Gourd Giddy? Get to Growing ‘Em!

Donna Fossum

Gourd-planting season is upon us again. From birdhouses and feeders to pots and vases, arts and crafts projects using gourds abound. These and other decorative pieces can be yours with very little effort or cost.

Growing, harvesting, drying and decorating gourds is a great way to get the little ones involved in gardening. Here are some tips on preparing gourds for craft projects:

  • Harvest gourds after the vines and stems die; pick them too early and the skin won’t harden.
  • Dry gourds completely (this can take about six to nine months); you’ll know they’re ready when the shell becomes hard and turns tan or brown, and you can hear the seeds rattle inside.
  • Cut gourds with a utility knife, a rotary tool or a Dremel.
  • Clean gourds with warm, soapy water.

Planting gourds and then harvesting them for projects does require a time commitment, but the outcome is sure to please!

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