Snake gourds

Arnett, WV(Zone 5b)

Does anyone grow snake gords? I am looking for one to paint. I have tried growing them but here in WV the season isnt long enough.

Cathy

Barnesville, GA(Zone 7b)

Try your state's Farmers Market bulletin.......our's always have people selling gourds.

Arnett, WV(Zone 5b)

I have tried several farmers markets. Wv growing season is too short for proper gourd growth

Cathy.

Barnesville, GA(Zone 7b)

Sorry, Cathy, I missed that growing season earlier. Here is the website for Georgia's bulletin:

http://www.agr.georgia.gov

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

I have a snake gourd I got from someone last year, that I never crafted. It is in a box in my sister's garage . . . if you're not in a hurry, I can have her bring it over tomorrow so I can take a picture of it for you.

Arnett, WV(Zone 5b)

Wonderful!!!

Cathy

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Sorry I didn't get the pic yesterday, Cathy. My sister couldn't find the right box. I couldn't find a tape measure, so I put it on the stove, so you could get an approximate size.

Also, if you Google "gourd suppliers", there are a few good resources at the top of the list. Another one, too, is www.amishgourds.com

Thumbnail by Syrumani
Arnett, WV(Zone 5b)

Thats it! That is exactly what i'm looking for! I want one to paint like a snake. Thanks so much for sharing.

Cathy

Barnesville, GA(Zone 7b)

Please show us your snake after painting

Arnett, WV(Zone 5b)

Once I come up with one! LOL

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

They do take awhile to grow and just when Mine was getting pretty and long.....
the donkeys decided it looked tastey and they ate it. Boy, was I aggravated.
They had to go under the fence to eat it. Must have been delicious they ate it all
but the stub.
Durn Donkey!!!
I had 5 seed, one came up.
RRM
I going to try again next year.

Crossville, TN

Cathy....Have you tried starting seeds in the house and planting outside just as soon as the weather warms up? If you cover them at night they should be OK and mature by fall.

I have seeds if you want to try some.

Sorry I missed you when I was in Beckley in June. Jo

Arnett, WV(Zone 5b)

Jo, I have tried seeds several times just cant seem to get them to mature before the weather turns. I will be happy to try them again if you would like to send me some seeds.

I was sad to miss you as well if you get to come here again It will def be a date.
Hubby was ill and it couldnt be helped. He is doing great now so hopefully we can be able to get togather next time.

Cathy

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

So, you think If I start them early they will be ready by next fall?
I sure hope so.
Charleen

Port Vincent, LA(Zone 8b)

This is part of an article on Amish's website. Makes the whole process seem so easy. Plant in spring after last frost and leave them alone and on the vine until they are dry.

"Simple, I plant my gourds in the spring and don't even think about picking them until everything around them is 'dead'."

Here's the link. Makes for a very good read. Read from top to bottom you will find alot of tips, from when to plant to how to dry them.

http://www.amishgourds.com/site/1278922/page/456714

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Also a great source for dried gourds . . .

Arnett, WV(Zone 5b)

What a wonderful site. I ordered a couple of books but they did not have snake gourds :(

Cathy

Port Vincent, LA(Zone 8b)

I've been looking for you cat, but I can only find them already painted. so far.

Arnett, WV(Zone 5b)

Thanks Debbie!

Cathy

Crossville, TN

Try this one...I go to the Gourd Festival there every February. Jo

http://www.wuertzfarm.com/Gourds.html

Port Vincent, LA(Zone 8b)

rr, that's great. They do have some snake gourds there and a lot of other nice ones. The prices look good too.

Crossville, TN

I would hate to mail the snake gourds...LOL Jo

Port Vincent, LA(Zone 8b)

I would hate to HAVE a snake gourd. LOL I don't even want to think about snakes, never the less paint one. But, to each his own. :) Thanks again for the great link.

catbirdsue, where are you girl. roadrunner found it for you.

Debbie

NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

Cathy......you can grow snake gourds in W. Va. if you have the desire and determination to make the season long enough by starting them in an 80 degree germination box, growing them two weeks in the house and providing a temporary greenhouse to gain two or more weeks outside. This means starting germ about April 5th. Having two true leaves or four true leaves by April 10 to April 15th. Going to a temporary cold frame about May the 1st and protecting them in the cold frame until your last day of frost is a done deal. You can adjust this a little but do not give away more than one more week. Fresh seed will germinate in four to eight days in a potting medium that is damp dry. The seed should be soaked four hours to over night in kelp tea just before planting. Your germinations should be three seed the first time and three more as the first are being removed. If the first three cull to one or two good ones throw away the second set of three.

These snake gourds are very vigerous. One seedling will literally cover a whole semi-dwarf apple tree or a garden patch 30' X 50'.

I grew mine up through an old apple tree. That worked fine for me. I planted two seedlings and culled the lesser of the two as they raced up a piece of wire leading them into the apple tree. My planting hole was 4' X 6' filled with raw manure the fall befor spring planting and with more finished compost added to the honey hole the spring I planted. I fed fish and kelp tea very weak every night. All gourds were culled down to the three best after five were pollinated and growing. After culling to the best of the remaining five within two weeks I kept the plant held to one for the race and the largest grown in Pennsylvania about five years ago.

You need proven seed. If you are serious. Begin the prep. Go to Big Pumpkins.com where you will be able to locate good snake seed now called Long Gourds. Grown on a support as I explanined they will be straight. Grown on the ground culled to two or three on a plant you will get horrific snakes but likely more like fifty to sixty inches. If you are going to grow them you may as well have proven seed and try to do it for maximum growth.

Be willling and ready to use two different fungicides to prevent mill dew. One of the two may be Neem Oil which is what I start with about the end of April. After a two week cycle of Neem Oil switch to another fungicide of your choice. Prevention is a must if you wish to have a successful grow. Finally never grow them in the same ground for more than one year.

The long gourd or snake gourd shown is my second year's effort trying for a world record which was at that time about a hundred and twelve inches. My best missed that goal by a foot at 98". It was the longest grown in Pennsylvania some five or six years ago. Seed from that gourd produced as a matter of record more long gourds over a hundred inches than any other seed. If you could find by research genetics afew years beyond my seed in the genetics you would have the best seed available in the world. Usually you can find great seed for free or very reasonable cost by just getting on line and making a simple serious request and showing your sincere interest to grow one. It is up to you to know you are reasonably close to the seed that is now growing the largest long gourds. If anyone does all this work to grow a real nice one and does not have good seed it is an absolute shame if not a waste of time.

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Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

that is a great looking gourd.The information is
very helpful too.
Thanks.
RRM

NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

Here is a temporary greenhouse or cold frame shown heated with a hundred watt shop lamp. It is built from green sawmill rough cut lumber and covered with cheap contractor's plastic. Held down with both stakes and four by four posts. Nothing fancy just a little help to get them going about a month earlier in the process described above.
The four by four size gives the grower a bit of a safety net from getting to warm and also to cold. The extra size heats more ground and air.

The extra month early start places the growing gourd into the summers ten best longest growing days and gives the gourd time to grow a thicker skin that will cure properly. This is pretty standard growing practice in zones 4 and 5. This is pretty standard for all gourds and all who grow Atlantic Giant Pumpkin Seed. So called Bird House Gourds...same story, same reasons. You need to streach out and place the grow as explained. Everyone who grows has little secret tweeks. My comments are right in the middle of all growing advisements I have seen.

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Port Vincent, LA(Zone 8b)

Wow, doc, that's quite a gourd. Thanks for all the info.

Debbie

Crossville, TN

Doc...that is truley a nice gourd...but I like them "snake" shape.

The seeds I have were taken from a snake gourd a friend grew...and she only grew that kind that year...I hope they will be "true"...If not we'll get something interesting out of them still. Jo

Arnett, WV(Zone 5b)

Doc what a wonderful article. Thanks so much very informative.

I visited bigpumpkins.com and truley enjoyed the site. I do agree with Jo your gourd is impressive but I too admire the snake shaped ones.

Thanks eyeryone for helping to track down some seeds and info on them. I will luck into one yet!LOL

Cathy


NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the appreciated comments. One more time....Long Gourds and Snake Gourds are grown from the same seed. It is how they are grown that makes the difference. I said that above but it seems I may not have made it clear enough. Either way they need to be handled and managed into a longer season growing pattern.

Good luck with your good seed hunting. You will not find the good seed in the traditional garden catalogs.

Barnesville (Charle, GA(Zone 8b)

Why? Are they not Fresh??

NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

They are not seed from the hands of those who grow giant gourds. Genetics are important even if the genetics are coming from the hands of serious amateur growers. The commercial seed are open polinated with little or no genetic controll. They show you one interesting gourd to tease forth the purchase of their seed. I think it is neat what they advertise. You will get better seed if you snoop about a bit as I suggested. One year old....Long Gourd or Snake seed is always a better seed to work with. As they age they get more difficult to germinate and to likewise grow. The best you can expect from the growers associated with Big Pumpkins.com are seed from two fine known growers working with their genetics to hopefully find the next world record. One the size I grew would have five to seven hundred seeds so finding seed is not the problem. Point in passing....My seed would be very difficult to germinate but seed from someone who did well this past summer is what I would look for. Long Gourd or Snake seed are a bit difficult to germinate from day one until you have worked your growing techniques through the learning curve.

(Zone 5a)

Oh am I glad I found this thread!!

I acquired a snake gourd this fall from one of my farmers markets. I got it for my hubby for one of our anniversaries and he loves it!

Anyway, I am trying to dry it out and I hope to do two things.. one dry it and be able to get the seed from it, but two, without destroying the gourd. Is that possible? I hope to try to grow the seed or should I just forget it? What is my prognosis for doing this? If I take those seed will they be productive to give me snakes in the future? I dont know if it was raised in a field near other gourds so the seed may or may not be cross pollenated... but anyway, any opinion here would help!

And Doc, WOW nice gourd there!

Here is ours... its hanging up to dry now.. but it is still green.. how long will it be before its dry?

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Crossville, TN

That is a nice gourd!

As to taking the seeds out...you can cut a small hole in the gourd...or cut the top off (after it dries!) and scoop out the seeds and "stuff" then put the top back on using wood putty or spackling compound...then sand it down again.

It will take a while for that one to dry...depending on where you are...(I see you don't show your area...._) If the seeds turn out no to be "true"...you'll still get some interesting gourds.

If you don't want to cut into it...let me add you to the list of folks that I have promised seeds too....I'm mailing them out this week. Jo

NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

Zone 5a is only one zone off of my area. I always took mine to the boiler room ceiling where it became light and airy with seeds rattling about by Feb. or Mar. I see you have an offer for a seed gift. Take that gift. If you want larger snakes follow my advise to find proven seed.

Be aware that when sanding and when removing seed some folks get an alergic reaction. I only ever knew of one person that was alergic. It seems to come when handling the paper like dried meat inside and when one sands on the gourd to prep it for staining or varnishing.

My other advisements are made from the basis of my personal experience. Direct seeding will not be best in your zone. Go for it. It will be the craziest grow you ever saw. Find that farmer and get him to give you about a dozen seed. Here is a pix of my germ box. It's simply a cooler with a human hot pad on the lowest setting to yeild 86 degrees on the inside. Germination should be practiced no mater how much you think you might know from reading instructions. 99% of the failures came when germination was expected. After that time loss you have lost two important weeks. Please practice.

I did overlook a germination trick some guys use. When they soak in kelp tea they add H2O2 home type hydrogen peroxide in the amount of about 10% of the soaking fluid.

The first pix is my apple tree covered with a single proven giant snake gourd plant . I called that my Eagle Gourd Tree. That plant grew the 98" one. The second in my next post will be the germination box.

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NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

Germation box.

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NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

If I were growing in my back yard on the ground I would prep an area 30' X 50' planting Two seedlings in each end. I would cull to one plant in each planting and guide the plants towards each other. Depending on the year or the year and plant vigor I would have no trouble at all ripping out the one planting to make full patch space for the one gourd planting. I would cull to the three best looking gourds on each plant as well as picking off all gourds that try to follow the three I chose to grow. You want the whole plant working to feed no more than three gourds............that is if you want nice big ones. The ones that come on after the targeted gourds will not have time to mature anyway. All they do is steal energy from the targeted gourds. At the peak of their growing period they will be growing a foot or more a day. Your backyard will be a circus of friends watching your monsters grow.

(Zone 5a)

Sounds awesome. I am leary of cutting this beauty! He has such a grand shape to it! We have had some grins on it! Like the day I brought it home it was sitting on the dash of my truck and we went to a resturant. I was watching the passers by and one guy I guess he thought the thing was really real and did that long jump look double take and stared it down while he passed the vehicle like the thing was gonna get him! Too funny.. Oh man that would have made a funny video!

Anyway, the market that I got it from had a lot of variety of big gourds there of all sorts of freaky shapes and sizes, but I know most were true to breed, but the seed inside, dont know. Probably crosses if it came from a large grower.

Ok, feeding this thin.. will horsemanure do? I had the loofa in chicken manure and it did alright. Would have done somethig if the thing was started way earlier though.

Too bad you could not cross this thing with a loofa... get king size loofas!... or can you???!

I have a greenhouse I can germ in so that will not be any problem or do it in my house. I got my loofa to start, but received seed late last year so did not get any sponges but enjoyed just having it for a flowering vine! But now have seed to try in 2010 and will get a jump on those.

SO ya say a few seeds go a long way here.. no pun intended.. Im game. Will d-mail you! Thanks too!

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NORTH CENTRAL, PA(Zone 5a)

If your garden soil is decent your horse manure will be a fine start. Throw a couple shovels full in a drum and make some manuer tea for drench weekly feeding. If you have fish/kelp that would make up a nice program of every other week foliar or drench. You need not feed any more. On the ground they do their own thing of twisting and turning. You may tease them into all kinds of weird shapes but they do very well on their own.

Said again...........be ready to do preventative fungi treatments. Don't wait to see the fungi attack.

(Zone 5a)

Well thank you for all that good information. Now all I need is some planting time weather! Oh spring.. let me count the days til your blessed arrival!

Well, everyone here, good luck on your snakey ventures!








hmmm. so they like climbing in a tree huh!? Well got just the bed for them!

Thumbnail by BLOSSOMBUDDY

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