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How do you dry gourds?

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by Rosepetal on August 03, 2006 03:51 PM
Does anyone know of an informative website on how to dry gourds, or have any of you done this and had success with them?

Some told me this week that it must be done right or they won't hold long.

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For this "New Year" help me to be kinder and more loving to all around me, I pray.
by weezie13 on August 03, 2006 04:10 PM
I did some birdhouse gourds last year..

The onlyyyyyyy thing I did, was neglect them..

I am always busy, and short on time..
I grew 5 birdhouse gourds, and had the best of intentions of maybe doing something with them..

Welllll, fall goes toooo fast and didnt' get a chance.. So, they kinda stayed in my *unheated* garden shed..

(I really expected to see a melted pile of goop this spring, with them decomposing in the shed with the freezing temps out there and then the January thaw and more frozen temps and then the spring thaw...)

When I opened the door, I saw 5 gourds filled with mold...
*******Now, luckily I read up on stuff, and I knew those gourds would do that..******

I carefully, and let me re~iterate that again,
carefully, PEELED, *wiped with some paper towels really* and just slid the "mold" off, it was that easy...
I then put them out in the sun, and hung them a bit, and they dried nicely...
*I haven't done any drilling on the inside,
to make a birdhouse yet.. cause the powder from the drilling of the dried gourd, when inhaled can cause cancer and the likes..
~~~~> you must wear a mask when sanding or cutting the dried gourd<~~~~

What kind of gourd are you looking for???????

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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by DeepCreekLake on August 04, 2006 01:45 PM
I grow alot of gourds, a hobby of mine is to grow,and make birdhouse etc out of them. One tip I will tell you is to NOT harvest the gourds when they are still green on the vine. Wait until the vine where the gourd is attached turns brown. Even though the leaves may be dead (such as after a frost) the vines can still feed the gourds water. If you harvest them when they are still green, they usally sink in/rot when they dry, and are worthless. For drying them, it takes months! Some people leave them in the garden and let them over winter. I cut mine off the vines (makes sure you leave a good amount of stem on it!) and place them in my garage on the floor. Old wood pallets are good to dry them on, because the air will circulate under them to help dry the bottoms. They will get nasty looking and moldy-which is totally normal, but that is just the flesh that is rotting, the woody part underneath is what gets used. Also do not drill holes into it to attempt to dry them faster! You can drill into them once the seeds inside rattle, for what ever reason you have to drill in them for ( I drill drain holes when making birdhouses but thats done right before I paint them).
I am now just cleaning off gourds grown last year. To clean them,(thats how long it can take to dry fully!) get a bucket full of water, and pour a little bleach in it to help kill some of the molds on the gourds. Soak the gourd in it, and let the skin get a little loose. Then use a copper scrub pad (the kind you use to clean pots and pans)and scrape off the skin- keep the gourd wet, and keep cleaning the skin off until all is left is a woody looking gourd! Rinse, and let dry in the sun, and your ready to work with it! P.S... A Gourd that is dried properly will last forever!
by Rosepetal on August 05, 2006 12:38 PM
Hey thanks lots for this info'. I'll be passing this on to my daughter, this will be her project. She is looking forward to making harvest baskets. I planted the mini gourds so she could do this.

Here are some pictures of my gourds.

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These are just a few of them, I don't even know how many different ones I have.

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For this "New Year" help me to be kinder and more loving to all around me, I pray.
by DeepCreekLake on August 05, 2006 03:01 PM
I hate to say this, but those types of gourds do not dry well, they will rot in time. I should have clarified it in my post above. They may last for awhile after picking them- they are generally used for decorations. The type I am talking about (for drying and using) are the larger birdhouse, dippers, Bushells,apples, snakes etc. (Lagenaria siceraria). So the above post dosnt really apply to those kinds. The Lagenarias have white flowers, as opposed to the yellow found on ornamental gourds. They have much thicker and harder shells than the ornamentals (hence the name hardshell gourds)
by Rosepetal on August 09, 2006 06:10 AM
That's ok, they will do just fine for what my daughter wants to do with them. [thumb]

We will enjoy them as long as we can. [clappy] [clappy]

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For this "New Year" help me to be kinder and more loving to all around me, I pray.
by njoynit on August 10, 2006 04:51 AM
Also hardshells grow longer.

I've grown the birdhouse& have them again this year(but not quiet got its act together yet)It has took off growing since I left the waterhose on and forgot about it for like 12 hours.shows it ain't wise to water drinking. [muggs] good thing I went to compost pile that morning [Roll Eyes] I got 3 vines going of I'm guessing dipper gourd or gooseneck.I've got like 10 so far and got one thats like really took off& I've even let it climb the utility pole( [lala] I'm hopeing as long as no storms......or no power outages....I can get away with it....and guess if it gets near the fuse thing....or the transformer....or the power line.....I'll break out the BB gun for entertainment [Big Grin] )I've dried one of these.was a lil small.it met hubbys weedeater(which he is still trying to start...he can't figure Y he's only got it to run 3 times.......lol)I got about 30 good seeds out of it.
I'm growing a luffa,but its not produceing any,but it is growing.

I'm a mild climate so I can let mine grow& dry completly in same spot.I cut them off with a good 1 ft of vine when the entire vine is definately dead.i check on them as they dry.mostly just to see if feels lighter yet.its done when the seeds rattle.

I do have birdhouse gourd seeds.they take 140-150 days.
I got a few gooseneck(they are speckled)or dipper.

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