How To Plant Gourd Seeds
A few weeks before the last frost of the year is the best time to begin starting your gourd seeds inside your home or greenhouse. It takes a gourd seed about a week to germinate and then about two-three weeks to mature enough that it can be transplanted outside. This seeding season will last about a month before it gets too late in the year. I don’t think I would try seeding a gourd earlier than May first or later than June 5th.
How To Prepare Gourd Seeding Pots
Gourds can be seeded into many different kinds of potting soil. I would start them in a pot about the size of a coffee mug. Make sure the pot has holes in the bottom to allow extra water to escape. Fill the pot with soil and place a single seed on top. Take your finger and push the seed down into the soil until it about a knuckle and a half deep. You want the seed to be about one inch below the soil surface. Gently water with warm to hot water until you see water coming out the drain holes in the pot. Then wait five minutes and water again, then five minutes later water again. This is called triple watering and is done to make absolutely sure your gourd seed has enough moisture to sprout and peak through the ground surface.
How To Care For Gourd Seedlings Through Sprouting
After you have seeded and triple watered your pot, place it in the warmest part of your home. If your bathroom is the warmest at night I would put it there. If the day was sunny and hot I would move it to a window in direct sunlight and cover it with clear plastic. Before a new sprout breaks through the soil surface, enough heat is the most critical factor. As soon as you can see the sprout, sunlight is the most critical factor. From the first time you see the new sprout, keep your plant in a window with the most direct sunlight possible. Once your plant up removes the clear plastic covering immediately and never put back on.
How To Condition Gourd Seedlings To Survive Outdoors
Three days after your gourd has germinated it is time to stop babying it and very slowly begin hardening it for its life outdoors. You can do this by placing it outdoors for an hour or two during the nicest part of the day. If the weather outside is to cold and windy you can help to harden it by keeping the soil dry with just enough moisture that your plant doesn’t wilt. Gradually place it outdoors for more and more time each day if the weather is sunny and warm. If not keep it indoors until sunny warm days arrive. Hardening a plant is accomplished by gradually transitioning it from perfect growing conditions to what it will have to endure when planted in your garden.
Two weeks after your plants poked through the soil, your plants should be outdoors and only come inside for really cold, windy or wet weather. They need to adjust for a full week outdoors before you transplant them into your garden.
How To Prepare A Garden For Growing Gourds
Once you have seeded your gourd indoors it is time to start preparing your garden. It will take three to four weeks for your new plant to be ready to plant in the garden and you want your garden all ready by that time. Each gourd plant needs about 50 square feet to grow in. If your garden is too small they can be grown on a fence or trellis in much less space. I would fertilize with a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10. Manure also works well if you have experience with it and a source. I would place the fertilizer or manure on the soil surface and then till deeply.