It’s that time of year in our zone for gourd planting! Growing gourds can be a very exciting and interesting adventure. Meadowbrooke Gourds is located in Central Pennsylvania, which is in Zone 6 of the United States frost zone. The instructions that we are going to share are based upon our zone and will vary if you live in different parts of the United States. It is best to know what zone you are in when planning to grow gourds.
We begin our gourds inside by planting up to but no more than 2 seeds in a 3″ container or pot. When you are finished potting your seeds-THOROUGHLY soak with water until it flows out the bottom of the pot. After the initial watering, water like you would a normal house plant. Soil for gourd seedlings can be on the dry side but do not let it dry out completely. Keep seedlings in sun. The more sun they receive, the stronger the plant you will have. If they receive less light, you may have thin, less hearty plants. You do not need to fertilize seedlings while they are still inside.
Around June 1st or AFTER THE THREAT OF FROST (this is very important, frost will kill your plants), plant outside in full sun leaving an 8′ area around each plant. Each plant should have 64 square feet to grow in. Gourd vines will take over fences, trelises, and other plants if left alone. An option is to cut or trim ends back to keep them confined to an area.
When watering your plants, avoid getting water on the leaves to avoid the spread of diseases. We suggest you use soaker hoses or drip irrigation. Gourd plants actually like to be a little dry and be watered thoroughly when you start to see the leaves wilting. Overwatering causes disease, large, thin shelled, low quality gourds with lots of vines. Not enough water produces thick shelled, small, high quality gourds. Just enough water produces thick shelled, properly sized, high quality gourds.
Check on gourds like you would any other plant that is in your garden. You can fertilize your gourds like you would any other vine crop (cucumber, watermelon, pumpkins, etc.). The optimal choice would be to have a soil test conducted and fertilize accordingly.
Happy Growing! Don’t forget, we offer gourd seed packets for sale on our website.