Return to the Gourds Forum | Post a Follow-Up

harvesting/curing gourds in north central florida

Posted by becca62 9a FL (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 19, 05 at 21:32

I'm growing gourds for the first time. I planted dipper gourd seeds in May or early June. The vines are on a strong arbor and a wire fence. They've been doing beautifully, and I now have a few dozen beautiful big gourds. I also have some babies still showing up. Some of these gourds are definitely as big as they are going to get. They aren't showing any increase in size over a week or more. Many of the leaves on the vine are turning brown and dropping off, but the new growth all looks very healthy.

I'm trying to find out about harvest and curing. Waiting 'til the first frost doesn't seem practical, as it often doesn't freeze here 'til Christmas or later. I also read somewhere to harvest when the stems begin to turn brown. That seems more plausible, but isn't beginning to to happen. Is this something that typically happens after the older leaves begin to turn brown?

I've only found one other person I know whose grown gourds down here, and he used his for birdhouses. He says he cuts them when they are "as big as they're gonna get," and then immediately cuts the hole out and lets the gourd drain. I've never heard of that!

Can anyone advise? And after I harvest, what then? I may want to use some for crafts (painting or carving).


oh, and here is a picture from several weeks ago...

Image hosted by

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: harvesting/curing gourds in north central florida

I think you're on the right track, just be patient. You should leave the gourds on the vine until the stems are brown and dry. You should also notice that the gourds are becoming lighter in weight and possibly losing their bright green color. Some will begin turning brown or tan in spots.
When you harvest, leave at least 4 inches of stem on the gourd, and don't lift or handle the gourd by the stem.
As for cutting a hole for drainage.....that seems risky to me. (possibly an entry port for insects or bacteria) The water in the gourd is part of the fiber...much like the fiber surrounding the seed in a pumpkin or a squash. The process of evaportion is a part of the curing of the gourd. Again, be patient.
Put your harvested gourds behind the garage, under the deck...somewhere they will have adequate air circulation. Check them every few weeks to check for rotted gourds, etc.
Don't panic if you see mold...that's part of the curing process. It could take up to six months or more, but it will be worth it.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Gourds Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here