Drilling holes in gourds when drying question

wilderness1989(Zone 5B IL USA)October 25, 2005

Is it OK to drill a hole or holes in gourds to make them dry faster? I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that it is OK.....but I'd like the opinion of others.



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janmar(7a WA)

Hi John, I think you will find that growers say it is possible to drill holes to assist with drying. There also seems to be some concern that drilling holes increases the likelihood that the gourds may rot. I typically tough it out without hole drilling and find that, even though it is a slow process, I rarely lose any gourds over the winter. It is hard to successfully 'hurry drying', and so I'd encourage you to experiment to see what works better for your climate and drying conditions. J

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 12:38PM
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HI, John, do not drill any holes before completely dries up... check this web.http://www.ehow.com/how_3886_dry-gourds.html

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 12:52PM
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wilderness1989(Zone 5B IL USA)

UPDATE/FYI: I had already drilled 1 inch holes in each of 5 birdhouse gourds before I sent in this question.
I dried them on my office counter with a small fan blowing on then 24 hours a day.
Everyone of the gourds dried perfectly.
John Gray

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 12:34AM
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janmar(7a WA)

Well, there you go, John! The experimental method is alive and well and I am glad you had such good results. I suspect that the fan was a great help in drying the gourds so quickly. So now, happy painting. J

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 10:52AM
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hi everyone, this was a good year for my bird house gourds.i dried all mine by scrapping all the green off the out side with a parring knife then i put them in panty hose and hung them outside under my deck for about 2 weeks. then i cut a hole in the bottom as big as my hand with a saw then i placed them back in a pair of panty hose and hung them above our wood stove in the garage, they dried within just a couple of hours. after i dried them i cleaned the insides out with my hand then i sanded the inside. then i took the circle i cut out of the bottom glued it back in place with gorrilla glue and let them set for a day. then i finished the out side. i made some really nice birdhouses plus made me a lamp. was really fun and they turned out great

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 3:40PM
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I grew gourds this year for the first time. I drilled my hole also to help with the drying time, and they have done very well. I think that whatever works for you is the best thing to do. I read so much info on "how to" that I got confused. Just scrape the inside every so often and they dry even faster.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 10:19PM
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I've been drilling holes in my gourds for several years now and have yet to have one rot. For gourds that I'm going to use as vases, bowls, etc., I drill 4 or 5 1/8" holes in the bottom. This starts the inside to decompose and the juice starts to run out. When it is finally done, and this depends on the size of the gourd, the seeds and what is left of the pulp usually settles on the bottom and is quite easy to clean out when you open the gourd. Usually, there is little if any mold inside. This year I tried a different method on a large (in excess of 20") apache gourd that I'm going to use as a birdhouse. I cut a 1" hole in the side and put the gourd in a bucket of water. IN a few days the pulp started oozing from the hole. After about a week, I turned it upside down so that the water could get into the neck and the pulp in there is now oozing out. When it is done, I will have a nice cleaned out gourd with little physical work involved and no mold to contend with. My experience with drilling and/or cutting holes in green holes seems to suggest that the stories that this will cause gourds to rot is just another urban legend. Gene/pa

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 12:06AM
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