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Female flowers?

Posted by treelover z8 SoCtrlTX (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 13, 06 at 17:14

I'm growing gourds for the first time this year and now have 1/2 dozen bushel gourd vines meandering through my garden beds. I've been reading what I can find about growing them, but still feel like I don't know what I'm doing.

These vines have had dozens of male flowers on them, but until I pinched off the ends, they hadn't produced any female ones. Now that I've finally got a couple of baby gourds forming, I'm wondering if I should have cut off the ends of the vines earlier. A couple of them are over a dozen feet long and are starting to form side branches. Is that where the female flowers form, or will they also grow on the main vine?

Will the vines root along their length? I'm wondering if I'll need to water them anywhere other than where the seedling was planted. Sure hope I end up with something to show for all this water I'm pouring into the ground, but if not, they still make pretty impressive plants.

I dug a little compost into the ground when I planted them...do I need to do any fertilizing while they're growing? Should I limit each vine to a certain number of fruit?

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Female flowers?

Treelover,
Every thing I've read recomends snipping vine when it reaches 8 to 10 feet. I didn't know this last year and had nothing but male flowers until late summer. I've read a few places that says the vines will root if they are in contact with the ground. Mine had plenty of ground contact but none ever rooted. There's many opinions about fertilizing. Many say stop when the vines start producing gourds as this just adds to longer vines. I didn't put any down and they did fine. As far as limiting gourds per vine, the general opinion is that if you're growing big ones as you are doing, limiting gourds per vine will produce much bigger gourds. I would suggest you keep a dairy of everything you do in your gourd patch as well as how your gourds are doing. It sure comes in handy next year and to see what works and what doesn't. Lots of luck. You will find gourd growing is highly addictive. I have some pictures of my gourd patch and gourds from last year as well as the start of the patch this year if you're interested. picturetrail.com/genepa Gene


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RE: Female flowers?

Thanks, Gene. I think I'll hold off on the fertilizer. Enjoyed seeing your gourd patch...and all your critters! I'd guess from your photos that you're in central PA somewhere--my old stomping ground.


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RE: Female flowers?

Thanks, Gene. I think I'll hold off on the fertilizer. Enjoyed seeing your gourd patch...and all your critters! I'd guess from your photos that you're in central PA somewhere--my old stomping ground.


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RE: Female flowers?

Treelover,
Yep! I be from south central Pa, about midway between Carlisle and Shippesburg. I checked on my patch today and couldn't believe my eyes. Two of my plants are only about a foot or so longer and started putting out male flowers about a week ago and today I discovered two female flowers. Afraid though that there aren't enough male flowers out yet and they won't get pollenated. I am putting a lot of horse manure all over my patch and covered that up with grass clippings. That should stop all weeds plus give my gourds some manure tea every time it rain. If you have time, keep us posted on how your patch is doing. Where in PA was your old stomping ground? Gene


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RE: Female flowers?

My husband and I are from Hershey and still have family in the area. My father and father-in-law always had a wonderful gardens, but I never knew anyone who grew gourds. I got interested when I saw some at a craft show last summer. I can believe that growing them is addictive and if this drought we're having doesn't do mine in, I'll be hooked for sure! It's fun poking around in the vines to see what's growing.

Good luck with your patch this year...and thanks again for your help. -- Carol


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RE: Female flowers?

Hi Carol - I know Hershey well. Also spent a couple of years in San Antonio when I was in the AF. Also know how dry it can get down there. If you can, mulch around your plants real heavy. That does a lot to preserve the moisture. Grass clippings are excellent but just don't let any fresh clippings touch your plants because they can burn them. Of course, if you've got drought conditions I doubt if you'll have many grass clippings. Laying newspapers down several layers thick with some rocks to hold them in place is another good mulch and will protect your gourds from hungry critters in the soil. Good luck with your crop.


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