confused about freezing the gourd

krp58(Maine z4/5)October 26, 2005

I seem to be reading that people leave them outside all winter!! It gets 25 below here. Is this true to leave them out? I was thinking they should go into the basement on a shelf where it is dark. I also have read that people put them in their barns. I have a horse barn but that is freezing too.

I cut them off the brown vine and washed them with soap and water. I then rubbed them down with alchol. Was this correct?

what now?

I am more confused now than I was when I planted them!! help.................

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gourd_friends(z5/6 IL)

You could get a dozen different answers to your questions and most of them would be correct. A lot of us apply what we have learned by trial and error to our knowledge of growing and tending gourds.
Letting your gourds dry in their most natural enviornment makes the most sense to me...even when it is 25 degees out side. Anyhow, you could check with your state's gourd society, or find a good gourd book to lead you along.

There is a very good book, "Gourds in Your Garden". It gives good information and is very easy to read. You can check it out at your local library or find at most book stores.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 11:37PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

krp58- I returned your e-mail but it came back to me.Sorry,I tried.LOL My suggestion was basically the same as Jan's. I figure Mother Nature knows what she is doing........Lillie

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 12:02AM
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krp: I live in a very cold clime, too. I am also very new at this. Here's my plan:

My plan is to leave them outdoors untill the snow starts to overtake them. (they are growing on a trellis, or what USED to be a trellis untill these really cool apple gourds helped it to collapse!) Then I will move them into my unheated garage untill the Spring Rains abate. Then I will set them in a sunny spot outdoors to finish drying. I have no idea how this endevor will turn out, but anything that can stay outside all winter in Minnesota is an impressive thing, and I had such fun growing the vine & checking on my apple gourds every day!!

Good luck to us both!! Check in next Spring and we'll compare notes. And, Oh: ARE YOUR STEMS BROWN?

This is on my mind.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 7:31PM
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gourd_friends(z5/6 IL)

Ok, folks, just bring all your green and drying gourds to me. I will gladly keep them here in our mid-western, Central Illinois climate so they won't be in your northern states deep freeze. However, here we may not have good deep freezing until January and they could actually freeze and thaw twice in 24 hours.
Up north, your gourds will actually have evaporated most of their liquid contents by early December. This will give them a good chance to develop a good thick shell.
A thick shell is a good thing.
You see, your gourds are actually aclimated to your area. I'm sure there is a most desirable soil, climate and terrain to grow gourds. I just don't happen to know where it is.
So, its up to each of us to make the best of the conditions in our areas. stepping off her soap box.........

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 12:10AM
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pogoduck(zone 4 North Dakota)

This is my first big drying season too, and we can get as low as -40 in the winter so I have been real concerned about the freezing. I'm leaving my gourds outside on a rack that I cobbled together out of chicken wire. I was going to bring them into the garage but it gets nearly as cold in there and I thought the ventilation of being outdoors would be better. A couple years ago I tried to dry one gourd. It froze and looked awful and I was sure it was rotting so I threw it in the compost. Later the next summer I was digging around in the compost and there was that gourd, nicely dried and hardened! I learned not to give up too soon, and that the freezing didn't hurt it at all.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 10:55AM
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