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How long does it take

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by Bestofour on February 06, 2006 03:46 AM
for gourds to dry? I had 2 that got big enough to cut and try to dry. I waited until the vines died back to cut them. They've been hanging in a bag so they won't get mishappen for months and are still green. I was hoping to get some seeds to plant again. [dunno]

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by DeepCreekLake on February 06, 2006 04:15 AM
I grow hard shell gourds every year, usally bird house gourds- this year will grow alot other types. The thing to do if you want to save seeds, is to not let the gourd freeze! The germination rates go down greatly if they freeze. As for drying gourds dont leave them in a bag, they need air to dry! I lay them on my garage floor (unheated garage) and the skin will start to rot and get real moldy- there is nothing wrong with the gourd if it does that it is 100% normal! The skins rot leaving the woody shell underneath.It takes a good amount of time for the skins to rot, and the shells to fully harden- usally I clean them in Spring or Early summer in the year after Ive grown them. Proper air circulation is the key. You can set them on old wood pallets so the bottoms get air on them.Dont drill small holes in it to try to make it dry faster! Save cutting any holes or opening them up if you intend to use the gourd until its fully dried! If the sides or bottoms start sinking in, the gourd more than likely has too thin a shell to work with. It will sink in no matter what you do with it in time. Usally end up with a few that are unusable. A thick walled one will dry right. A secret to thicker shells, is to up your potash during the growing season partuclarly when the gourds reach a large size.

Sometimes the molds that form, will make neat birdeyes (almost like birdeyes maple finish) effect on the shells when you clean the skin off. For cleaning the skins, I use a bucket or a wash tub,full of water and a copper scrubber pad- the kind (you use to clean pots and pans). Soak the gourd in water and get the skin nice and wet (water will soften the skin), and use the scrubber to clean off the skin, it goes very fast with the scrubber. You may want to wear gloves when doing this, as some people are sensitve to the molds that form on the rotted skins.Rinse off the gourds after its all clean, and set it in the sun to dry off (usally takes 15 minutes or so) The result is a nice clean gourd, ready to work with when it drys off!

Here is a link on how to save hardshell gourd seeds from Turtlefeathers.com. They sell hardshell gourd seeds, many odd types too.

Saving Gourd Seeds
by Bestofour on February 06, 2006 09:52 AM
Thanks so much. These are birdhouse gourds I'm talking about. The bag I've got them hanging in is a plastic bag that has holes in it and they're open at the top. They're getting air. Moldy stuff is beginning to develop. I'm glad you responded because I thought with the mold they were no good. I'll wait a little longer then wash them up. Hope I have some seeds to plant.

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by njoynit on February 07, 2006 04:47 AM
I dried mine by attaching the stem part to a hanger and I hung on a branch near one of my flower beds out of direct sun.My seeds say harvested in January.you proably got less air availeable for drying.do you hear liquid when you shake them?I scrubbed on the outside on some of my mold with a plastic scrubby.It was dry when I could hear the seeds rattle.I was told If I marked my hole while it was drying and that the edges would draw some and make it easier for getting my hole when ready.

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