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Beginner Questions here

Posted by txgardenlady Z8B in Texas (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 10, 07 at 22:42

Hi - I bought a package of gourd seeds. (that's how it starts) I wondered how many gourds to expect from one seed if I am doing it right. They are Bushel gourds.

I hear they take extreme full sun, and lots of water. Correct? Is there any way to hold them back from covering the yard? Do you let all the gourds grow, or pick off all but a few to let those few get really big?

What are the tricks and secrets?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Beginner Questions here

You're correct that all gourds need full sun and plenty of water, but don't over water.
The vines can be controlled by pruning the main stem to 8-10 feet. This puts more growth into the lateral vines where the gourds will grow.
Since you are trying to grow really large gourds, you probably will want to leave just one gourd on each side of the main stem......two gourds per vine.
Caution: Over-watering/feeding can cause the gourd to crack. And, you only need to water at the base of the plant.

If you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask. There are lots of answers to your questions, so the information I've shared is what works best for me.

Good Luck,

RE: Beginner Questions here

txgardenlady-extreme sun in Texas differs from other zones, further north, as we Texans know-right? My gourd vines do better with a bit of afternoon shade. I ended up putting supports and a shadecloth over the gourd vines I grew in my raised bed this past summer. Also, watering each day (not the leaves) in the heat of the summer won't hurt the plants in your zone and may well be a necessity. Just watch the leaves and you'll know if you are watering too much or too little. Good luck.

RE: Beginner Questions here

Thanks for the info, and the fine tuning on the sun issue. Yes, even a cactus will scald here.

Do you recomment the hill planting I read about in another post?

Are fertilizers required?

RE: Beginner Questions here

The way I do it is-I start seeds in February in peat pellets, transfer those to small pots once the seeds germinate and get a little size plantwise. Then, I stick the plants in the ground early-mid March usually. I grow some gourds along a fence line and others in my raised bed. I've never made hills for the plants, but I can see the value in that if you're growing large quantities of gourds. I use fish emulsion here and there or liquid seaweed. The gourd guy has some wonderful posts on this forum regarding gourd growing. I've grown a few vines a year for 5 years-he and others on this forum have grown much more. ;-)

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