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Gourd, Bird's Nest (Bottle)
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Lagenaria siceraria

These gourds have slender, straight or curved necks atop a bulbous base. The ½ inch-thick skin dries to a hard tan shell perfect for making cups, bowls, and bird houses. Vigorous vines spread to 20 feet and need a long hot growing season to mature.

Calendar Days to Harvest: 115

ITEM # ORDER PRICE QUANTITY
01670 Pack, Gourd, Bird's Nest (Bottle)
20 seeds $ 3.49
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  • Open Pollinated
  • Size: 15 -20 feet vines,7 -14 inch fruit
  • Hardiness: Tender Annual
  • Sun: Full
  • Water: Moderate
  • Seed Planting Depth: 1.00"
  • Days to Germination: 6-14 days
  • Plant spacing within a row: 24"-36"
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Start From Seed: Detailed instructions for direct seeding, or starting seeds indoors and transplanting.
Gourds are most commonly direct seeded, although transplanting is possible in short season areas. Optimum soil temperature for germination is 70-85°F. Direct seed 2-3 weeks after the last spring frost when weather is warm and settled. Plant seed 1 inch deep, 3 seeds grouped together every 24 inches, allowing 36-60 inches between rows. Thin to one plant per spot. To start indoors, fill 2-4 inch pots with a sterile seed staring mix. Plant 2 seeds per pot and thin to one plant by snipping off the weaker seedling at the soil level. Harden-off seedlings for 5–7 days prior to transplanting. Gourds do not like having their roots disturbed, so transplant 2-3 week old seedlings outside carefully after danger of frost has passed and the weather is warm and settled.
Growing Conditions: Growing seasons, soil types, water and fertility requirements.
Gourds are frost sensitive, heat loving crops, preferring tropical conditions and requiring a long growing season to mature. Northern gardeners can be successful by starting indoors and using season extension techniques. Gourds grow best on well drained, fertile soils with a pH between 6.0-7.5. Supply consistent moisture with drip irrigation to reduce mildew and other foliar diseases. Reduce watering as fruits near maturity.
Pest Prevention: Organic solutions to common problems.
Practice 3 year crop rotations among all Cucurbit family crops (cucumbers, melons and squash). Foliar diseases such as Powdery and Downy Mildew, Alternaria Blight, and Angular Leaf Spot can be minimized by using drip irrigation and mulching to minimize splash-dispersal of spores. Spray young seedlings with insecticidal soap, pyrethrins and neem oil, or cover with floating row cover, to prevent cucumber beetle damage and the bacterial wilts they can vector, but uncover plants during flowering for pollination. Control aphids to prevent mosaic virus. Squash Vine Borers can be ‘surgically’ removed from the stems. At the first sign of wilt, look for the sawdust-like ‘frass’ at the entry hole and cut parallel to the stem to extract and crush the worm. Use a twist tie to loosely seal the wound, bury the stem, and hope the plant survives. See our merchandise section for related products.
Harvest: Is it ready yet? When to harvest and how to store your garden produce.
If possible, allow gourds to dry completely on the vine outdoors. Frost and wet weather will not harm them. When the gourds are lightweight and you can hear the seeds rattle inside they are dry. Cut fruit from vines leaving a 1-2 inch stem for good storage and to prevent rot. If you have to harvest them green, cut from the vines and dry in a well ventilated place, outdoors or in (they smell). This may take a few months. Mold growing on the shells is normal and is easily washed off once the gourds are dry. Wait until fully dry to use for crafts.
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