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Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by Fernie on October 18, 2006 12:35 AM
I was given 2 birdhouse gourds. They are not dried. They are just a lovely green color (which I suppose it will lose as it dries?) and I don't know a thing about them....

Do I carve the hole and place for a perch before it dries or do I wait until it is completly dry? How long does it take to dry? Are there any special things I have to do while it is drying? I really want to use them as actual birdhouses if possible.

Thanks,

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by Thornius on October 18, 2006 01:24 AM
Wait UNTIL it dries. Then carve your hole and hollow it out. You will know it is dry when it turns a light beige in color. Those are best used for Purple Martin nests, but I'm not sure if you have Purple Martins in Idaho. If you do have those birds, hang the gourds about 1-2 feet apart on a pole about 12-20 feet high, preferably near a pond in an open grassy area.

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A bird in the hand......can sometimes be a mess.
by Fernie on October 18, 2006 01:59 AM
Thanks!!! NO purple martins here....I was thinking wrens????

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by Thornius on October 18, 2006 03:57 AM
Wrens would probably like it as well. Try hanging it under the eaves of your house or your porch roof if you have one.

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A bird in the hand......can sometimes be a mess.
by gailo on October 18, 2006 07:08 AM
Make a mild solution of water with liquid bleach and wash the gourd with it. That is supposed to help it dry a more even tan color without the blotching.

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gailo
by Wrennie on October 18, 2006 11:01 PM
I've never had luck drying gourds. Maybe the bleach wsh would help me. I always got those splotches, then they'd rot. [Frown]

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by Fernie on October 19, 2006 11:04 PM
Yep getting them to dry correctly is the actual first step huh? Looking forward to seeing how it goes. I just wish I could keep the lovely green color....it really is pretty.

Oh well......

Thanks Thorny and gailo for your help!!

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by Wrennie on October 20, 2006 03:57 AM
They can be painted once they're dry. On the outside only.

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 - Summer Camp '07, July 14th weekend, won't you join us?  -
summer camp thread 1, 2, 3,4
by gailo on October 20, 2006 08:21 PM
I dried some by just leaving them by my fireplace, on the hearth for months. I was afraid to touch them, so I didn't. They dried and didn't make any mess or anything. They didn't smell. We are rather informal. Our house has a great room so the room is pretty big. Winter is dry inside. Those are the conditions I dried mine under. It was hard to cut the hole though. They are fragile.

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gailo
by amy7467 on October 20, 2006 08:50 PM
Fernie,

I just picked up a birdhouse gourd yesterday and the lady told me to leave it somewhere it wouldn't be disturbed all winter to let it dry out. She said you might get flaky, moldy looking stuff on the outside. Come spring, wash that off with a mild bleach solution and use a drill to make the hole. She said all of the inside stuff will dry into a little ball you can shake it right out. We'll have to compare notes and pics come spring!

Amy
by Fernie on October 23, 2006 11:13 PM
Ok.....sounds like a plan Amy!!

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