Apple Gourd ?

IceGardens(z5 SE IN.)October 21, 2005

Last May I bought a tiny little Apple Gourd plant, it has since taken over a big part of my garden and is loaded with gourds.

I need to get the vine cut down, and harvest the gourds, in order to get the garden cut back for winter. Normally I would wait till frost hits, but I am scheduled for surgery in two weeks and I need to get the garden finished before I am out of commission for weeks.

Some advice on the best method of drying these Gourds is needed, please.

Thanks

Carol

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sundae(NW Iowa)

Carol, can you just leave it all till spring and work a little harder to get that garden into shape, at least were the gourds are? If not then cut and leave plenty of stem on the gourd and store them in a good place were they will get some air circulation and not touch each oter if possible. Best of luck,

S.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 6:07PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

Carol-It is my understanding that the gourds should be left on the vine until first frost or until the leaves and vines begin to dry and turn brown and the stems holding the gourds are also somewhat dry and brown.I'm sure someone will correct me on this if I am wrong.If you have lots of gourds,I would be reluctant to bother them just yet as you might loose them all by cutting too soon.Is there not a way you could just leave the gourd vine and wait until later to remove it?
To dry the gourds just sit them on something,(some people just leave them on the ground and let nature take it's course)like wooden pallets or such,in a protected area,(a barn,shed or covered deck/patio is a good place)so that air can circulate around them.Check them occasionally and discard any mushy or shriveled ones.They will get varying amounts of mold on them while drying but that is a natural process.Don't worry about it,at least until you are ready to craft them.If they aren't too large you can slip them down in the cut off legs of old panty hose and tie them to rafters or even in the lower branches of trees to dry.It will take several months to complete the drying process,but they should be done by Spring.They are dry when the seeds rattle when you shake the gourd.I have found with apple gourds that the seeds clump together in a big solid ball inside when dry,so it wil be more of a thud than a rattle! LOL I hope this has helped and as I said,I'm sure there are others that know more about this than I do who will also offer more information.
What are you going to do with them after they are dry? If you would like to get rid of any please let me know.I am always in the market for good sized apple gourds.Good luck with the gourds and I pray that your surgery goes well and you are feeling fit as a fiddle in no time.........Lillie

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 6:08PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

Sorry Sundae.....We were posting at the same time.At least our minds were traveling in the same direction.LOL....Lillie

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 6:18PM
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IceGardens(z5 SE IN.)

Thanks so very much Lillie and Sundae, for the information.
I will leave the vine as it is, since we have had no frost yet the vine is still looking pretty good, and is still setting blooms. Bringing the gourds in to dry is not an option, with my asthma and allergies. A few of the gourds are on the the ground, should I put something under them, perhaps a milk crate or bread tray?

Lillie, will check and see how many gourds survive and dry this winter, and send you some. I don't want very many of them, just a few to make birdhouses with.

Carol

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 8:37PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

Carol-That is so sweet of you! I would really appreciate it and will gladly pay for them.Just let me know how they turn out.
I have read where some people put newspapers under them on the ground and let them dry that way.A milk crate would probably work too........Lillie

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 3:52PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Hi Carole, I'm planning to grow a couple of apple gourds next spring. I'd be curious to know how many gourds you got from that one plant. I plan to trellis mine. Do the vines grow very long?

I hope your surgery goes well...or maybe you've already had it. If so you're prolly pretty sore.

Good luck, Peggy

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 11:49AM
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kadasuki(z6 NW AR)

Wow, just yesterday, I found a pkg of apple gourd seeds and bought them cause the name was cute. I've never grown gourds before, and now I'm excited about them from this string. Can I winter sow them?
KK

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 12:35PM
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janmar(7a WA)

Hi, KK and Peggy, I believe gourds are a summer crop and as such, can only be sown in the Spring. Any winter season would kill the vine and there wouldn't be any moths to help pollinate the flowers. My apple gourd crop of over 70 successfully dried apples came from six plants and completely took over three very large flower beds ans flowed into the grass. The ripe gourds were VERY heavy and quite large so trellising them would not have worked very well for me. This shape is a lot of fun to work with and offers many options for design. J

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 10:11PM
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susansphn(So California)

JANMAR IS CORRECT...GOURDS REQUIRE LOTS OF SUN AND HEAT... DEFINITELY NEED TO BE PLANTED IN SPRING... PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY EXTRA APPLES, I'D GLADLY PAY POSTAGE... I LOVE THEM TO MAKE BIRDHOUSES AND ALSO GIVE THEM TO GREAT TEACHERS! .. THEY ARE REALLY FUN AND CUTE!! SUSAN IN SOCAL

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 12:59PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

I've grown gourds before, just not apple gourds. I plant mine out around May 1.

We had our 1st frost last night which I believe must break a record around these parts.

If anyone has 3-4 apple gourd seeds they'd care to part with, I can trade you a few swan gourd seeds. I also have corsican seed.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 7:52AM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Susan, I've had volunteer gourds that grew from a gourd that broke a couple of years ago. One of the kids threw it across the yard scattering the seeds. The following spring I had gourds growing everywhere. One grew into a large evergreen shrub and had massive gourds growing on it. It was the stangest looking thing.

So yes, I believe they could be winter sown.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 7:57AM
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