Birdhouse Gourd is a charming variety of Lagenaria siceraria gourd that is grown for its hard-shelled fruit, growing up to 9 inches in diameter and 11 inches tall. They either be harvested young to be consumed as a vegetable, or harvested mature to be dried and used to make utensils, drinking gourds, musical instruments, ornamental crafts, birdhouses, kitchen tools, lamps, jewelry, and other useful items. These gourds are considered one of the earliest domesticated plants, dating back as early as 13,000 BC! Watch these impressive light-green gourds dangle on sturdy, long 15-30-foot vines with white flowers then leave them to cure. Once cured, they become hard-shelled and beige, and can be carved, drilled, pyro-engraved, cut, and painted like a wood canvas. Birdhouse Gourd's large, inviting size and distinctive shape attracts various birds, including wrens, chickadees, swallows, and bluebirds! Whether you're an avid crafter or a nature-lover, Birdhouse Gourd offers a unique and rewarding experience.
Also Known As: Bird House Gourd, Large Ornamental Gourd, Buddha Squash, Martinhouse Gourd, Nest Egg Gourd, Canteen Gourd, Decorative Gourd, Hard-Shelled Gourd, Asian Bottle Gourd, Green Gourd, Swan Gourd, Lagenaria Gourd, Calabash Gourd, Bottle Gourd, Crafting Gourd, Ornamental Gourd, Ornamental Pumpkin, White-Flowered Gourd, Long Melon, Birdhouse Gourd, New Guinea Bean, Tasmania Bean.
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|Bottle Gourd, Birdhouse
|Days to Germinate:
|Days to Harvest:
|Full Sun, Partial Shade
|Seeds Packed For**:
*Fungicide-treated seeds protect the seedlings from diseases until they are up and growing. Do not eat treated seeds.
**Seeds are freshly packed for the growing season of the year listed. Seeds are still viable beyond pack date. Store in a cool and dry location such as the refrigerator or basement to best preserve germination rates.
To prepare soil, remove weeds, large rocks, and litter from the planting area. Leave small weeds and dead grass, they will enrich the soil when turned under. Spade the soil 8-12 inches deep and turn each shovel of soil over completely to cover the plant materials with soil. You may add fertilizer (see "Fertilizing" below) or 2-3 inches of organic material such as compost, leaves, or rotted hay over the planting area at this point. Till to mix this organic material into the top 8-10 inches of soil. Make rows of soil beds 4-6 inches high and at least 3 feet apart. This formation of ridges will help with drainage.
Plant in the spring after all danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm. To plant, make 1 inch deep holes spaced 4 feet apart in raised beds down the rows, then plant 1-2 seeds in each hole. Cover thinly with soil and water after planting. After the seeds come up and plants are 3-4 inches tall, thin to 3 plants per hill. Gourds will grow on vines which can then be trained over a trellis or sprawl on the ground.
|3-8 feet (can trellis or sprawl)
Watering: Water the plants enough to keep them from wilting. If the weather is really dry, squash plants should be watered at least once a week. Sandy soils need to be watered more often than heavy clay soils.
Weeding: Keep plants as weed-free as possible. When plowing or hoeing do not dig deeper than 1 inch to prevent from cutting the feeder rooters which may slow the plant's growth.
Fertilizing: You may optionally add scatter 2-3 pounds of a complete fertilizer for each 100 square feet of garden area. Work into the soil and leave the surface smooth. For small gardens, use 2-3 tablespoons of fertilizer for each hill. Scatter the fertilizer evenly over a 2 foot by 2 foot area. work it into the top 2-3 inches of soil. When blooms first appear, you may optionally apply 2 tablespoons of fertilizer around each hill. Do not let fertilizer touch the plants. Water the plants after fertilizing.
Insecticides: Insecticides may be used to protect plants. Bt-based insecticides and sulfur are organic options that can be used for prevention. Sulfur also has fungicidal properties and helps in controlling many diseases. Larvae of the Squash vine borer are usually found inside the stem and cannot be controlled once they are inside the stem. Sevin® and Thiodan® can control for squash bugs. Pyrethrin and rotenone can control for the cucumber beetle. Before using a pesticide, read the label and always follow cautions, warnings and directions.
Diseases: Check the plants daily and if spots or mold appear, treat the plant with an approved fungicide. Neem oil, sulfur, and other fungicides may be used. Please always follow label directions.
Birdhouse Gourd is ready when the rind is tan and completely dried and hardened. The leaves and stem are withered and faded brown at this stage and gourds can be left outdoors in the winter. Curing gourds outdoors may take at least 1 month to dry. The outer skin hardens in 1-2 weeks; internal drying takes longer and time to dry may vary. Drying gourds indoors may take at least 4 months to dry; place gourds in a well-ventilated space so gourds are not touching, turning gourds occasionally as they dry while checking for soft spots or signs of damage. Cut gourd from the vine, leaving a 1-3-inch stem. Gourds are fully dried when they are light in weight and the seeds can be heard rattling inside when the gourd is shaken. For best preservation, craft only with fully dried gourds. Take precaution of dust when working with craft gourds.