Try something different and grow an enormous gourd! Growing up to 100 pounds and 3-5 feet around, the huge ornamental fruit may be dried and hollowed out for lightweight autumn decoration. An enjoyable, creative project for the whole family, but not suitable for eating.
soak it in a bowl of water for 24 hours.Start the seeds 6 weeks before your last average frost date. Fill small pots with potting soil and plant one seed per pot about 1 inch deep. Water and keep them moist when the surface feels dry. Keep them in a warm place(warm to 70 degrees F.) After the danger of frost passes, move them outdoors. When you are ready to plant them in the ground, find a well drained area, and plant the seedlings 2 feet apart. Try to plant in the evening so the seedlings have the night in the dark to rebound before the sun shines on the water weekly with 1-2 inches of water. Mulch them with straw or leaves not touching the stems.
Gourds take a long time to grow, so you need a long growing season. They also take up quite a bit of room and need a sturdy trellis. So remember that when planning your space.Pinch off the remaining flowers on each vine after one or two flowers begin to grow into gourds. This will allow the fruit to have more energy and nutrients and you’ll get bigger and healthier gourds.
Harvesting gourds need to be done at the right time. They should begin to turn brown and their stem should start to shrivel before you harvest them. They are easy to damage, so handle them carefully. Cut the stems with shears leaving a couple of inches of stem. You’ll need to dry them for at least 6 months before they are ready to process.