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bird house gourd questions...

Posted by andreajp z9 sacramentoCA (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 4, 07 at 19:31

is it too late to grow bird house gourds? also...is it best to grow them on a support or to allow to sprawl? if you grow them on a support...what is the best system? if you just let them sprawl...how do you keep them from rotting?

also...do you hand pollinate? if so, how do you know the difference between the male and female flowers?

i know i have so many questions here...i'm sorry...i'm just very excited to grow these gourds and turn them into little houses for the birds!!!

thanks so much,
andrea


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: bird house gourd questions...

You should still have time to plant them. I just looked up your fall frost date and it said Dec. 1st and you need at least 120 days for them to reach maturity.

Big gourds need a strong support. I let some of mine grow on a dead dogwood tree. I also have some nylon garden netting that they sell at garden or home improvement centers. I use the netting stapled to sturdy wooden stakes that I hammer into the ground in five foot intervals. I am sure there are many other systems pick one that works for you.

If you let them grow on the ground you can put straw or a board under the gourd to keep it off the ground.

Nocturnal moths pollinate the flowers but you can hand pollinate them if you want. The female flowers have a minature gourd or lump under the flower and the male flowers do not. With birdhouse gourds the female flowers are on the side branches, so when the main vine is 8 - 10 feet you should pinch off the tip to encourage more female flowers.


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RE: bird house gourd questions...

If you check "MY Page" and email me with the header GOURDS I will give you my address and you can send me a SASE and I will send you some really great Kettle gourd seeds. They make a super gourd for birdhouses. These you should grow on the ground and as noted above place a board under the gourd as it starts to grow. If you set it upright you will have great gourds. You can grow them airborne, but you will have to support them with netting as they get really large and heavy


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