Thursday, February 11, 2010
The twins were an oddity, they grew from one stem and they measured ninety nine and one half inches around. I really had my fingers crossed and breath held waiting for them to cure. All the gourds on your vines are not going to cure. Usually they have not had enough time on the vine before a hard frost. And remember, the frost is not going to kill a gourd that has matured. Hard shelled gourds needs one hundred and twenty days on the vine to reach maturity. I always planned on losing about twenty five percent of my gourds. I do not worry about cutting gourds from the vine before a frost, they can cure in the field and people that raise acres of gourds allow them to do so. If you have only a few gourds, you can harvest them and place them on pallets for air circulation and leave them outside or inside a barn or shed. The gourd is ninety percent water, as the water evaporates through the shell it hardens and the gourd becomes light in weight and the seeds inside are released and the gourd acquires it's rattle. Sometimes gourds will have a thunk thunk sound when you shake them and this is the result of a seed ball. During the curing process the seed pods inside the gourd pull together and dry into a hard ball. I always cut these gourds and if the shell is thick they can be used as bowls or other containers. I did move the twins to a pallet and waited but they did not cure.