Update on my Gourd Garden- I am going to be a Gourd Mama

See the picture below? It is a budding new gourd. See how it bulges out. That is a baby gourd. Its the only one I found right now but it is easy to see in my garden so this is the one that I will be watching.

My first blog post on growing gourds.

A new Gourd is being born

A new Gourd is being born

As many of you know, this is my first year attempting to grow my own gourds!! I have learned so much like…

  • Don’t attempt to grow 10 gourd plants in a tiny plot!
  • Don’t grow other veggies in “the bare spots” because they won’t be bare for long and they will get taken over quickly as the gourd plants hang on for dear life.

Those are my don’t’s.

My do’s are...

  • Put up something for them to grow on. I pounded in a couple of rebar rods I had laying around and bought some picture hanging wire to run across the garden three times.  I am not sure it this will hold up once gourds start popping out but that is what they got! 
  • Water often… which reminds me, I am watering now. I need to go turn it off. Be back in a minute.

Since this is my first time I really don’t know what to look for. I got a sheet from the American Gourd Society when  I joined and it showed me hand drawing of the male and female flowers.

Yes… I went out there in the evening and lifted their little dresses to check their sex. I attempted to manually pollinate some of them, whether I was successful or not remains to be seen.

Then I decided mother nature could do it!! She has been doing it a lot longer than me!

Here are some more pics of my Gourd Garden.

Gourd garden

So many plants in a tiny little space.

Gourds in my gardenGrowing gourdsSee those HUGE leaves? Because I am also into pottery I could not resist picking one and using it as a “stamp” for a bowl. I have it all made and bisqued, all I need to do now is glaze and fire it and then I will let you see!!

Feel free to share with us your experiences with a gourd garden. I would love to hear about them!!

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About Dani Montoya

I have been working with gourds for over 5 years and have sold a good share of them which thrills me to death. Many times I hear customers and admirers that they would like to do this too, so I am compiling this website in the spirit of sharing my gifts and helping you learn. If there is something specific you want to learn about gourds drop me an email. I would love to hear from you.

Comments

Update on my Gourd Garden- I am going to be a Gourd Mama — 8 Comments

  1. So glad you are sharing your experiences with your gourd garden. I planted this year for the first time and I too made the same mistakes…gourds are taking over my peppers and tomatoes. I got so excited the other day when I found a “bulge” at the end of a bloom. lol
    Can’t wait to see how this venture will turn out, but I am loving the carving on the gourds…I just still have not decided what is the best product to use to paint them..I don’t want to mess up all the hours I have in the carving.
    Any suggestions?

    • Hi Chris… its a hoot, isn’t it. I was poking around last night and found 2 nice sized zucchinis hidden away under the gourd plants. I also found a few more “bulging ladies”. I am loving it.

      Glad you are enjoying the carving on gourds. The flesh of the gourd sucks up paint like a sponge so before you paint it you must seal it. I only carve out to reveal the flesh for the contrast but it sounds like you are actually carving in relief or 3D. I don’t blame you for not wanting to mess it up. There is always a point in my gourds where I saw “Do I stop or do I go on” with the fear that I am going to mess it up. Somehow it always works out.

      I use the gourd master paints. They are water based ink dyes that don’t dry until they are heat set. I like them because they can be blended nicely. But you can not put them onto raw flesh or it will turn dark and muddy. When I want to paint the flesh I seal it on a clear acrylic. Sometimes I use Krylon and sometimes I use the Gourd Master Clear. Other types of clear should seal the flesh too so you might want to see what is available to you and test it on a scrap piece.

      Once you get it sealed you should be able to paint with whatever you are used to. I have heard of people using colored pencils, watercolor pencils, I have used water color paints, as well as craft acylics (I am not fond of these)

      What types of paints did you use on wood?
      t

  2. Hi. I like the look the alcohol spray made on the leaves. I make fall leaves each year and being in New Hampshire they are always the big seller. Good idea next fall I’ll remember to try the spray.

    • I like it too Jane. I used a spritzer bottle but It also works well to use a cotton swab with alcohol on it to lightly dot. There are two strengths of rubbing alcohol. I find the 91% to work better but its strong and reacts alot.

  3. I really appreciate your sharing of techniques, etc. I’ve considered buying the Razortip burner, but so far I’m pretty satisfied with the Colwood burner that I purchased a couple yrs. ago. It was nice to see the tips you use as I’m always looking for new “workhorse”tips to use. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge & experiences.
    Lola Messerle (love gourding as it’s my zen-thing)

    • Hi Lola!! There are so many wonderful burners out there and I am glad you are happy with yours!! Its neat that you describe gourding as Zen-like because it really is, isn’t it. I tend to get lost in it. I also throw pottery which I describe in the same manner. Happy Gourding!

  4. Aloha
    I live in Hawaii. The fewer fruits on the vine, the larger and thicker walled they will be. Gourd production requires plentiful nutrients in correct proportions for your soil and micro-climate for good results.
    I find here that allowing the vine to exhibit leaf wilting – stress – for a few days and then watering deeply as a cycle will produce stronger gourd walls. Too much water will result in weak gourds. Too much nitrogen will result in weak thin walls, too many fruits, and excessive vegetative growth.
    Once fruits develop, applications of 1 tbsp molasses to a gal of water provides various micro-nutrients, and is an excellent source of dextrose, which the plant requires for chemical energy, and to build the chemical compounds required for fruit development.

    After the first month of vine growth, lower % nitrogen and higher % of balanced phosphorus and potash fertilizer will yield stronger fruits. Avoid watering when the vine is showing wilting/water stress – wait until the day has cooled off before flooding the root system to avoid cracked stem syndrome, which can kill the vine.

    Watch for leaf damage from insects on undersides of leaves, and protect from snails and slugs which will damage the fruits and stems. Control ants, which may raise insects on your gourd vines, with sugar/boric acid feeding solution. Spray underside of leaves and ground under the vines with appropriate insecticide – I use PCO Choice, an EPA approved Cedar extract for pets and children insecticide and repellant.

    • Wow Lonnie… Thank you for all the wonderful advice. I will go do the molasses thing today. I really appreciate you taking the time to write all of this up for me and others who will find their way here!! I have some very slow growing gourd plants at this moment that will benefit from adding something to the soil so I will do your recommendations. Thanks again!

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