How to Grow Bushel Gourds

How to Grow Bushel Gourds

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Gourds are easy to grow, fun to harvest, and simple to dry. Learn how to grow bushel gourds, how to plant them, and how to care for them. And check out these interesting gourds to grow at home too.

A big pile of bushel gourds drying

Bushel gourd uses

Bushel gourds can be uses as a vessel to carry a number of things. They are very large, so they can be made into a container for carrying harvests as well as decorative baskets and even instruments.

They can be painted or carved. There are some really creative people that can make unimaginable beauty out of many different types of gourds.

They can be used as tools, hold liquids, or just be decorative. Whatever you grow gourds for, you should check out amazing bushel gourds because they are unique and amazing.

Many artists love to carve bushel gourds and other types of gourds. It’s amazing what they can do. Check them out on etsy here.

Growing bushel gourds could not be simpler. Clip the tip off the seed with nail clippers and soak it in a bowl of water for 24 hours.

Start the seeds 6 weeks before your last average frost date.

Fill small pots with potting soil and plant one seed per pot about 1 inch deep. Water and keep them moist when surface feels dry. Keep them in a warm place.

After the danger of frost passes, move them outdoors. When you are ready to plant them in the ground, find a well drained area, and plant the seedlings 2 feet apart. Try to plant in the evening so the seedlings have the night in the dark to rebound before sun shines on them.

Water the weekly with 1-2 inches of water. Mulch them with straw or leaves not touching the stems.

For a month by month garden planting guide, check this out.

How many gourds grow on one plant

You may get many bushel gourds on your vine. We had about 12 on ours the first year, and it’s been about the average. Gourds take a long time to grow, so you need a long growing season. They also take up quite a bit of room and need a sturdy trellis. So remember that when planning your space.

Pinch off the remaining flowers on each vine after one or two flowers begin to grow into gourds. This will allow the fruit to have more energy and nutrients and you’ll get bigger and healthier gourds.

Bushel gourd seeds

Bushel gourd seeds are hard to find, but we found them on Etsy. We also found them at Baker Creek Heirloom seeds. They don’t always have them, so get them when you can.

When to pick gourds

Harvesting gourds needs to be done at the right time. They should begin to turn brown and their stem should start to shrivel before you harvest them. They are easy to damage, so handle them carefully. Cut the stems with shears leaving a couple inches of stem. You’ll need to dry them for at least 6 months before they are ready to process.

dry bushel gourd with the lid cut out

How to dry gourds

Bushel gourds need to be dried in a dry area, protected from rain, but one that gets plenty of ventilation. You can lay them on a table and rotate them every few days or hang them under an eave or other protective area. It’s best to do it outside if you can for enough ventilation.

Soak the gourds in a tub of water with a cup of bleach or hydrogen peroxide mixed in for about 30 minutes. Then scrub the gourds thorougly to remove the skin and mold. It takes quite a bit of scrubbing. Let them dry and then sand off any additional skin or mold that didn’t come off.

When sanding and opening the gourds to clean the insides, wear protective gloves and a dust mask to prevent illness.

Cut the gourd and remove the inner seeds. Pull them out and scrape out the insides until smooth. You can use the sander inside as well.

Bushel basket gourd

Bushel basket gourds are some of the most intersting and wonderful gourds I’ve seen. It’s so fun to grow them. I hope you will try it and enjoy some gorgeous art materials to work with from your own garden.

bushel gourd growing on a vine on chain link fence

You can also grow your own luffa sponges, gourds for birdhouses, Chinese python snake bean gourds, and more. Growing gourds is so much fun and so interesting!

For beginning gardening information, click here.

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