Plant gourd seeds in early summer so they are ready to enjoy and use throughout the winter as colorful decorations to signal the beginning of fall, for holiday displays, and to provide a sumptuous adornment to the Thanksgiving and Christmas table. Plant gourd seeds, requiring a growing period of 100 to 140 days, in areas with late frosts. Plant gourd seeds, one seed to a peat pot, four weeks before planting in the garden. The peat pot can be buried to the rim in the garden without disturbing the sensitive roots. Plant gourd seed varieties with shorter growing periods later in the spring.
Place the garden where it will receive at least six hours of sunlight daily. The soil must be well-draining and amended with the addition of organic matter such as peat moss, manure or compost.
Test the soil to determine fertilizer and lime requirements by contacting your county extension agent, getting a soil sampling kit and following the instructions.
Plant gourd seeds after the possibility of the last frost of the season has passed and the ground is warm. Gourd seed rots when planted in cold, wet soil.
Plant single seeds in rows spaced 2 feet apart and place the rows 5 feet apart. Push a wooden dowel into the ground as deep as the seed is wide, and lay the seed down horizontally. Brush a 1/2-inch cover of soil over the seed and pat down gently. Water the seeds lightly after planting.
Provide a trellis, fence or similar support for the vines to climb.
Add fertilizer when the vines begin to grow. Three lbs. of 10-10-10 or 10-6-4 fertilizer per 100 square feet will vitalize gourd growth.
Mulch the garden before weeds begin to grow with straw, wood chips or similar organic material.
Water the garden daily until the seedlings come up.