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can i pick apple gourds before vines die?

Posted by mocknbird MoCo, MD (6B) (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 27, 10 at 12:59

I planted two gourd plants in April in the middle of a patch of mammoth sunflowers. The sunfowers have mostly come and gone and the gourd vines are now overwhleming the entire yard. If I pick the gourds that look ripe now, am I eliminating any chance that they will dry properly?

Typically, I would leave them be until the first frost. This isn't an option if I want to prevent the lawn from turning into a meadow.

What is the rule of thumb for cutting back gourd vines?

thanks in advance.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: can i pick apple gourds before vines die?

You're best making sure that they mature completely, and you have the best chance of that by letting them stay on the vines as long as possible. Even frost won't hurt the gourds themselves.

If the plants haven't rooted into the ground (perhaps difficult if they are on top of the grass), maybe you could gather them and move them out of the way to mow, as long as you're careful not to damage the stems. They're pretty tough!

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