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Furry Vines/General Questions

Posted by nancy2247 IL (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 19, 07 at 11:40

This is the 4th year I've planted squashs (Zucchini, Acorn, Yellow) and the first for pumpkins, gourds and watermelons.
How do I handle the spikey vines as have been attacked by them when I tried to cut the ripen vegs?

Also want to know if I am doing the right thing with my gourds as have put up 8-ft tall trelises with chicken wire fences. Have tied the vines with twine so hope I am doing the right thing. Some white flowers have surfaced but they flattened out after the 1st day....so any advice would be appreciated (these are the birdhouse variety as the swan neck ones are left on the ground). Thanks! Nancy in IL


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Furry Vines/General Questions

I just have a suggestion on how to pick the squashes. this is what I do anyway. I hold the bottom end of the squash and twist it off. I never go near the top stem end. Works for me.

Now the gourds - Do you know the difference between the male and the female flowers? When you say the flowers flatten out - I am thinking that this is a male flower. The females have a bulb shape between the flower and the stem exactly like your squash does (they are the same family and will cross pollinate) There are several very good sites to learn about gourds, so here ya go (if I can insert them here)

http://thegourdreserve.com/hand_pollination.html

The major links are on the left hand side of the page. The opening page I sent should show you the male and the female flowers so you can tell the difference.

Also - search for the Amercian Gourd Society

If you do a search for "gourds" you will find quite a few places out there.

Hope I was able to help you.


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RE: Furry Vines/General Questions

Thanks for letting me know so will check out the sites later today (Just a a good cloudburst, So. IL has been rather dry lately). Noticed the bulbs in 3 different locations last night so am on course with what you explained. Somewhere saw a note that cutting back on the vines (for gourds) down to one vine will produce more gourds (or a healthier gourd). Does this work? Don't want to kill off my gourd plants!

Nancy


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RE: Furry Vines/General Questions

With hard shelled gourds (the ones with white flowers) The female flowers are only formed on the side branches. After the main vine reaches 8+ feet you should pinch off the tip to encourage branching and gourd formation. This is not necessary for ornamental gourds (yellow flowers) as they have both male and felamle flowers on the main vine. However you can always pinch off the tip if the vines are going where you don't want them, this won't kill the plant.

I am not sure what you mean by the white flowers flattened out. The white flowers open at night and are very flat compared to the yellow flowers which are more cup shaped and open early morning. All gourd flowers are open for only one day. With the twine you are using be careful that it is not too tight and room is left for when the vine gets thicker. You may need some additional support for the birdhouse gourds as they form. I have never used chicken wire but it seems like it would be possible for the gourds to get scraped up on the fence if they move around from the wind. So you may want to put something between the fence anf the gourd if they touch each other.

Try wearing long sleeves and gloves when you harvest your squash so you don't get scratched.


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