Growing gourds & instruction

More growing and harvesting information:

How to dry Gourds..

Gourds need air to properly dry. Lots of air. So if you pick your gourds early, DON'T put them some place where they will not get good air flow, like in a cellar or a small room. Do not dry gourds in your house.  Mold spores can cause respiratory problems.  Do NOT drill holes in your gourds for drying purposes they will dry just fine if left alone.

Gourds will dry out in the weather just fine. No, it won't hurt them to get wet from rain, nor will it hurt them to freeze. Yes, a hard freeze will kill the vines and leaves, but mature gourds will do just fine. Commercial growers don't pick their gourds from the fields until they are fully dry. Gourds are dry when they are very light in weight and the seeds rattle when they are shaken. Gourds that are left on the vine to dry, harden off much better and seem to be of much higher quality than gourds that have been picked while still green.  It generally takes 3 to 6 months for a gourd to be completely dry.

How to clean a dried gourd..  Soak the gourd in a bucket filled with warm soapy water.  After the gourd has soaked for a half an hour or more scrub the outside of the gourd with a kitchen scrubber. Use the dull edge of a butter knife to scrape off stubborn mold and blemishes.  Wash the gourd until the outer surface is free of blemishes and mold.  Let the gourd dry completely before painting, carving, or wood burning.  The inside can be cleaned after the outside is cleaned & dried.