How to Grow Snake Gourd

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by admin on March 4, 2015

For thousands of years people have been growing gourds due to their very hard outer shell. These outer coverings have been used for food bowls, decorations, musical instruments, water jugs, masks, scoops, canteens, cooking utensils and other applications. The snake gourd produces a shell that’s about 3 to 6 feet long and because of its length it has the name snake gourd. When you pick gourds young they have a taste somewhat like zucchini. Gourds can be steamed and sliced up and served with many other dishes.

Snake Gourd

How to Grow Snake Gourds Step One

You can start gourds inside prior to the end if the frost. These should be done about 4-6 week before the last frost so the seedlings have time to grow. The gourds love the sun but they take a long time to grow so you need to start them early enough so they get through the summer and you can harvest them in the fall.

While you can grow them from seeds it’s easier to plant them in the soil directly from seeds or small seedlings form a nursery as these are already well established and you won’t have to worry about weaker plants.  If you grow them inside be sure to use large pots and then transfer them outside when the plants are strong enough. The plants won’t like cold and overly damp soil and seeds will rot quickly is put into these conditions. Place your seeds in damp soil if you’re not using seedlings.

Step Two

Gourds need plenty of sun so make sure the area you plant them in will receive a lot of sunlight. They will do well next to a fence and you’ll need to build a trellis for the gourds as they are very heavy fruit. Don’t allow them to droop onto the ground as the branches will break or the gourds will rot on the soil quite quickly. Once the plants take off ensure that the gourds have a good trellis to climb up. A good mixture of about 6-8 inches of fertilizer in the soil will help the gourds grow well.

Thin out the weaker plants so you have plants about two feet apart. Add some mulch which will help maintain proper moisture levels and keep out insects and other pests. This also keeps out weeds and gives the gourds the room they need to grow. You can harvest younger plants if you want as the smaller gourds are tender and test great in stews and stir fry dishes.

Step Three

During hot weather you’ll need to ensure that the gourds get enough water but not so much as they get saturated. Once the stems start to turn brown the gourds are ready for you to harvest them. Leave several inches of stem on the plant as you cut them off. Make sure you don’t drop them or bruise the gourd when you harvest your plants. Try to harvest before the frost sets in. You can then start the curing process of your gourds.

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