Growing Gourds into Artful Canvases


A lush circle of gourd vines. Photo by Blythe Pelham

I love growing gourds. Early this spring, I harvested an above-ground swimming pool ladder from the neighbor’s trash (with their blessing, of course). To me, it was the perfect structure for my gourds to climb. I placed the ladder smack dab in the middle of one of my grass garden beds and then planted my seedlings.

As the season progressed, I trained vines up and over the ladder while others worked their way around the rest of the bed. When vines tried to wander into the surrounding walkways, I gently urged them back in. (See photo showing how this area looked near the end of the season.)

Gourds can cross-pollinate. I don’t mind if they do. I tend not to share gourd seeds with others, so letting nature take her own course always supplies me with surprises. Those of you who want to keep varieties more pure should stick with one type per season or plant them far enough apart that cross-pollination is less likely.

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