Gourdzilla!

highkatSeptember 8, 2013

So I planted 2 gourd plants in my 8" raised beds assuming they were the birdhouse kind. I put up a basic 6' trellis since I've heard you could use pantyhose, etc. These things went crazy! They reached up and caught onto an overhanging tree brand and the things have gone EASILY 50' straight up the tree.

I have a tree full of gourds that I can't reach. Not only that, but I have come to find out they are bushel gourds which can get to 50lbs!!! There are about 4 that are a little larger than my head at least 35' up.

Soooo. Ummmm. Any suggestions? I would like to save at least a couple of them. I'm tempted to cut down the tree since it's already half dead. I'm also a little concerned that they're going to fall on the roof of my shed!

Pic: http://instagram.com/p/dkxYTpq7oe/

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Sid23

Pictures Please! Oops now I saw the link to the pic. WOW. No suggestions off hand though. Maybe they will just dry up on the tree and some Wood Ducks or Red Headed Woodpecker will move in!

This post was edited by Sid23 on Sun, Sep 8, 13 at 23:39

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 10:57PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Let them be there till the vine dies. Even longer, if there is no danger of squirrels. When they are mature and dry, they will become light weight and HARD. Then get some help to hold a big tarp or sheet under them and somebody use a ladder to climb up as close as possible and try( with a long stick of wood) to break the dead vine. So the gourds will fall on the tarp/sheet. A gourd that is the size of human head will weight less than one pound, when full dry.
Even if you could not get them, they will overwinter in cold and snow and nothing will happen to them(except the squirrels..haha)

Bottle/birdhouse type gourds have no flesh when dry. There is just some seeds in them. Plus, they have a thick and hard shell.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 12:24AM
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highkat

Thanks seysonn! Do you think the vine will support their "pre-dried" weight? I'm assuming they're not meant to be trellised (oops).

There are definitely plenty of squirrels around :-(

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 12:24PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I wouldn't worry about the vine being able to support them, Right now, is perhaps past their heaviest time, if the are tuning to pale color. They are born climbers.

I should emphasize again that if there isn't possible squirrel attack, live them until. they are almost fully dried and matured. Squirrels, if they can manage, make hole and eat the seeds inside. But the way the gourds are hanging, squirrels might not be able to do damage.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 12:10AM
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highkat

Thanks for your advice! We lost one but have 2 more of the bigger ones still hanging on. I am seriously considering buying a tree pruner and attempting to cut and catch before we lose more.... hardhats all the way!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 1:08PM
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highkat

FYI- we tried the tree pruner and got the nieces and nephews to hold corners of a blanket. We had one of two get a small crack on the first drop b/c it was heavier than they thought and the blanket slipped out of their hands.

Pics:
http://instagram.com/p/fJPrgSK7vF/
http://instagram.com/p/fJCNosq7mq/

Live and learn. And find a different spot!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 11:32AM
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