A Gourdeous Day for Cleaning Gourds

| 10/24/2017 11:45:00 AM

Cleaned Gourds

Anyone who knows me understands that I love hardshell gourds in all shapes and sizes. Even though I have a lot of them in my waiting-to-be-arted-upon collection, I keep right on growing them. Part of my adoration comes from the transformation they go through from garden to canvas.

Hardshell gourds need a somewhat lengthy growing season (at least 120 days) so they have plenty of time to build up a nice thick shell. Once the season is over, the gourds can be left out in the elements to weather or they can be brought indoors. I let mine dry over the winter in my attic where the white and black molds don’t bother anyone. Speaking of that mold… it’s part of the drying process—your gourds are not rotting! It’s perfectly normal, don’t throw them away.

As you can see in the photo above (bottom left), after being harvested last year and drying completely this gourd is a fuzzy mess. It has also lost most of its weight. Last Fall it took both hands and some hefting to carry this gourd indoors. It easily weighed over 30 pounds. Now, I can lift it with one finger and it weighs under 2 pounds. Notice how beautifully it cleaned up with just a bit of elbow grease.

My favorite days for cleaning gourds are beautifully sunny days with not more than a slight breeze. Water is your friend when cleaning gourds and wind can slow down the process by swift evaporation. I choose a comfortably shady spot to work with full sun nearby so the freshly cleaned gourds can easily dry.

Gourd cleaning utensils

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