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Yard of gourds

June 7, 2016

Last year I grew bushel basket gourds again in spite of not really needing any more.  Actually I’m not sure anyone other than the Anasazi actually needed them (handy for storage of loose items like seeds and dried corn?), so I’ll admit that I just wanted to grow some more.

Really there were three reasons were behind this.
1. These vines have huge leaves and can grow 70 or 80 feet and are effective ground covers for slack gardeners tired of weed control in the far reaches of the garden.
2. I brought a couple of hog panels back from our mountain property and had built a massive trellis that looked pretty silly and useless without something on it.
and finally
3. In a rare sustained effort of creativity, I had made some nice gourd jack-o-lanterns the year before and this used up most of my good remaining gourds.

The rest of this gourd story is mostly in pictures.

The hog panel trellis in use

Hog Panel and bamboo trellis

Hog Panel and bamboo trellis

Ground cover: among the ruins of the old hoop-house spot (and location of future permanent greenhouse)

Gourd vine ground cover

Gourd vine ground cover

Do these gourds grow large?  Yes.

A big gourd

A big gourd


Green gourds ready for the long winter “dry”. (Note that there are at least 3″ or 4″ of stem on each gourd and that the stem is brown. Only cut green gourds from the vine after the stem has gone brown and leave a few inches of stem. Otherwise, you will have a rotten puddle of smelly mush and not an eventually dried hard sided gourd. )

End of season gourds moved to dry on the stepping stones for the winter

End of season gourds moved to dry on the stepping stones for the winter

By February or March they were sufficiently cured or dried to be carved (one night my visiting daughter suggested these were creepy, like a field of skulls in the dark).

Winter dried gourds

Winter dried gourds

And what do these become?

The final product

The final product

Shamelessly inspired by Jack Skellington

Shamelessly inspired by Jack Skellington

And this is pretty much the entirety of what has occurred over the last two years with gourds. 😉

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Cuzzin Gail permalink
    June 7, 2016 12:00 pm

    Nightmare before Christmas; you need to sign on with Tim Burton. 😉

  2. doug permalink
    June 7, 2016 4:17 pm

    Soooooo glad Cohutt is back!!!!!!!!

    • June 7, 2016 4:28 pm

      Thanks, we will see if I can sustain good posting habits again. 😉

    • June 8, 2016 5:02 pm

      Had you and Patty not badgered me into it…..

  3. June 14, 2016 9:11 pm

    SO cool! Makes me want to grow gourds. Almost. I’ve taken on too many species of the cucurbita family and I’m trying so hard to figure out ways to keep a couple of them from cross pollinating. I think gourds would only add the the challenge. I love what you’ve done with them . The jackolanterns and the string of lights in the past…. so nice.

    • June 15, 2016 8:34 am

      Crosses are fun and interesting sometimes but I get what you are saying.

      • June 15, 2016 2:08 pm

        I read a guys blog or article some time ago & his whole methodology was about letting things cross pollinate & then he, over the years, has been selecting his most hardy, healthy strains to try saving seeds from. I was so intrigued but I’m not nearly organized & disciplined enough to follow through with any kind of sorting for qualities later. I love to garden, love to harvest & eat but I struggle with the garden journals & record keeping. Just not my forte I suppose. Keep up the good things!

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