Drying Gourds

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I'm going to be growing gourds for sale next year and I'm wondering how to dry them and make them into birdhouses (and other things???)So far my atempts haven't worked, they all rotted. Any help is appreciated.

-- Sherry (tlnifty@ecenet.com), December 20, 2001


I hung mine this year by floral wire in the back of the garage . I kept windowns open for air flow and shut when it rained. This worked really well, pluse I already had the wire in to hang. They turned out really great. I did have some that kept molding and I kepted wiping them down. I took sandpaper to a couple and it worked great.I have a friend who likes old ladles and things and I hollowed one out for her, the first one I tried to use regular stain and it looked nasty, the second one I used the cream wood stain and it turned out very nice. I did several bird houses this way to. Good luck!

-- Micheale from SE Kansas (mbfrye@totelcsi.net), December 20, 2001.


It's really importent that you make at least one hole for the moisture to escape the inside from. For my birdhouse gourds (drying in the kitchen at this time) I made nickel sized holes which I will widen later for the birds. Don't be fearful if the gourds turn colors of brown as they dry, it's normal. If they are sinking in though, you need bigger holes or a less humid drying spot. My kitchen is real dry, and on the cool side, so it's working well. They also dry good where squash can safely be stored (cool and DRY). If they begin to mold, use fine sandpaper or steelwool to remove the mold. (The insides will definetely mold, but that's normal, as long as they are in a dry place, it'll work out. They seed cavity should like like it's filled with gray to green dense spider webs as it dries) Once the guards are brown all over, and hardening, stick'em in a sunny dry window a few days to kill exterior mold and mildow, which can't take the sun. It sometimes takes up to 9 monthes for large gourds to dry, so be patient. I don't reccommend painting until a full year has passes, but it does work out just find for some. They are fully dry when the seeds rattle when shaken. Use a thin blunt thing (like a twig) to scrap out what's left of seeds and internal masss only once they are very dry.

-- Marty in KS (Mrs.Puck@Excite.com), December 20, 2001.

Go to the archives below and under the heading: Gardening/General, there are two threads I posted information on this topic last year. They're titled: Birdhouse Gourds and How do I dry Birdhouse and Loofa Gourds. These were good posts, people seem to do a lot of different things with their gourds that all seem to work.

-- Rose Marie Wild (wintersongfarm@yahoo.com), December 20, 2001.

all i do every year is a throw them behind the barn. they lay there all year in the snow/rain/freezing etc... they turn out great every year. very simple they go though some gross stages they get mushy and realy nasty but they turn out good! Merry Christmas to all!

-- Lindsey (lindsey_sham1@hotmail.com), December 22, 2001.

I have a wooden crate behind the garage that I let mine dry in. They will usually get alot of black spots on them but that is easily removed with an s.o.s. pad and mild bleach water. I have very few go bad each year.

-- scott huffman (renrhffmn@cs.com), January 21, 2002.

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