How to Grow Ornamental Gourds

How to Grow Ornamental Gourds image by Author:bjearwickle - Image used courtesy of stock.xchng, under the stock.xchng license

Getting to grow ornamental gourd garden is a versatile yet inexpensive way to serve up a treat for both your palate and your craft creations all from one vegetable. Different types of gourds range from the ever-popular pumpkins, spanning squash and melons to exotic gourds. Get your gourd garden started and harvest-time, you will have a bounty to reap for your kitchen and your crafts.

Instructions

Step 1

Plan an ornamental gourd garden to ensure that you plant gourds in a spot that will provide three vital necessities: well-drained soil that is rich in nutrients and well fertilized, plenty of fresh water and long hours of daily sunlight. Ideally, your ornamental gourd garden should be outdoors.

Step 2

Wait until well after the first frost of winter to plant seeds or seedlings. The dirt should be 70 degrees F at a minimum to enable proper growth. The ornamental gourds require approximately 130 days, frost free, to mature properly.

Step 3

Form small mounds of soil in the garden, spaced about 4 to 5 feet apart from each other. Allow about 6 feet space between the rows of plantings. Sow two gourd seeds or seedlings in each mound. Spacing is important because gourds grow on vines, they will need space to spread across the ground, as well as room underground for their roots.

Step 4

Provide trellises for gourd vines to grow along. Ornamental gourds tend to develop best when the vine is raised off the ground allowing the gourd fruit to hang above the ground. When the gourds are in contact with the ground, they tend to develop the discoloured, mottled spotting that is seen on many gourds, and may even begin to rot.

Step 5

Tend the gourd garden daily. Water the vines consistently, particularly once the gourds begin to develop. Check for weeds or pests that could cause any problems. Be careful when you weed, because ornamental gourds have shallow roots. Remove any dead leaves, stems, or gourds from the vine.

Step 6

Maintain the health of your plants with the use of a balanced fertilizer or with mulch. Using mulch has the added benefit of suppressing weed growth as well as conserving soil moisture.

Step 7

Keep your ornamental gourds growing symmetrically by turning them every 7 to 10 days. Take care to do this gently to avoid snapping it off the vine.

Step 8

Cure or dry the ornamental gourds after you harvest them (see Resources). This will preserve and harden them for use in your craft creations and decorations.

Photo by: Author:bjearwickle - Image used courtesy of stock.xchng, under the stock.xchng license

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