Best results are achieved from direct sowing into a sunny, warm, well drained garden in June. Expect at least 95 days before fruit has matured enough to harvest. For cleaner fruit, vines can be trained to grow on a trellis. Cut ripe fruit from the vine when it becomes firm and no longer yields to hand pressure. Be careful not to bruise the fruit as this encourages rot. Wash the fruit and store it in a warm dry place turning the fruit occasionally to promote even drying – larger fruits take longer to dry. When drying is complete, seeds inside should rattle when the gourd is shaken. Glaze with a floor wax to help preserve the skin.
How to Grow
Gourds are a hot weather crop. They need full sun and deep, rich, well drained, organic soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Before planting, work in lots of compost. Directly plant seed outdoors in late May to June 2.5 cm (1″) deep in hills 2.4 m (8′) apart with 4-6 seeds per hill. After germination, thin to 3 plants per hill. Seed can be started indoors 3 weeks before the plant out date. They do not transplant well–use paper or fibre pots that can be set directly in the soil. Protect mature fruits from frost and cold temperatures.