It may take some time and patience, but these dried gourds look great in the garden
Gourds are like pumpkins or squash, but are often grown just for decoration. They have traditional cultural uses in regions as diverse as Costa Rica, Hawaii, Mexico and parts of Africa, China and South America. Researching gourds as cultural objects, used for bottles, bowls and instruments, would make a great rainy day activity. To grow your own gourds, try an online supplier such as The Diggers Club, which sells a mixed decorative gourd packet of seeds that includes Curcubita and Lagenaria gourds. The Cucurbita gourds will dry a lot more quickly than the Lagenaria gourds. Don’t rush the process.
Wait until the stems of your gourds are starting to shrivel, in autumn or winter, which means they are ready to harvest for this activity. But don’t wait until the frosts come if your area is prone – frost will completely ruin them for this activity. You’ll need to identify a warm spot outside, out of direct sunlight and protected from any possible rain, for the gourds to dry for a week, before you move them to a long-term site in the garden shed.
What to do
10. After about 6 months the gourds should feel hard on the outside and much lighter in weight. The seeds will rattle when you shake them.
11. Now they are ready to be decorated or turned into instruments or birdhouses.
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