growing forum: Sowing Gourd Seeds

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ImageGourd
Apr 28, 2010 11:00 AM CST
Name: Gourd
Z-7 Gourds & A Touch Of Glass Forum
I thought I'd start a thread here where we can add different ways in which we can coax these seeds into germinating. This is what I did today on mine.

Date: May 26, 2010
Type: Giant African Gourds
Amt: 12 seeds/12 cups

Used soil-less mix, wet the mix with hot water, filled plastic cups with warm medium (make drainage holes on bottom of cups first), then just put in one fresh seed into each cup.

Placed all cups into a tray and set the tray with cups into a large clear plastic bag, filled bag with air and tied top of bag. Set bag/w cups in front of sunny window. Each day open bag and let air in for circulation this is very important to avoid rot and fungus, fill plastic bag again with air and tie at top. If you have trouble making the bag stand up, use some bamboo sticks, one in each cup at the corners and then the bag will stay up like a tent, you have a mini greenhouse. Using this method, you shouldn't have to water as often. As soon as one cup germinates, take it out of the bag and put in a tray without plastic around it and treat as a seedling, water as needed and then transplant outside as soon as your weather permits/after last frost.


I'll update this post to see how many seeds germinate using this method. I did not soak these seeds since they are fresh.


Please feel free to add your method here and we can keep track of which is working for us.

Thumbnail by Gourd

ImageGourd
Apr 28, 2010 11:05 AM CST
Name: Gourd
Z-7 Gourds & A Touch Of Glass Forum
They were started late, but better late than never I suppose. Here they are in front of a sunny window. You may be able to see the bamboo sticks better here where they form a TeePee type trellis and it was tied on top with a wire tie. I used a 55 gallon clear trash bag here, any clear plastic bag will work, and I wish I had clear cups, but didn't. Any plastic containers will work, just make sure that they are deep enough for them to reach up to two or three leaves on the gourd seedlings. These will be big seedlings because they are for the giant gourds, so they will take up all the room very quickly.

Thumbnail by Gourd

Imagegardener2005
May 3, 2010 4:25 PM CST
Name: Karen
Zone 8b
First,I want to say I`m not giving advise. This is only my second year to grow these so I`m doing trial and error. I like to plant mine in the morning so they get exposed to hot temperatures on their first day of being planted. I like to plant out in the garden but I don`t have my spot to grow them quite finished so I started these in gallon pots. I just covered them with miracle grow potting soil and watered.Time will tell if I`m doing something right. I did do a soil mix of composted trees left over from Katrina, sand,and fertilizer mixed in with the garden soil for my planting areas. I`ll let you know how it goes.

The three plants on the right aresome of the ebay bushel gourd seeds I already have started. It is already time to plant those since the roots are hitting the bottom of the pots already. I would rather plant them out but my spot isn`t quite ready for them yet. I better get busy and have them planted within a few days.

Karen

My thread I started to journal these. http://cubits.org/lakemarygardens/thread/view/21936/

Thumbnail by gardener2005

[Last edited May 3, 2010 4:28 PM CST]
Quote | Post #205058 (3)
Imagegardener2005
May 4, 2010 10:43 AM CST
Name: Karen
Zone 8b
Antoinette,I`m double checking with you on the depth to plant the seeds. I`m planting my bushel gourd seeds about the depth of my fingernail and that works fine. But these seeds are huge so maybe a tiny bit deeper like the first joint of my thumb I`m thinking? How deep do you plant the giant seeds?

Karen
[Last edited May 4, 2010 9:45 PM CST]
Quote | Post #205942 (4)
ImageGourd
May 4, 2010 10:49 PM CST
Name: Gourd
Z-7 Gourds & A Touch Of Glass Forum
Hi Karen,

Your seedlings look really good. The one gallon pots are a good size for the gourd seeds. Try not to disturb the roots when you transplant, but I'm sure you already know that since we do that with the MGs when we transplant them, I've been using the same system to grow these too.

Plant the African Gourd seeds at least one inch deep, if not a little bit deeper, maybe 1 1/2 inch. When they do germinate, they push themselves right out of the soil, so they need to be in at least that deep. Mine have not germinated yet. This is the first time I do not use bottom heat (heat mat). so, I'm real curious to see when the first ones germinate this way. It has been cold, windy and cloudy here the past week. So, tomorrow they go outside in the AM so they can get full sun all day, then I'll bring them in for the night.

I really think the heat from the sun will get them going. We almost have our little section rotor tilled and we need to add some soil in that area, it is very hard soil that needs amending. Hopefully by the time we have that part done, the seedlings will be ready for transplanting.

A.
Imagegardener2005
May 5, 2010 8:25 AM CST
Name: Karen
Zone 8b
Thanks Antoinette. I`m going to plant them a little deeper like 1". I know with the morning glories if you do disturb the roots it doesn`t have to be a death sentence for them. You just have to shade them for a few days to allow the roots to get back established again and then move them back out gradually. I imagine the same would be true or similar for these gourds. I prefer to plant in the evening when it is cool after 5 so they can get watered in good and be hydrated for the next day. Morning is okay I`m just really careful with the root system if it is in a full sun spot. I`m prepared to cover temporarily with a shade cloth for a few days if I check them around 10 or 11 and they are wilting. Usually this doesn`t happen but it can happen if I goof and drop my plant on the ground disturbing the roots. I had to cover my cantaloupes for mid day yesterday and they look better today. I`ll cover them again if I need to. About a week and things get settled.

Karen
ImageGourd
May 5, 2010 11:48 AM CST
Name: Gourd
Z-7 Gourds & A Touch Of Glass Forum
Oh now that you said that regarding the heat, I did forget to mention that I use five gallon buckets (turn them upside down on top of the plants to protect them from wind and afternoon sun) and try to transplant on a cloudy day, sometimes I get lucky and it rains on that day too..lol. I cover them with the buckets for about a week after I transplant them into their homes and remove them during the morning hours, then put them back over the seedlings again if the wind starts up. Just place a huge rock on top of the upside down bucket so that the wind doesn't take it off. The winds are really bad here, I don't know if you get any wind or not. Sounds like you have a great plan.

A.
Imagegardener2005
May 5, 2010 1:25 PM CST
Name: Karen
Zone 8b
Yep,I have used 5 gallon planting pots exactly the same way. The wire fence circle to keep the cats out supports it so it stays put. That is what I did to the cantaloupes yesterday and they have bounced back and appear healthy. That is what I`ll do for the gourds too. I also use shade cloth but it wouldn`t be practical on a very windy day for sure. I haven`t had to worry about wind very much here where we live unless we get a storm and usually I can tell by looking at the sky.

Karen
denimangle
May 5, 2010 7:26 PM CST
Name: Cheryl White
Butler, Texas
I planted right into hills in the ground .. do you think ill need to cover them from the afternoon? we don't have much wind
ImageGourd
May 5, 2010 7:42 PM CST
Name: Gourd
Z-7 Gourds & A Touch Of Glass Forum
Cheryl, if you plant them right into the ground, there will be no need to acclimate them anymore. Only if you have to transplant them, they will need some protection. I have to grow them inside now because I don't have a space ready for them yet, so I have to transplant mine whenever they do get at the 2 or 3 leaf stage.

No germination yet here, it was nice and sunny here today and no wind so they all were outside for the day.

The size of this seed will probably take awhile to get the seed coat off, did you see how thick they were? I did not nick them, I should have, but didn't think it would be necessary since the seed are fresh, but maybe we should have to get a good head start.

Let me know when you guys get some germination on yours will you and also if you did the nicking thing.

TKS.

A.
denimangle
May 6, 2010 8:49 AM CST
Name: Cheryl White
Butler, Texas
No nick here ... just soaked for 2 days they were really nice & fat.. I had a flower bed out front that I planted in they can have the front yard to spread out. I wanted to keep them away from the other gourds...
will let you know as soon as I see green Smiling
ImageGourd
May 6, 2010 11:54 AM CST
Name: Gourd
Z-7 Gourds & A Touch Of Glass Forum
Hey guys, two seeds germinated last night.. so there is hope!!!
Sowed on 4/28 first seeds germinated on 5/5, eight days, not bad at all. Wow, lets see if the rest get going.
A.
denimangle
May 6, 2010 6:50 PM CST
Name: Cheryl White
Butler, Texas
Great news Hurray!
guess I have at least 6 more days ... Whistling
ImageGourd
May 13, 2010 10:12 PM CST
Name: Gourd
Z-7 Gourds & A Touch Of Glass Forum
As of a couple of days ago, so far 6 seeds have germinated. If you guys ever need more seeds, don't hesitate to ask me for some. I've got plenty left. Also, I don't know if you know this but, you can sell each one of the big gourds for at least 50.00 each or more, so happy growing there..
denimangle
May 14, 2010 7:29 AM CST
Name: Cheryl White
Butler, Texas
WOW ... I should Plant the Whole Yard Thumbs up Hilarious!
Imagegardener2005
May 14, 2010 7:34 AM CST
Name: Karen
Zone 8b
Oh boy, now we are all going to get rich. LOL!!!! Thumbs up
denimangle
May 14, 2010 7:40 AM CST
Name: Cheryl White
Butler, Texas
Now if we can get then to Grow as big as Antoinette Thumbs up
We can retire !!!!! Oh Wait I am retired Rolling on the floor laughing
ImageGourd
Jun 30, 2010 9:27 AM CST
Name: Gourd
Z-7 Gourds & A Touch Of Glass Forum
Well, I am left with one surviving seedling.. It is growing quite a bit though.

I also got a good crop of apple gourd seedlings in the compost pile, there are several plants in there and at least I'll have those going this year. I placed the seeds in there early spring in case I didn't have a chance to grow much and left them on their own.

How is everyone doing? Some of the ladies that saw my giants in person took seeds to try out also.

I've got to mail out seeds to a couple of other folks here so they most likely will be for next years crop, it is too late for this year to start them. I did put some more into the soil and soaked them for days, but, not one has germinated, maybe I rotted them by leaving them in the water for so long.
denimangle
Jun 30, 2010 11:24 AM CST
Name: Cheryl White
Butler, Texas
I still have my 2 giants going they haven't gotten very big yet. All my other gourds are all over the cattle panels even have about 3" bottles already . none of the other giants seeds germinated
ImageGourd
Jun 30, 2010 1:36 PM CST
Name: Gourd
Z-7 Gourds & A Touch Of Glass Forum
They seemed to get a really slow start here, the giant is just now taking off. I thought it looked stunted as well. Your's will take off and then you will see how big they get, don't forget to fertilize... which reminds me to do that today.

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