Growing Gourds

I tried growing gourds one summer. Actually, I was quite successful. My gourd patch produced about 100 gourds. I planted seeds from the gourds I had previously purchased.

 My main problem was that most of the gourds were fairly thin shelled. I’m not sure why, since the gourds I got the seeds from were not thin shelled. Thin shelled gourds are fine if you want to paint or wood burn on them. When you carve a gourd, the deeper the shell, the more detail you can get with the carving. I did raise a few gourds that were nice and conducive to carving.

 I probably would have had better luck if I had purchased my seeds from a gourd farm that produces thick shelled gourds. The Welburn Gourd Farm has very thick gourds. Next time I will purchase my seeds from a gourd farm, to see if I have better luck on the thickness of the shell. The southern states have longer growing seasons and have much better luck in growing gourds than the northern states.

Living in Utah, the summer growing season is sometimes cut short with an early frost or snow. The gourd seeds need to be planted early in the spring, after the threat of frost is gone, so the gourds will have time to mature before the first fall frost.

If you decide to grow your own gourds, remember, that drying gourds takes about six months or more before they are ready for carving or painting. If you want to start carving gourds before your crop is ready to carve, purchase some gourds from another source, such as a gourd farm.

I may try growing gourds again, but for now, I purchase my gourds through various gourd farms. There are many websites that give very good instructions on growing and cleaning gourds. Until I become better at it, I will leave the growing of gourds to the experts.


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