Growing Gourds: How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Gourds
A few years ago, my mother-in-law showed up at our house with a bag of seeds. They were meant to grow gourds.
Well, I had no idea what I was doing, but I put them in the ground and away they went. Over the years I’ve invested in different types of gourds and began seeing how useful they are.
However, I’ve also learned that gourds are faithful plants that like to produce volunteers and will faithfully appear year after year which can be exciting and a little overwhelming at times.
But considering how useful gourds can be, I wanted to share with you all you should need to know to grow a bountiful and purposeful gourd harvest year after year.
Gourd Plant Info
- Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
- Soil: Loam, sandy, clay, PH between 6.0 to 7.5, rich in organic matter, well-drained
- Sun Exposure: Full sun, at least 6 hours a day
- Start Indoors: 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date
- Hardening Off: 1 to 2 weeks before transplanting
- Transplant Outdoors: When plants have at least 4 leaves, after all dangers of frost have passed
- Spacing: 4 to 5 feet between plants and 6 to 10 feet between rows
- Depth: ½ to 1 inch seed depth
- Best Companions: Corn, pole beans, datura, sunflower
- Worst Companions: Potato
- Watering: Continuous water supply, water deeply once a week, at least 1 inch per week
- Fertilizing: Side dress with balanced fertilizer or compost manure when vines start to bloom
- Common Problems: Anthracnose, alternaria leaf blight, downy mildew, cercospora leaf spot, gummy stem blight, powdery mildew, scab, septoria leaf spot, angular leaf spot, verticillium wilt, bacterial leaf spot, aster yellows, squash mosaic, cucumber mosaic, watermelon mosaic, crown rot, squash vine borer, cucumber beetle
- Harvest: After 100 to 180 days of planting depending on the variety, when stem and tendrils turn brown
How to Grow Gourds
First, here is what you need to know when it comes to growing gourds:
There are three main types of gourds. They each have their own purpose, and they can each be equally as useful. Which is what makes gourds such a desirable plant to raise.
1. Luffa Aegyptiaca