bushel gourds

jane99(5)December 30, 2004

Hello. I attempted to grow bushel gourds again this year. The plants did great and i got plenty of gourds but they did not get big. I was told that you need to get them in real early (long growing season) and water them quite a bit. Agreed? My question - do you think the seeds from the little gourds will produce bigger gourds next year if i try again? thanks - peace & love,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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Gourd_Guy

yeah, you need to eke out just about every minute of your growing season that you can. I`m zone 7. my safe-to-set-out date is April 15th. I start my gourds (this year, about 500 seedlings) in my greenhouse the last week of February. I start hardening them off the 2nd week of April, and if the 10 day forecast looks ok, I`ll plant them the weekend of, or after April 15th. my growing season lasts until late October/early November. getting gourds to grow large is a tricky thing. best advice: build your soil up big-time. lots of compost. peat. manure. earthworms and earthworm castings. wood ash. till it all up fluffy. and try your best to stay off of it once you`ve planted. gourds are shallow rooted, and don`t like compacted soil. LOTS of water, but not so much the last 4-6 weeks of the season. For the best size, pinch off all female blooms once 4 gourds are developing on an individual vine. VERY little nitrogen-based fertilizer should be used...go with one that has a high potash content. keep weeds to a minimum, mulch or plastic will really help.As far as what will grow from saved seeds, I find gourd seeds are a lot like Human Parents. while it`s no guarantee that a couple that stands 6'-0" and 6' 6" with have a tall child, it`s a lot more likely than a couple who is 5'0" and 5'5" will. a lot of people disagree with me on this, but I`ve been hand-selecting and hand-pollenating for years with this method and have gotten some very satisfying results, particularly with my apple gourds.

I'd like to go to bed, but the fireworks are gonna keep me up for at least another couple of hours.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2004 at 11:11PM
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jane99(5)

mr gourd guy - thanks for the info. Not quite clear your point about the saving of the seeds. Will they produce bushel gourds? I remember that i wasn't supposed to save my pumpkin seeds. supposed to buy new ones. Don't know why? thanks

    Bookmark   January 1, 2005 at 9:47AM
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Gourd_Guy

yeah, they`ll produce bushel gourds. the point I was trying to make (it was late last night, and my ordinarily quiet little chunk of the world was ablaze with fireworks) is that if you plant seeds from a smaller gourd, you MAY get larger gourds on the resulting vine. HOWEVER, I think your chances of getting larger gourds improves considerably if you use seed from a bigger gourd. Just like passing genetics from parents to children, tall parents usually have tall kids, short parents, short kids. Big gourds - big gourds, small gourds -small gourds. I've had people argue this with me, and their arguement do make sense, but I know what I've seen.

I don`t know why you shouldn`t save pumpkin seeds to plant. I used to plant Atlantic Giants, and they always grew well from saved seeds. I have someone sending me some seeds from a 1000 pound pumpkin, so I`m gonna try those this year. I like pumkins, but squash borers drive me to drink.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2005 at 11:30AM
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jane99(5)

gourd guy - i have been experimenting with what is referred to as the 3 sisters act. The native american way of planting corn, beans, and squash together. I read once that planting squash (pumpkins) next to corn helps eliminate the squash borer. Something about the corn and something it attracts maybe. Can't remember,,, i'ld have to research it again. I'll have to check into the reuse of the seeds more. I have heard not to use them from several sources (and they weren't folks selling seeds - ha)
thanks again,,,,,,,,,,, peace & love,,,,,,,,,,

    Bookmark   January 2, 2005 at 11:36AM
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harhur(NC)

HI, Most likely not unless the gourds you were growing has the genetics. It is like a plum tomato and a beefsteak tomato, the plum will not make a beefsteak. Check and see what the potential of size was suppose to be. Good luck

    Bookmark   January 7, 2005 at 11:06PM
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lmorgie(z6 Oklahoma)

go to ebay-bushel gourds. $11.99 each while they last. 6 days left. Lynne

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 5:25PM
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