birdhouse gourds : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

As a novice gardener I mistakenly planted a big bunch of gourd seeds. Now I've got a huge bunch of gourd plants with a zillion gourds---if they finish before winter. My question is this.

Can the gourds themselved handle the first frost without being damaged by the frost? I'm thinking if they can I'll wait until then to harvest to give them as much of a chance to mature as possible. Is this a dumb idea or doable?

Nxt gourd question---any special tips for curing and drying them?


-- john leake (, September 02, 2000


Yes they should be able to handle a light frost ok. I just hang the gourds up in the air in the barn to dry. Keep away from where rats or mice can get to them. They will tear the gourds open and eat the seeds inside. good luck Brian in Pennsylania

-- Brian (, September 02, 2000.

be carful cutting hole in them because different birds need different sized holes for them to use the gourds as a home. gail

-- gail missouri ozarks (, September 03, 2000.

Pick the gourds before the first hard frost. They'll rot if they're attached to the vines and the vines are hit hard. Put them on a cement or wooden surface outside all winter to cure. They will get moldy. In the spring clean the mold off and do whatever with them.

-- Cindy (, September 03, 2000.

I cut mine before the first hard frost, leaving a bit of stem attached. Then I put them in a dry cool place, spreading them out so that they are not touching, roll them over once a week or so. After they are dried, cut the hole in the side for the birds and remove the seeds. Drill a couple of small holes in the bottom for drainage and ventilation and also a small hole in the top of the neck to thread a wire for hanging through. Wipe off with bleach and water for the mold then seal with a coat of polyurethene.

-- Marci (, September 03, 2000.

There's a book I've been using for reference on growing, harvesting, curing and finishing gourds of all types, including the birdhouse gourds. It's "The Complete Book of Gourd Craft" by Ginger Summit & Jim Widess, it's put out by Lark Books in Asheville, NC and you can reach them at or 1-800-284-3388. It's a good book and has been helpful to me.

-- Rose Marie Wild (, September 03, 2000.

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