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Growing Gourds

Growing gourds in New Zealand

The longer the season the thicker the shell...So to get the longest season possible start the gourds indoors or keep out of frost and plant out after last frost, depending on what area you live in, if it's a climate like Nelson they may just sit dormant for a bit until the soil warms up but you will still have enough time to grow great gourds.

Soak seeds for 24 hours and plant at 2cm deep into seed raising mix with one seed per small PB bag or individual seedling containers, you can use a seedling tray but they must be transplanted before they grow their first leaves (what comes after the sun leaves) as they don’t like to have their roots disturbed.

They’ll need lots of space like a cucumber, melon or pumpkin plant (they’re all in the cucurbit family) so give them at least 1 - 1.5 metres per plant. They are heavy feeders so prepare soil with lots of compost and aerated soil, then regular feeding every two weeks.

How to hand pollinate gourds and the difference between the male and female flower.

Female Gourd Flower

  Male bottle gourd flower

Side view of a female gourd flower