Bushel Gourd


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Bushel Gourds grow giant and round like basketballs! These deep green, mottled, kettle-shaped gourds are as big as a "bushel", growing anywhere from 25-100 pounds, or up to 20-inches in diameter! They have been used throughout history as beautiful baskets, storage containers, kitchen tools, bowls and cooking vessels, musical instruments, vases, and a wide variety of crafts. These ancient African gourds are a subspecies of the Bottle Gourd, Lagenaria siceria, and are considered one of the earliest domesticated plants, dating back as early as 13,000 BC!  Bushel Gourds grow 15-30-foot vines and left to cure. Once cured, they become hard-shelled and tan, and can be carved, drilled, pyro-engraved, cut, and painted like a wood canvas! Use to make unique crafts and decorations, like hand-painted bowls, flower pots, lanterns, birdhouses, canteens, instruments, lamps, and any creation to your imagination!

Also Known As: African Basket Gourd, Basketball Gourd, Bushel Basket Gourd, Corsican Round Gourd, Hard Shelled Gourd, Green Gourd, Utility Gourd, Storage Gourd, Kettle  Gourd, Drinking Gourd, Lagenaria Gourd, Calabash Gourd, Bottle Gourd, Ornamental Gourd, Ornamental Pumpkin

We ship in 1 business day. Shipped with USPS First Class Mail.

Plant Name:
Gourd, Bushel
Latin Name:
Lagenaria siceraria
Days to Germinate: 7-14
Days to Harvest: 140
Germination Rate: 75%
Test Date: 6/23
Growth Habit: Vining
USDA Zones: 3-11
Lifespan: Annual
Brand: TomorrowSeeds
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Shade
Heirloom, Open-Pollinated
Fungicide-Treated Seeds*: No
Seeds Packed For**: 2024

*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.

Planting Instructions:


Soil Preparation:

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 or hills 4-6 inches high and at least 3 feet apart. This formation of ridges will help with drainage.


For short growing seasons, start indoors 2-4 weeks before last average frost in Spring. Harden off, then transplant when soil is warm. Or, plant in the spring after all danger of frost has passed and the soil is at least 65F. To plant, make 1 inch deep holes spaced 4 feet apart in raised beds down the rows, then plant 3-4 seeds in each hole. Space rows or hills 3-4 feet apart if trellising. Cover thinly with soil and water after planting. After the seeds come up and plants are 3-4 inches tall, thin to 1 plant per hill. Gourds will grow on vines which can then be trained over a trellis or sprawl on the ground. 

Planting Depth: 1 inch
Within-Row Spacing:
4 feet
Between-Row Spacing:
3-8 feet (can trellis or sprawl)


Care During the Season:

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. 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.


Bushel 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. This gourd is not for consumption.