 6 months or longer, the gourds will be very light weight and you can hear the seeds rattle when you shake the gourd. Now they are ready for cleaning and making into bird houses or other vessels.

If you get a chance, go to the IN State Fair this week and look at the IN Gourd Society booth in the Marsh Bldg. Its always inspiring and amazing. You can get lots of info there also.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 7:02PM
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thank you jan for your help in preserving gourds. i sure enjoy watching my gourds grow and i will follow your instructions on preserving them thanks again cinjo

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 9:30PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

Cinjo-I dried some last year by cutting the legs off old panty hose and sliding the gourds down in them. I tied a knot in the end and hung them with baling wire from the rafters on my deck.They dried beautifully,hardly any mold at all...........Lillie

    Bookmark   August 20, 2005 at 2:39AM
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lillie how long would you say it is before i can start to carve on my gourds or does it just very cause of the wheather and how fast they dry? did u drill holes in the bottom of them to help them drain like some do or just hang them up and they will take care of themselves.. thanks lillie

    Bookmark   September 2, 2005 at 2:25PM
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camperw(Tn. 6)

Cinjo, if you are going too use them for bird houses they will last a lot longer if you soak them in Copper Sulifate after you drill the holes. You can buy it at Walmart in the plumming department...They have root killer for sepit tanks that is 97% copper sulifate...

Just mix with water in a 5 gallon bucket and soak the gourd..Let it dry then paint it...I use outside white for martin birds..

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 9:22AM
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how do you hand pollinate gourds have read about it but dont know for sure how to do it

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 4:50PM
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How long does it take the gourds to get to a good size? Mine is only small like a couple inches long.
Is it best to let them rest on the ground or will the vine hole a growing gourd in the air?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 7:49PM
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gourd_friends(z5/6 IL)

Hi Mastiff, it depends on the type of gourds you are growing, and how long your growing season is. For instance, if you planted birdhouse gourds, they should be full grown by now and the vines could be shutting down, or dying.
If you planted by June 1, something could have stunted your vines.....such as watering, soil conditions or other weird weather.
What did you plant and when did you plant it?
What is your hardiness zone, and what has your weather been like?


    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 12:02AM
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I am in Pennsylvania and My bird house gourd is about 15 inches tall and wide......I planted late in june.. But well Rotted manure is my answer for success.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 8:24PM
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kdomeier(SE Michigan)

I have two questions: My bird house gourds with seeds from Rocky Ford Gourds grow very uniform from 9 to 11 inches. Most of them are 10 inches. They are identical to the plastic Supergourds. I am looking for gourd seeds that grow gourds from 10 to 12 inches rather than from 9 to 11 inches and have longer necks.

I harvested one giant bushel gourd. I have 7 more. The largest one weighs 161 pounds. How can I handle these monsters and what will I do with them? What is the best way to open one up to harvest some seeds?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 10:18PM
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Hi, I'm new to growing gourds and it seems I'm finally going to maybe have success. I planted them outside in the early spring (end of March, early April) and covered them each night or when it was cold out. Now, I have about 7 almost full grown gourds on them.

My question is: One set of gourd plants is dying on the lower half. From the ground to almost 3 feet up, all the leaves are brown, and dead. On my other set of plants, only some of the leaves are dead. I know that there's a spot mould on the leaves, but any suggestions on holding onto the plants until the gourds mature? Is this too early for the main plant to be dying off (the gourd stems that attatch the fruit are still green). Thanks for your help - I look forward to some other gourd lovers input.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 8:33AM
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Older leaves die this is normal. As long as the entire plant isn't wilted and dying you are fine. The plants are beginning to slow down and die because the gourds are nearly mature.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 8:53PM
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