Gardens and Gourds - August 2006

Finally back with another newsletter. I had every intention on getting one out every month but with the growing season setting in, taking care of the nursery and growing the garden took first priority.

So how are your gourds growing? Well, I hope.

I seem to be having a little more success this year. Some new areas to plant were spaded and tilled and I was very optimistic for a bountiful harvest. Some areas of bacterial leaf spot did appear again but I cleaned out those leaves, applied copper fungicide and it seamed to slow it down some. Unfortunately it didn't take care of the problem totally but the vines are still growing and I have some nice looking gourds on the vines. Although not quite as many as I had hoped what with all the hand pollinating I did. Sometimes I was a little late in my effort and the dew had already fallen. The pollen won't fall off the male blossom easily if they are damp.

Some of my vines seemed to take too long to start producing female flowers also, even though the vines had been trimmed.

But have I given up. Not yet. I've already started getting a new area to plant next year. Since we just have a light duty rototiller it makes it easier if the grass has died. What I like to do is gather large cardboard boxes to lay down on the ground. I will do that now and by spring the ground is bare and ready to till. You could do the same thing with weed killer.

Crafting with gourds can lead you to surprises and speed bumps along the way. This happened to me lately.

This gourd pictured was ready for crafting when it decided to crack. My plans had to change. First to fix the crack.

Drill a hole at the end of the crack.

I then filled the hole and crack with wood glue and let dry. I sanded it down but it didn't fill in the crack perfectly.

To make a really smooth finish, I applied wood filler and sanded smooth when dried.

The original plans for this gourd faded and new plans were put into place. This is what the finished project turned out to be.

If you are not a member of the American Gourd Society yet you are missing out. They now have a full color gourd magazine with great pictures, articles and how to's. So far 2 have been published and they are just wonderful. If you don't want to miss out on getting these great publications just go here for instructions on joining the American Gourd Society.